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Tempering Chocolate

Chocolate Confections

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#181 Sebastian

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 04:07 AM

did you use a very thick, clear (or yellowish, clearish) plastic mould?

#182 John DePaula

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 09:59 AM

Lior, are you using a cooling fan in your refrigerator to allow them to set properly (and fast) to avoid what Kerry mentioned - latent heat of crystallization.
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.”

#183 Lior

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

Hi. The molds are clear but not yellow/ed. They are about 120-130 gram bars-not so big. Since it happened once before I decided to do a half filling wait a minute and then fill the rest of the way-perhaps this caused it! The warmer threw the cooler out of temper... Although it was only a minute or so. I don't have a fan. I usually leave the mold out and when it starts hardening, place in fridge for a short while. The bloom is just like cocoa powder- same color. I don't think the mold is unusually thick and I have used them many times before also for other types of chocolate.
Thanks

#184 schneich

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:25 PM

the exothermic reaction untempered your chocolate, put it in the frigde right away and pretty cold (about 4c) put the molds on a precooled sheet and you should be fine....


cheers


t.
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#185 Lior

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 02:45 PM

the heat the chocolate gives off ? Is there a reason why it happens on the big bar, and why with 100% and not other types? