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Kitchen Notes: Tempering Chocolate
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thiswayup
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: silicone moulds Reply with quote

Great site. I recently made some chocs in a silicone mould; tried to follow the tempering instructions but don't have a thermometer so who knows whether I got it right - they look OK anyway but not that shiny, but I used a silicone rubber mould and wondered if it's impossible to get a proper sheen anyway with this sort of mould? I know plastic is the right material but this case it wasn't possible. Would be intrigued to know if anyone had properly shiny results using a silicone mould ? (and yes it was food-safe silicone)

Rachel from Edinburgh, UK
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do the melted chocolate and the seed chocolate have to be the same? I had one bar of Lindt extra creamy milk and one bar of plain Lindt milk. I followed the steps and it didn't work.
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Candice
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: On Silicone Molds Reply with quote

Chocolate mirrors the surface it's molded in. If you look at your silicone molds, they are dull looking. If you want really beautiful chocolates, you need to get polycarbonate molds. That's what the pros use.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject: melting chocolate Reply with quote

I purchased a (cheap) 'Apple Dipper' at A.C. Moore, but have also seen them at CVS and other stores around the holidays. It is for melting caramel in which to dip apples, but I've used it for melting chocolate. It has 2 settings, melt and warm, and after the chocolate is melted I, as described in the article add a large piece of chocolate for 'seeds.' No water involved, no chance of seizing or burning! Thank you to all you home chefs- this is my return for all your favors!
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mike
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:59 am    Post subject: help Reply with quote

i am trying to make an old country candy that calls for me to mix 1 cup of sugar with a half cup of strong italian coffee, heating this mixture until the sugar dissolves after it dissolves i add 8 ounces of bakers chocolate and take this to 240 degrees. at this time i add roasted almonds, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until it becomes firm. this recipe has worked about three time out of ten and usually results in a mess looking like fudge that won't harden. it should be shiny and have a snap when broken thanks for any help i'm working with an family old recipe and dont want to abandon it do to many failures

Mike
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the consistency of heated then cooled sugar solutions largely depends on the temperature it was heated to - 240'F is on the ultra-low end and I would not expect it to be brittle.

see:
http://candy.about.com/od/candybasics/a/candytemp.htm
for a recap on temps and behavior
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Chouettes
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:18 am    Post subject: Help with Truffles Reply with quote

Hello.
Every year I make chocolate Truffles with different centers. This year I decided to make the liquid centers (mint, Bailey's, Vanilla bean, etc) and for the first time am using new Silicone molds. I am using Baker's dark semi-sweet chocolate squares. I tempered 18 squares to perfection using the seed method explained here. They're very shiny and come out of the mold easily. They crack in the mouth when we sampled them. The only problem is that I've noticed what seems to be cocoa-like powder spots on the sides of almost half of all my Truffles. I know they have been tempered correctly; I was very careful. I've never had these lace-like spots before; but then I always hand-dipped my Truffles. I had washed, rinsed and air-dried my molds the night before to make sure they were dry. Before filling the molds with chocolate in the morning, I noticed dried water spots on the inside of the molds. But didn't think that this would cause any problem. It did as described above. So for the second batch of truffles I tried washing the molds, rinsing, towel dry then air-dry. Same problem. What am I doing wrong? Also, If I towel dry the insides of the mold too long ( to make sure there's no water); lint from the towel sticks to the mold and I have to re-start the process all over..Please help....I still have 10 batches to do before Christmas. Thank you in advance
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DM
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Peppermint Bark Reply with quote

I am a college student with extremely limited resources, and with the arrival of the holiday season I decided to make peppermint bark. Being restricted with what they have available at CVS, I settled on using Dove dark chocolates and the only white chocolate they had was Hershey's Bliss White Chocolate.

Using my freezer, my microwave, my pocket knife, a bowl and spoon stolen from the dining hall, my roommates hammer (crushing candycanes) and a file-folder covered in aluminum foil, I was relatively successful, in terms of flavor and impressing my friends. The principal drawback was that I had to keep the peppermint bark refrigerated otherwise it would become very soft, almost fudge-like, especially the white chocolate layer.

