Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tempering Chocolate- Let's Talk

Let's talk about tempering chocolate.

Do you have questions or need help?
Or do you have some ideas, insights or experience in tempering chocolate?
Or both?...a category I find myself in!

Please join in this discussion. Thank you!

I have a few years experience in tempering chocolate and have read a few books, visited websites and checked out articles that discuss everything from correct temperature for tempering, types of chocolate to detailed descriptions of the crystalline structure of chocolate to exact procedures to temper chocolate.
Everyone has a unique perspective and that can be refreshing and thought provoking . This has led me to think about and try different methods.
I have tried a longer version of tempering chocolate-that I describe in my blog "English Toffee" and a shorter version which entails heating 1/3 of the chocolate up to 112F during melting using a double boiler/baine marie, then seeding the melted chocolate with the other 2/3rd's of the un-melted chocolate to achieve a temperature of:
for dark chocolate: 88F to 91F
for milk chocolate: 85F to 88F

This method works, but it does involve multiple times of melting and tempering for medium to larger batches of candy.
The candy temperature itself can decrease the window of time the chocolate is in temper, the amount of time needed for the chocolate to set up on the candy and increases the likelihood of some bloom/out of temper chocolate on candy- if not constantly monitoring the temperature of the chocolate.
The amount of tempered chocolate can affect the period of time it will be in temper.
There is a tool that could be extremely useful- it is a thermometer spatula- I have not used one, yet, but I would like to. I plan on buying one soon.

Please share with me and others any questions, ideas, experiences and ideas about tempering chocolate.

Thank you!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Let's Talk and Share

This part of my blog I am dedicating to
Ideas, Discussion and Sharing Information

It is my hope to have discussions where we can share our ideas, insights and experiences concerning various topics.

No one knows everything there is to know, but everyone has valuable insights, ideas and experiences that can be shared, appreciated and helpful to many other people.

These blogs will be in the section called Share and I plan to start off by introducing a topic.
I will write as briefly as I can...(well, I will try to be brief)
...about my ideas, insights or experiences(or lack thereof!) with the topic.

Please share your ideas, insights or experiences- Let's Talk!

Do you have suggestions for a topic?
Let me know, I would like to talk with you.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pain relief cannabis lotion bar

This lotion bar can be used for muscle pain, it works similar to Icy hot or Ben-gay.
Unlike either Icy hot or Ben-gay, there is no container-store it in a plastic bag.
It is small and usually will not melt unless kept in very warm conditions or in direct sunlight.

To use, simply rub on skin-either at the area of pain or on your hand and apply to where you have pain.
It will need to be massaged into the skin for a minute or two.
The warm/cool effect can be adjusted by simply adding more or less of the menthol crystals to the recipe.

Caution: Do not apply to the face or sensitive areas. Please clean hands after applying.


-Bain marie/double-boiler: need at least 6+ cup saucepan for water and a bowl that will fit tightly into it without touching the 1" of water inside the saucepan.
-bowl capable of holding 6+ cups
-measuring cups and spoons
-spoon/ladle/pourer- to pour lotion into mold
-soap mold or any other mold- will not be able to use this mold for candy afterwards.
*To include cannabis oil(RSO) these will be needed:
-premeasured cannabis oil syringes
-digital scale
-oral syringes

-Coconut oil- 1/3 cup
-Shea, Cocoa or Mango Butter- 1/3 cup
-Beeswax- 1/3 cup + 1 t.
-Menthol Crystals- 2 T
-Peppermint oil- 20 drops
-Arnica oil- 1/2 t.
-Cannabis oil- 2 to 3 grams-depending on medication needs

*Additional Essential Oils: These do not have to be added and can be changed according to preference. Some are used to provide scent-like lemongrass.

-Eucalyptus- 20 drops
-Rosemary- 9 drops
-Clove- 9 drops
-Camphor- 9 drops
-Ginger- 9 drops
-Lemongrass- 9 drops

Set up equipment and ingredients. These items will go into the double boiler:
Coconut oil
Shea, Cocoa or Mango butter
Cannabis oil

All other ingredients can go into the other bowl now.

Put 1" of water into the saucepan, tightly fit the bowl for the double boiler top into the saucepan.
Place on stove and turn heat to medium. Place beeswax in first, then add both the coconut oil and the butter of your choice. Let this mixture melt completely, whisk a few times during this to help it go faster.

When all of these ingredients have melted add the cannabis oil and remove from heat, whisk to incorporate thoroughly.
Immediately add to the other bowl that contains the menthol crystals and essential oils.
Whisk to incorporate thoroughly.

Immediately begin to pour into the mold using the spoon, ladle or pourer.
This will set up fast. It may be necessary to warm it up slightly by placing it back over the water in the saucepan for a minute.
If you do so, don't place the saucepan onto heat.

I usually wrap these in wax paper and then place them into plastic bags before I store them in the freezer.
If you do not wish to freeze them, keep them out of direct sunlight and away from very warm conditions.

