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Kitchen Notes: Tempering Chocolate
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Michael Chu Reply with quote

Rockinkitty wrote:
Spend $20-25 on a digital instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks RT600C and use it for all your thermometer needs in the kitchen. It's faster than other instant read thermometers of that price range (6 sec!).

I'll look for a digital t like the one you linked after I try out a couple more methods-my basal t, slower heating, and sous vide.

I should probably rephrase and say that I recommend getting the RT600C over all other instant read digital thermometers other than the Thermapen. It's likely that any other digital thermometer you find will take 10 sec to get an accurate reading. I feel like 10 sec is slow enough that eventually you'll get a better thermometer, so why not just get the 6 sec one to begin with.
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Rockinkitty
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:46 pm    Post subject: Thanks again! Reply with quote

The ingredients you listed seem fine to me. I don't know what chocolates are available in your city, but in the U.S., I've found that most supermarkets carry Guittard and Ghirardelli. Both brands are relatively inexpensive and work consistently well. Other brands that are commonly carried (but not necessarily as widely available here) are Lindt (also relatively low cost), Valrohna (expensive but most people like the flavor over the majority of other brands), Dagoba, Scharffen Berger, and Endangered Species. All of these brands work well and only have cocoa solids, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla, and sugar as their ingredients (and milk if it's milk chocolate). Make sure if you buy bar chocolate to check if they've mixed in other stuff like fruits, berries, nuts, mint, etc.

The Ghiradelli C's I see in my area are exclusively the little shells-you know the gift boxes you give to dinner party hosts. I'll look for the others you mentioned. There is a Lindt store near here and that's the first place I went to, but they were rude, unhelpful, and laughably overpriced. I will not do the chocolates at all if going to Lindt is my only choice.

I should probably rephrase and say that I recommend getting the RT600C over all other instant read digital thermometers other than the Thermapen. It's likely that any other digital thermometer you find will take 10 sec to get an accurate reading. I feel like 10 sec is slow enough that eventually you'll get a better thermometer, so why not just get the 6 sec one to begin with.

Noted. I'll look for the brand in my town (for an odd reason there's a great resto supply store here), but I don't shop online.
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choconewb
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: microwave tempering Reply with quote

I just successfully completed my first attempt at tempering chocolate Big smile I used the microwave, heated the bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then took them out and stirred for a bit, put them in for ten more second, took them out and stirred until they were mostly melted. I then put in the last 1/4 of the chocolate chips, stirred until they melted all they could, then put it back in the microwave for another ten seconds.

Stirred vigorously after that for a bit, I guess to try to mimic spreading it over a marble slab or disperse the heat. I had to use the fridge for two minutes to get the chocolate covered cookies to harden, but after that they didn't melt. I don't own a thermometer so I can't know for sure what the chocolate's temperature was.

I can't say they're *shiny*, but they do snap, so yay!

Just some encouragement to the people reading this who don't own the fancy equipment. I'm sure you can figure it out through some trial and error--people were making chocolates long before thermometers were common and affordable.
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Rkelcher
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Pretzel thoughts Reply with quote

I had some thoughts for whoever was having issues with chocolate covered pretzels and blooming....I have very little experience in chocolate, but I do have thoughts on salt....

Could it be that the salt on the pretzels is dissolving, thereby causing added moisture (or an unknown reaction) and blooming? I'm not sure how you would solve such a problem though. Consider chocolate coating something without a salt garnish and see if you have having the same troubles. That way you can at least figure out if the problem lies in technique or not.
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John G.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Nestle Chocolate Chips Reply with quote

Is there a reason, or ingredient, in Nestle chips that makes it refuse to temper properly. I have a Revolution2 machine and I've tried the double broiler method as well. I'm guessing I should switch to another brand.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there a reason, or ingredient, in Nestle chips that makes it refuse to temper properly. I have a Revolution2 machine and I've tried the double broiler method as well. I'm guessing I should switch to another brand.


Because they're chocolate chips they may well have additives designed to help them maintain their shape at a higher temperature - this is probably what's interfering with your tempering!