I read this page looking for a way to possibly raise the melting point of the chocolate so that it would set up better. One of my main concerns is, that the white chocolate is already somewhat soft and malleable in its packaged form at room temperature, before I try this again, is it even possible for me to temper it to a state which it will become more firm at room temperature than its original state?

It's worth noting that I do not have a thermometer and I will still be using the same ingredients, however, I have been able to acquire a bag of much more solid Dove white chocolates which I hope to mix with the Hershey's hoping that using that as a seed might help. Furthermore, how does the introduction of crushed/powdered peppermint into this white chocolate mixture affect this process? Is there an optimal temperature/step in the cooling process which to add it?

I also wanted to make the peppermint flavor more prominent, and I am concerned as to the effect of introducing some type of peppermint flavoring or extract into the white chocolate mix. And finally, when I allow each 3-4mm layer of chocolate to cool on the aluminum foil, should I stick it in the freezer as I did last time? or let cool at room temperature?

If anyone can address any part of this, I will be very appreciative.

Thank you,
Dixon, Tufts University 2015, prospective major: chemical engineering.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>address any part of this

yeah, pretty simple actually - successfully working with sugars and chocolates is not a "oh well whatever" type of event.

since you don't have either the experience or the equipment to tackle the project, it's gonna' be a sticky ride.

the only trick I know to make chocolate "harden" without knowing what you're doing is to add paraffin wax.
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DM
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject: RE: Dilbert Reply with quote

Gee, Thank you so much. Turns out that bit of advice gave me perfect shiny firm white chocolate.

Forgive me for wanting to learn. Trial and error is definitely the best method if I want to get a deeper understanding of these processes. Seeking expertise as to why something happened the way it did is dumb way to learn. That's definitely not the way we do things at Tufts University. I only asked about half a dozen variables, so therefore it shouldn't be too difficult to isolate each variable through the scientific method and test each one. Deferring to someone who has more experience than I do for a few pointers is just frivolous.

ĞM
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: RE: Dilbert Reply with quote

Am I the only one unable to figure out what DM is trying to say in his last comment?

I can't figure out if the tone is sarcastic or not. His first post poses a difficult question - how to get chocolates (meant to be consumed as a confection and not utilized as an ingredient) to behave in a specific manner without the use of tools which are generally considered basic to the working of chocolate and sugar (most importantly an accurate thermometer). His next post (in response to Dilbert's comment that working with chocolate isn't like stir frying - precision and accuracy are paramount) claims "trial and error" is the best way for him to learn and asking other people is "dumb" (but isn't posting a question the same as asking for expert advice)? It sounds like DM has also come up with a series of tests to work on all the variables in his project, but then why would asking for advice be "frivolous"? I'm so confused.

If you're going to ask for advice, check the attitude at the door. If I've misread your tone / meaning, I apologize, please restate how you would like us to help.

Oh, and you really have to get a thermometer if you want to work with chocolate and sugar. Trial and error only works if the experiments are repeatable and without the proper tools, that's just not possible.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 972
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

they're just not making engineers the way they used to.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 285
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
they're just not making engineers the way they used to.


Or schools!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
Dilbert wrote:
they're just not making engineers the way they used to.


Or schools!

Well, it's unfair to judge so quickly... he's still in school. It wasn't until a couple years out of college that I realized what parts of that I had managed to learn was practical and useful to being an engineer.
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kungfu cook
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: wow you guys explained tempering old school Reply with quote

I actully surprised that a site called cooking for engineers decided to use such old school technique.

Using a very clean and dry stainless steel bowl, hot and cold water baths, and stiring constantly. using the temperatures you've already covered above.

You are able to temper the chocolate in with less error (once you get the hang of it), less mess, less wasted product, and with equipment that nearly ever kitchen has. I'm not sure about you but most kitchens don't have an abundance of marble slabs.
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