Hey its #TuesdayTips day. Honestly one of my favorite days to write articles that are helpful to you. We are now in our second week of February. Last Tuesday I talked about the Different Types of Chocolate in honor of the biggest chocolate sales month. We won’t be able to get through everything before Valentines day on Sunday but the information is helpful for later usage. So we will be continuing our theme of Chocolate.
When we talk about chocolate in the industry one word comes up ALL the time. That word is tempering. Tempering is sooooooo incredibly important when you are working with it. Now I did mention in the last article and in another post, not all Chocolate is real chocolate. What I mean is that Candy Melts, Melting Wafers and Almond Bark are meant to mimic Chocolate but you don’t need to temper them. The problem is that it doesn’t taste like chocolate at all. Most people who are selling the Hot Cocoa Bombs, and now possibly moving into Valentines Day and Easter Sales, will not be using real chocolate. Theres nothing wrong with that just be aware that is what is happening. In most states there are strict regulations on selling from home and to avoid problems, this is one way they use to avoid it.
However, as a trained Chocolatier, I cringe at all of this. Here at Matthew’s Kitchen, we want you to be the most educated and have all the tools to be successful whether you are doing this as a hobby or wanting to build your own business one day. So tempering is something you must master in order to get the best results with your chocolate.
What is Tempering?
Tempering is the process in which heating and cooling and heating chocolate to stabilize it for making candies and confections. It gives chocolate a smooth and glossy finish, keeps it from easily melting on your fingers, and allows it to set up beautifully for dipped and chocolate covered treats.
Ways of Tempering
There are several ways of tempering but the goal is still the same. Now being at home you won’t have access to all the easiest ways unfortunately. Trust me when I say having a tempering Machine makes working with chocolate far easier, especially in a big production but since you aren’t there yet, its not worth spending the thousands on a great tempering machine. Here are some other methods, I find using the double boiler the most efficient and effective while the microwave method to be the lest consistent.
TEMPERING WITH A MELTER
The seeding method is tempering chocolate by adding small amounts of un-melted chocolate chips to melted chocolate. It’s fast, easy and incredibly efficient. Follow the steps below to temper chocolate chips using a chocolate melter. Melt some chocolate at 40 degree celsius (104 F) in a chocolate melter.
Reduce the melter temperature to 32 degree celsius (90 F) and then start adding the chocolate chips to melted chocolates. Do not add too much of chips at one point in time. Add little by little and keep stirring to melt the chocolate.
If the chips start melting too soon, then you need to add some more into the melter. If it melts too slowly, adjust the temperature to fasten the process.
The temperature for dark chocolate should be around 31-32 degree celsius (88-89 F), for milk chocolate it should be 31 degree celsius (88 F) and for white chocolate it should be 29 degree celsius (87 F). If the temperature remains high even after all the chips have melted, add more and stir to bring down the temperature.
Stir till the mixture is consistent enough to be used and have no lumps. Then allow it to cool down for it to have the glossy consistency.
You can take your pallet knife and take a bit of the melted chocolate on it. If the chocolate has been melted properly, then the crystallized chocolate will form on the knife in a few minutes.
TEMPERING IN THE MICROWAVE
If you would like to temper a small batch of Chocolate. Some think it is the fastest. People frequently have the query of how to temper chocolate in microwave, and the answer lies in the steps enumerated below.Take the chocolate chips in a bowl and put it in the microwave for about thirty seconds at 800-1,000 W. When you are using a microwave oven, always heat up the chocolates at full power but for short bursts of time.
Take out the bowl and began stirring the bowl to mix up the semi-melted chocolate. After a few minutes of getting in and out of the microwave, you can expect the chocolate to be melted nicely.
Stirring is the key because when you take out the chocolate, a lot of the chips are melted by a good stir. If you still feel some large lumps are left, put it again in the microwave for a few seconds.
When you see that it feels just slightly lumpy, give it some stir, and the granules will be removed. Do not put it back in the microwave. You know it is ready when it reaches the right tempering chocolate temperatures as mentioned above.
If you have a pallet knife, you can scoop up some chocolate in it just to test if the chocolate is ready or not. Leave the pallet knife at normal temperature for a minute, and if the tempering is done right, the chocolate will be hard and crystallized.
TEMPERING CHOCOLATE ON MARBLE OR TABLE TOP
The three basic requirements of tempering chocolate on marble top are getting the time, temperature, and movement right. Sure, you will have to work a bit harder for this method, but the results make it worth.Melt the chocolate at a temperature of 45 degree celsius (113 F) and then lower the temperature of the melter to 27 degree celsius (81 F). Before pouring the chocolate on the table top, raise the temperature to about 30 degree celsius (86 F).
Keep some melted chocolate in the melter and do not pour it all. Pour one-third amount on the table top and start turning it using your chocolate scraper continuously. The idea here is that the chocolate loses its crystals as it melts, and you are bringing the crystallization back by tossing and turning it.
After it has reached the ideal fluidity, mix it with the remaining chocolate in the melter and your work is done.
TEMPERING WITH A DOUBLE BOILER
This one is a variation of the aforementioned seeding method. The use of the double boiler instead of a melter is one of the major differences between this method and the previous one. All you need are some chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate, a boiler, and water. Follow the given steps to easily get tempered chocolate using a boiler.Pour in water up to one-third of the boiler and get the water boiling to a high temperature. When the water has sufficiently come up to a boil, place the bowl of chocolate chips or fined chopped chocolate above it.
You need to be careful about choosing the bowl as it must be big enough to fit in the mouth of the boiler but must not touch the water. The point is not to let the steam escape from the sides. It is best to choose a tempered glass bowl so that it can take in the temperature without getting damaged.
Keep stirring the chocolate chips to aid in the process of melting, and the steam will gradually melt the chocolate in a few minutes. The temperature requirements for this one are same as the previous method.
Remove the bowl when you notice that there are no granules left in the chocolate. Let it cool down, and gradually the consistency will be reached.
More on Tempering
Now each brand has its own range of degrees within the process but no matter what method, the raising temperature, lower then reheating is still being done. Please check with each brand you are using to know what degrees they use.
This chart below shows that theres is also a range within the types of chocolate, which is why it is super important to check with the brand.