The hemp and cannabis fair is in Corvallis this weekend

I posted about this event before when it was in Salem last month.
It's happening again.

The Hemp and Cannabis fair is in
Corvallis, Oregon this weekend.
It is at the Benton county fairgrounds- auditorium located at 110 sw 53rd street.
Here is a link to their website:

I plan to go and check it out this Saturday afternoon, maybe I will see you there!
I will be wearing my cannaland shirt.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sea Salt Caramels

Caramel is a wonderful candy by itself or used as a component of another candy.

Due to the small amount of butter in this recipe, medicating it requires:
-Extra strong cannabutter
-Adding Cannabis oil(RSO), hash or kief
or do both.

*A thing to keep in mind if using hash or kief: hash is about half as potent as kief-

An average medication per serving can be 1/8 t. or 1/8 g of kief and 1/4 t. or 1/4 g hash--depending on medication needs or personal preference:

For the shape of the caramels, a variety of candy molds can be used, this can affect the number of pieces that are produced in each batch. Using a candy mold like this can produce 44 pieces.

If you do not use candy molds, a shallow square pan can be used and the candy can be hand cut.

*If you wish to hand cut the caramels prepare the pan by lining it with aluminum foil that extends over the sides of the pan and coat the bottom and sides with 1 T of vegetable oil.

Ready to make caramel?

4 qrt. heavy bottomed saucepan
measuring cups and spoons
rubber spatula
candy thermometer
butter knife to get the corn syrup and honey out of measuring cups easier
plastic wrap
candy molds, candy funnel and container to set candy funnel in upright and non stick cooking spray
8"+ square shallow baking pan, aluminum foil, vegetable oil and a large chef knife

heavy whipping cream- 1 1/3 cups
granulated sugar- 2 cups
corn syrup- 1/2 cup
honey- 1/3 cup
unsalted butter, softened, cut in pieces- 6 T
vanilla paste- 1 t.  or vanilla extract- 2 t.
sea salt- 2 t.

Gather all equipment and ingredients.
Set up candy molds and place candy funnel in container so it is upright
Set up square baking pan and prepare it by lining with aluminum foil and coating bottom and sides with vegetable oil.

Place saucepan on stove on medium heat. Add heavy cream.
Bring to a boil.
Add corn syrup, honey and either Cannabis oil, hash or kief- stir to incorporate.
Add sugar.

Stir until mixture comes to a boil.
Use rubber spatula clean off sides of pan- to prevent sugar from crystallization.

Clip candy thermometer to inside of saucepan and increase heat to medium high.
Stir occasionally.
When temperature reaches 257 F, remove saucepan from heat.
Stir in butter first- it will take a few minutes to incorporate.
Add vanilla paste/vanilla extract and sea salt.

*If using square baking pan, pour caramel into it and allow it to sit at room temperature until cool, which can take 1 hour or longer. Use 1 T vegetable oil to coat a cutting board and the chef's knife. Then remove candy from pan by lifting out the aluminum foil and invert it onto cutting board, peel off the aluminum foil and cut caramel into 8- 1" strips, then cut each strip into 4 pieces.
Place in freezer if not using in a recipe or covering with chocolate at this time.
If covering with chocolate, melt and temper chocolate, dip caramels into chocolate and sprinkle top of each caramel with sea salt.


*If using candy molds- pour 1/3 to 1/2 of caramel into candy funnel-depending on size of funnel- then pour caramel into molds. Cover candy molds with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Place in freezer if not using in a recipe or covering with chocolate at this time.
If covering with chocolate, melt and temper chocolate, dip caramels into chocolate and sprinkle top of each caramel with sea salt.

Caramels will keep for 1 month without refrigeration, 2 months refrigerated or 6 months in a freezer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

English Toffee Recipe (similar to Almond Roca)

Let me start off with- This is a great recipe!
I love this recipe, it is very easy to adjust potency due to the high content of butter.
Just make sure to stir- don't worry I will explain...

Using the jolly rancher sized molds- there are around 100 pieces per batch-this can vary depending on if there is some separation of butter at the end.

Let's do this.

