I have been volunteering (and in a way getting free private training) at the Shanghai Callebaut Academy. Manfred Rindler is the ambassador for Callebaut in China and he spends a lot of time doing R&D and other work in the Callebaut Kitchen. A few days ago I went to help out again and I got to watch the enrobing of pralines using a enrobing/tempering chocolate machine!!! I also got the chance to operate the machine myself.
Prior to this experience, the only way of enrobing I knew how to do myself was manually with a dipping fork over a bowl or tank of tempered chocolate. It was the method that was taught at Savour School in their Level 1 Chocolates & Pralines class.
During my time at Savour, Christmas was approaching so the Savour chefs were busy preparing gifts, including enrobed chocolates, for their sponsors. I witnessed them dipping hundreds of cut pralines individually into the chocolate tank over the course of a week. So I think you could imagine my excitement when Manfred told me that I will be learning how to operate the machine and enrobe hundreds of pralines with it! Using the machine, we were able to enrobe similar quantities of chocolates a lot more efficiently.
I also learned a new trick to decorate dipped chocolates that day – creating a marbling effect. Instead of piping on the decorative chocolate after the chocolate has been fully enrobed with the excess tapped off which creates 3D lines, the milk chocolate was piped on as soon as the chocolates were dipped for the first time so a marbling effect was created as the pralines were being tapped by the vibrating belt.
I really enjoyed my day learning about enrobing with a machine. It was interesting to see the “production” side of chocolate making.