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Tempering Chocolate

Chocolate

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#91 Sebastian

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 06:47 PM

For what it's worth, I just got another marble slab today for free (3.5'x1.5'). Basically I called a couple of places, asked about their scrap or sink cutouts. First place wanted a hundred bucks for it, the second gave it for free (they had, quite literally, i'm guessing 2 tons worth of scrap in the back). It's a beautiful black marble, i wish i had enough to do my entire kitchen in it 8-)

#92 chiantiglace

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 01:20 AM

I taught myself how to temper chocoalet, guittard just sucks, i dont like it. They're white chocolate is probably my least favorite of all brands.

Barry-Callabeaut is a wise choice for progressive learner. It's very resiliant climate conditions (meaning it does harden too quickly and doesnt fall apart in your hand), and at the same time it's not top of the line so its not the most expensive.

Just dont try anything new with Valrhona... might cost you more than you bargained for.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#93 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 02:36 PM

I guittard just sucks, i dont like it.


E. Guittard line is very good, it's a great value too.

#94 chiantiglace

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 03:04 PM

i'v just never liked it, must be a personal grudge, not sure.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#95 pattyc

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 04:55 PM

I use E. Guittard 58% to enrobe all my hand-dipped ganache, and I have never had a problem with it. I use the 38%, 58%, 61% and 72% in my ganache and couldn't be happier with the taste.

#96 scott123

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 06:43 AM

I taught myself how to temper chocoalet, guittard just sucks, i dont like it.  They're white chocolate is probably my least favorite of all brands.

Barry-Callabeaut is a wise choice for progressive learner.  It's very resiliant climate conditions (meaning it does harden too quickly and doesnt fall apart in your hand), and at the same time it's not top of the line so its not the most expensive.

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I prefer Callebaut dark/milk/gianduja and will work with others if I have to. But when it comes to white, I won't go anywhere near anything but Callebaut. It's the only edible white chocolate I've come across.

Speaking of white chocolate, I'm tired of hearing everyone repeat over and over again "technically, white chocolate isn't chocolate." No shit. Instead of repeating this verity ad nauseam, isn't it time someone came up with a more appropriate name for it?

'White cocoa butter confection' would work if wasn't so wordy. Ideas? Just think... if we come up with a term that fits/make sense, a couple of years down the line, we may find it in the dictionary.

What's 'white' in latin? Is there a language that has one term for 'cocoa butter'?

#97 joiei

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 07:27 AM

Years ago, before the advent of designer chocolate, wasn't it just called "white coating"?
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#98 Sebastian

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 09:50 AM

Speaking of white chocolate, I'm tired of hearing everyone repeat over and over again "technically, white chocolate isn't chocolate." No shit.  Instead of repeating this verity ad nauseam, isn't it time someone came up with a more appropriate name for it?

'White cocoa butter confection' would work if wasn't so wordy.  Ideas?  Just think... if we come up with a term that fits/make sense, a couple of years down the line, we may find it in the dictionary.

What's 'white' in latin? Is there a language that has one term for 'cocoa butter'?

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Actually, as of 1/1/04, white chocolate technically *is* chocolate, at least in the united states. It's in the Code of Federal Regulations - prior to 2004, there was a proposed standard of identity for it, which meant that you had to petition the gov't for permission to call it white chocolate. Not any more. From a technical and legal perspective, white chocolate is indeed chocolate.

Of course, it's not the nice brown *chocolatey* chocolate...

#99 scott123

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 01:15 PM


Speaking of white chocolate, I'm tired of hearing everyone repeat over and over again "technically, white chocolate isn't chocolate." No shit.  Instead of repeating this verity ad nauseam, isn't it time someone came up with a more appropriate name for it?

'White cocoa butter confection' would work if wasn't so wordy.  Ideas?  Just think... if we come up with a term that fits/make sense, a couple of years down the line, we may find it in the dictionary.

What's 'white' in latin? Is there a language that has one term for 'cocoa butter'?

View Post


Actually, as of 1/1/04, white chocolate technically *is* chocolate, at least in the united states. It's in the Code of Federal Regulations - prior to 2004, there was a proposed standard of identity for it, which meant that you had to petition the gov't for permission to call it white chocolate. Not any more. From a technical and legal perspective, white chocolate is indeed chocolate.

Of course, it's not the nice brown *chocolatey* chocolate...

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Okay then :) That's good to know. The next time some SSB kicks in with their "white chocolate isn't technically chocolate" whine, I'll point them in that direction.

#100 McDuff

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 02:23 PM

I've been using that stuff called Mycryo to temper chocolate lately and it works great. Melt the chocolate to 115, cool to 90 and add 1% of Mycryo and stir it in well. Seems like you need a way to hold it at 90, because it sets fast and hard.

#101 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 04:07 PM

I still haven't gotten any Micro on hand to play with. It seemed there for a while it was getting mixed reviews..... Are any other members using micro to temper also?

I wish I could think of the name (perhaps Neil will know) but there are some inexpensive heated holding containers for tempered chocolate that some of the top chefs swear by (I saw them at a demo from The French Pastry School). They advertise in PA & D, they come in half pan or hotel pan size bins (the base is black or off white).

#102 nightscotsman

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 05:15 PM

I still haven't gotten any Micro on hand to play with. It seemed there for a while it was getting mixed reviews..... Are any other members using micro to temper also?

I wish I could think of the name (perhaps Neil will know) but there are some inexpensive heated holding containers for tempered chocolate that some of the top chefs swear by (I saw them at a demo from The French Pastry School). They advertise in PA & D, they come in half pan or hotel pan size bins (the base is black or off white).

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There's an ad for the chocolate melters/holders in the latest PA&D. The brand is Mol d'Art and they are imported by Technobake Systems, 609-466-4588. They offer three sizes: 3kg, 6kg, and 12kg. Chef Rubber seems to have the same models here. And no, they ain't cheap.

#103 LT Wong

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 05:32 PM

I still haven't gotten any Micro on hand to play with. It seemed there for a while it was getting mixed reviews..... Are any other members using micro to temper also?

I wish I could think of the name (perhaps Neil will know) but there are some inexpensive heated holding containers for tempered chocolate that some of the top chefs swear by (I saw them at a demo from The French Pastry School). They advertise in PA & D, they come in half pan or hotel pan size bins (the base is black or off white).

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I bought some Mycryo this festive season to make chocolate pralines and bonbons for gifts, and tempering could not have been easier. As McDuff mentioned, you need to melt the chocolate to 40-45C and then then cool it to 34C before adding 1% Mycryo (that is, 10g for 1 kg of chocolate). Stir well and then cool further to 31C for dark chocolate and 29C for milk.

I used a hair dryer to keep the temperature within range to prevent it from setting too fast.

#104 chocophile

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 05:58 PM

I wish I could think of the name (perhaps Neil will know) but there are some inexpensive heated holding containers for tempered chocolate that some of the top chefs swear by (I saw them at a demo from The French Pastry School). They advertise in PA & D, they come in half pan or hotel pan size bins (the base is black or off white).

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Wendy:

You're thinking of chocolate melters from Mol d'Art. Here's a link with a picture and a price:
Mol d'Art Chocolate Melter

Hilliard and others make them, too, but this is probably the one you're thinking of.
:Clay
Clay Gordon
president, pureorigin
editor/publisher www.chocophile.com
founder, New World Chocolate Society

#105 David Lebovitz

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:14 AM

The higher-precentage chocolates can be more difficult to temper, since the higher amounts of cacao solids mean there's more acid in the chocolate, the reason why few professionals in France will use it for enrobing. (And which is why at Hershey's Spa they can do facials with their chocolate, and the like, due to the low cacao/acid content of milk chocolate).
This is perhaps why some of these chocolates cause a ganache to break as well. I had a very enlightening conversation with a scientist from a chocolate company when they had introduced a new line of high-percentage chocolates. I was told, "They're new, we don't know how they're going to behave in the future" when I asked what the tempering curve was. And they weren't being rude, they were responding to the 'newness' of these chocolates. To me, that's kind of the beauty of artisan chocolates. I normally find chocolate tempers between 88-91 degrees, but had trouble when tempering some of the high-percentage chocolate. My advice to newcomers is to use a chocolate with a range of 35% to 55%. I've never had problems with chocolates within that range.

And my 2 cents on the white chocolate issue: Why do we call milk chocolate "chocolate" when it has milk in it? Do we call a spritzer a glass of "wine" since it has club soda added to it? Both are fine, but I like to think of milk chocolate as "a confection made with chocolate" since it's adulterated chocolate.

David Lebovitz

Edited by David Lebovitz, 05 January 2005 - 11:06 PM.


#106 nightscotsman

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:27 AM

Welcome to eGullet, David - and thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of the effect acid level had on temperability (is that a word?). May I ask what brand(s) of chocolate you prefer to work with?

#107 David Lebovitz

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:40 AM

Welcome to eGullet, David - and thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of the effect acid level had on temperability (is that a word?). May I ask what brand(s) of chocolate you prefer to work with?

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I use different chocolate for different things. In the US I use ScharffenBerger 70% a lot for baking (I love this chocolate), E. Guittard Sur de Lago (which rocks) for eating and desserts, and Guittard French Vanilla for large-scale baking. In France, I like Bonnat for snacking (they are really nice people and make interesting chocolates and are giving the 'big guy' in France a run for their money). For most of my baking I've been using Cacao Barry 'Cuba' and 'Santo Domingo' since it's hard to get other chocolates in bulk. I also like Callebaut, but it's hard to get in big blocks for me.

I don't know for certain is acid affects tempering for sure, but I did want to mention it as a possible factor. I did some experimenting a few years with a noted food scientist to try to determine how to use all these new, high-percentage chocolate. We did not come up with any conclusive answers, but I've heard that Alice Medrich addresses that in her latest book, Bittersweet.
I also like when a scientist says "I don't know", which proves the variances & uncertainties that can and do happen in baking and candymaking in spite of our best efforts.

Edited by David Lebovitz, 05 January 2005 - 11:09 PM.


#108 Aria

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 10:01 PM

Hello all,
I just rolled some dark choc. ganache in dark couverture ( Valrhona ) and although the chocolate was in perfect temper, I still got some white streaks on the coating. The temp. is rising around here and it was about 72 deg. when I rolled the chocolates and as a result, the coating didn't set till about 3 1/2 min. Could that be the problem? I did double dip because a dry enough coat didn't form on the ganache balls. Could that be it? Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks.

#109 rraaflaub

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:21 PM

What were you using to hold the couveture's temperature, and how thoroughly and often did it get stirred? It is likely, if the temper was otherwise good, that it was simply chocolate at slightly different temperatures within the bowl and it needed more frequent stirring. If you were using a double boiler or something not finely temperature controlled (such as a somewhat expensive chocolate melting tank), the temperature difference between the bottom/edges and the center can be significant (especially if the air is cold or there is a draft over the vat's surface). In any case, the chocolate needs to be stirred & mixed regularly to ensure it is homogenous.

That's my immediate thought in any case.
Randall Raaflaub, chocolatier
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#110 Aria

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:36 PM

I think the problem is infrequent stirring. Thanks so much!!

#111 chefette

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:08 PM

The stirring could have been the problem

Or- if you rolled them by hand - and have warm warnds - the chocolate on your hands may have been pulled out of temper - when hand rolling truffles - especially if you have warm hands or are working in a warm room - it is wise to clean off your hands every 10 centers or so. Also, by the time you are working on center 6 - center 1-3 should be obviously crystalized - if not then you need to recheck the temper. Normally you get clear signal of crystalization in 1 minute.

what test did you perform to verify temper?

Are you basing perfect temper solely on temperature or do you do test strips or some other test?

3 1/2 minutes to set up and not 'dryinging' which is hardening or setting up indicate that you may not in fact have been in temper at all.

However there are other factors that can influence and affect the final appearance of your chocolate - even if it is in perfect temper - that result in streaks.

if you were working in a warm room - and it sounds like you were the temp can actually be high enough to retard the chocolate crystalization in which case even well stirred, perfectly tempered chocolate may well streak - it just doesn't like to set up slowly.

If there was alot of humidity - then your chocolate may well react to that and streak or take on a grayish/whitish cast as if it had bloom from not being in temper

If your ganache centers were cold and damp then they could have reacted with your chocolate to cause streaking

#112 John DePaula

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 04:57 PM

If your room temp is too high, the chocolate will take too long to set and can go out of temper. Try popping the centers into the refrigerator just until set. Don't try to do all of them at once or the first ones may sit too long. HTH

Edited by John DePaula, 13 May 2006 - 04:58 PM.

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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#113 chiantiglace

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 05:29 PM

Quite honestly it sounds like you brought the chocolate up too high. If it takes too long to set that means your chocolate got too hot.

Also, you cannot agitate chocolate too much. Do not be shy at all to keep that chocolate stirred. The more often its agitated the better.

And if there are streaks then that means it wasn't properly tempered. But the closer you get to properly tempered the longer it takes for the streaks to appear because there is a certain percentage of the fats that are being properly melted and cooled. The higher the percentage the longer it takes for the streaks to appear. So an almost perfect temper could take 24 hours to streak. Depending on the room conditions.

Try not to use a thermometer. Gauge it with your forearm. It should be slightly hot to the touch. If you use a thermometer, by the time it says 120, and you take it off, its possible it could go up to 122, 123, 124.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#114 Trishiad

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 08:40 PM

Weighing in here (now that I have a moment after Mother's Day) I think it's the room temp. This time of year is challenging for chocolates. If they took a while to set and your work room was in the 70's, I think Mother Nature is the culprit. I learned that lesson the hard way a few years ago and now begin work at 4 am during the warmer months.

#115 chiantiglace

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 01:01 AM

70's doesnt sound too bad to me. Even 79 would be great. Usually this time of year for me is around 88, and thats outside. Inside would be around 90.
Dean Anthony Anderson
"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This
Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

#116 tammylc

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:35 AM

Darn, I wish I'd read this thread a little earlier! I attended a truffle making class a few weeks ago. Came home and the next day turned out a perfect batch of truffles. Thus convinced that I knew what I was doing, I decided to do a little fundraising for my future culinary adventures by making and selling truffles for Mother's Day. Demand was greater than anticipated, and next thing I knew, I had orders for 250 truffles. Tempering did not go nearly so well this time. :sad: Definitely passable, given who my market is, but not up to my own standards. (Of course, realizing halfway through tempering my first batch of chocolate that my thermometer was no longer reading accurately was not a good way to start the day...)

But now, having read this thread, I know why my first time worked so well, why the next times messed up, and how to make it so much less stressful next time. Thank you. eGullet!

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#117 alanamoana

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 08:32 AM

tammylc,

i haven't read this thread completely, but eGullet has much more to offer you!

this is a demo on one method of tempering.

also, please don't make yourself slave to a thermometer. even if you're using a thermometer, you should test your chocolate on a strip of paper or on the counter to make sure it is in temper. use your eyes to get used to seeing what in temper chocolate looks like. use your hands to get to know what it feels like. try different techniques to see which works best for you.

although i mostly stick with seeding nowadays, i'll use the different techniques if i'm concerned my chocolate won't temper for any number of reasons.

and...practice, practice, practice!

#118 Aria

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:03 PM

70's doesnt sound too bad to me.  Even 79 would be great.  Usually this time of year for me is around 88, and thats outside.  Inside would be around 90.

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Do tell, Chiantiglace! How do you temper in such high temperatures! I'm intrigued, what kind of chocolate do you use?

#119 John DePaula

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:18 PM

70's doesnt sound too bad to me.  Even 79 would be great.  Usually this time of year for me is around 88, and thats outside.  Inside would be around 90.

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Do tell, Chiantiglace! How do you temper in such high temperatures! I'm intrigued, what kind of chocolate do you use?

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Paraffin + Brown Food Coloring? :biggrin:
John DePaula
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Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#120 Aria

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 04:27 PM

Thank you so much for all your responses! Thanks chefette for your detailed response. Still haven't heard from chiantiglace though!!





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