8+ cup tall sided saucepot

rubber spatula

measuring cups and spoons

candy funnel with a round 46oz or larger container to hold it upright

candy molds-jolly rancher sized or other shape

or you can use a cookie sheet pan- if so you will need a small rolling pin too
note: I have not had much success with using a sheet pan and scoring the candy- usually the candy breaks where I don't want it to or doesn't break cleanly. If you have a good method of doing this, please share! Thanks.

candy thermometer

non-stick cooking spray

food processor

Unsalted butter- 1 1/4 cups
-for the substitution I do this in either of two ways:
*3/4 cup of cannabutter, 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 4 g of Cannabis Oil (RSO)   OR
*1 1/4 cups of unsalted butter and 9 g of Cannabis Oil(RSO)

Or modify the amount of butter, cannabutter and Cannabis Oil to medication needs

OK, now here's the rest of the ingredients

granulated sugar- 1 cup
water- 1/4 cup
salt- 1/2 tsp.
finely processed almonds- 1/2 cup

For the chocolate/almond coating, you will need:

semi-sweet or milk chocolate- 1 lb.
finely processed almonds- 3 cups



8+ cup saucepan
3 sheet pans
rubber spatula
mini rubber spatula
candy tongs
food processor
candy thermometer
Double Boiler or Heat proof container-metal, ceramic, glass-that will fit closely inside the top of the saucepan(so the container bottom will not touch the water inside of the pan)
measuring cup or scoop

Let's make it!

Gather up equipment and ingredients
Process almonds
Set up candy molds or cookie sheet pan and rolling pin, candy funnel in the plastic container and spray with non-stick cooking spray
Chop butter into 1 oz pieces and place in saucepan
Place saucepan on stove on low heat
Add Cannabis oil after butter is melted-if using

After butter is melted, turn up heat to medium
water, sugar and salt- stir well to incorporate sugar thoroughly

Clip candy thermometer to inside of saucepan.

make sure to stir once every 30 seconds, touching bottom and sides of saucepan
- this is the tricky part-
The butter will want to separate from the other ingredients unless it is stirred, but use the rubber spatula-not a whisk-and be thorough but gentle.

Once temperature is 260 F,  add the 1/2 cup of finely processed almonds.
Now you will need to hover over the saucepan and constantly gently stir.

Once temperature reaches 305 F, remove the saucepan from heat.

Either pour candy into the candy funnel using the rubber spatula and pour into candy molds
Pour candy out onto the prepared sheet pan using the rubber spatula and immediately use the rolling pin to flatten and spread out the candy and immediately score the candy into rectangles using a pizza cutter.

Cover the candy molds or cookie sheet pan with plastic wrap and it can be left on the counter to set up or after 10 minutes, it can be placed in the freezer to set up and cool off faster.

After 30 minutes in the freezer or about 90 minutes on the counter, the candy is ready for the second step. The chocolate and almond coating.

If you placed it in the freezer, bring it out and let it sit while you gather the chocolate and the almonds.
Set up 3 sheet pans with plastic wrap.

Unmold the candy or carefully break candy in the cookie sheet pan along the scored lines. Place on counter in 1 sheet pan.

Process almonds and place in another sheet pan.

The third sheet pan will be for the finished candy.

There are many different ways chocolate is melted and tempered, this is one of them.

Set up the double boiler to melt the chocolate. Place 1" to 1 1/2" of water in saucepan and place tight fitting container on top. Place on stove.

Put in 2/3 of chocolate- I use chocolate chips, otherwise it will need to be chopped up into 1/2" or so pieces.

Turn heat to medium. Don't let water get above a simmer.
Stir chocolate as it starts to melt.
Check chocolate temperature, when it reaches 115 F, remove from heat
- do not let any water get in the chocolate- otherwise it is game over.

Slowly add in the remaining chocolate(seeding), check temperature, we want the temperature to get to 81 F and then it needs to be raised to between 88 F - 90 F

After you have added all the chocolate, if the temperature is still too high- place the bowl in a bowl of cool water, stir the chocolate.

To heat up to 88F to 90F, you can set it back on top of the double boiler/bain marie, with the stove temperature on low to medium-no more than a simmer. Stir well.
As soon as it reaches correct temperature, place it by the sheet pans.

Begin dipping candy into it with candy tongs, use a mini rubber spatula to remove excess chocolate and drop candy onto sheet pan with almonds.

Cover top of candy with almonds and roll the candy in the almonds.

Allow it to set for a few minutes at one end of the sheet pan before placing it on the third sheet pan.

When all of the candy is coated, cover the candy filled sheet pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least one hour.

Store candy in plastic bags. The candy will keep for 6 months in the freezer or 2 months in the refrigerator.

Here it is!


  • Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Oregon Cannabis Testing Laboratories

    It can be difficult to find a laboratory for testing cannabis products. I hope this listing of Oregon laboratories will be helpful.

    Here is a link to the OHA website:
    This is where you will find the laboratories that are listed with OHA.

    Due to the changes in Oregon's Administrative Rules: OAR 333-008-1190

    any cannabis product must be tested by a laboratory that is listed with OHA or you cannot transfer it to a dispensary. This is from March 1, 2016 to September 20, 2016.
    Starting October 1, 2016, the laboratory must also be accredited by ORELAP.

     I have found a laboratory in Salem where I can take my products to be tested!
    TetraHc Analytical Laboratory- Please disregard the address on the card- They have moved.

    Here is their current address:  219 Madrona Ave SE, Suite C, Salem, OR  97302
    Their phone number is: 503.967.6649
    Bill is a great person to talk to.