Also in my experience go with a different brand too, lindt are good as previously mentioned - if you're in the UK I've had consistently good results with green and blacks too. Smile[/quote]
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Brian
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: One more question! Reply with quote

As good of an article as this was, it seems (at least to me) to be missing one last, but vital, piece of info.

After tempering chocolate at 86-88 degrees, by what method is the chocolate brought to room temperature? If lowering the temp to 82 degrees forms type lV crystals that are undesireable, how do we get it lowered to room temp. Do we do so by lowering the temp fast by putting it in the fridge or freezer? Or by lowering it gradually even though some undesireable crystals will form?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:10 am    Post subject: Re: One more question! Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
After tempering chocolate at 86-88 degrees, by what method is the chocolate brought to room temperature? If lowering the temp to 82 degrees forms type lV crystals that are undesireable, how do we get it lowered to room temp. Do we do so by lowering the temp fast by putting it in the fridge or freezer? Or by lowering it gradually even though some undesireable crystals will form?

Just let it settle to room temperature. Don't worry about the creation of type IV crystals at this point because no matter what you do the cocoa butter will form "undesirable" crystals because what isn't crystallized has to crystallize into some form once the chocolate cools. In fact, Type IV is preferred to Type III is preferred over Type II, etc. , so letting it cool slowly is probably best.
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theEIIapproach



Joined: 04 Apr 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love, love, love... chocolates that's why when I see this thread/post I read it immediately. Thanks for the tips about how to melt and do most about chocolates. Now I feel like having some. =)
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Ad-K
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Storing Reply with quote

Hi!

Thanks for this great article on chocolate tempering, as would be expected from an engineer!

I've got a question regarding storing the finished products, for example, truffles that have been coated in the tempered chocolates. I will be making these in a hot tropical country in summer and I'm not sure if I should keep them in the fridge(4C) or room temperature(28Cish). Would they lose the shine if I were to keep them in the fridge?

Cheers and I hope to hear from you soon!

Adrian
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1006
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you will find slightly varying recommendations as to the precise temperature, but "in the fridge" is not a good one.

12-16'C is "in the range"
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Vikki_w
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Mint Chocolate Reply with quote

very useful info, with these info, i'm finally getting a hang of the tempering technique. The chocolate is silky smooth. but the problem comes when i added in the mint paste, the chocolate immediately become grainy. why does it become grainy in texture? did i add in the mint at the wrong temperature? what should i do? what is the right way to do it?
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Barry
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject: Bloom on chocolate bars Reply with quote

I've been making chocolate bars -- about 25g each and have been plagued by a bloom that looks bad but usually doesn't seem to affect the taste. But sometimes the bars stick to the molds, which really messes them up.

I temper with a Revolaton II machine and cool in polycarb. molds.

I believe the chocolate is tempered, because the one time I poured it too early (not waiting for the ready light) the taste was bad.

I suspect it's heat and humidity. I live in NYC and I cannot control the heat in the winter. But now that the weather's turning warmer, and more humid, I'm getting more problems. I cannot air condition the ktichen itself.

Am I right about the climate? Are there any other factors I ought to look at?
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DebNZ
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:25 am    Post subject: Making & Tempering Chocolate Reply with quote

Hi all,

Such an informative group. But, alas, I am still left wanting.

Q: I would like to 'make' my own chocolate using cocoa powder. I can't find a decent recipie for this. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Q: Can I use 'standard' butter instead of coca butter- it's really difficult to get here in NZ (almost impossible, unless you live in the main centers)

Q: How do I temper my own cooked chocolate? Do I still go above 41c initially then add my chocolate to cool it down to 31?

Thanks Unsure
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PianoGirl
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Kind request: How to sweeten very dark chocolate? Reply with quote

Hello Michael!

I am a beginner in chocolate tempering and need your help:-)

For my first tempering/molding experience I bought about 2 pounds of Lindt 85% chocolate (in a bar form). The quality is very good, but it's a little too bitter to my taste, although I like dark chocolate. (I tryied to make a ganache for chocolate truffles, and the proportion 1:1 aka chocolate:heavy cream resulted in not very sweet, almost too bitter taste.)

Is there any ways I could sweeten this chocolate and use it for tempering and molding?

Thank you very much for this great article, for your patience, and thank you all who contributed to make this article even more helpful. I read everything!
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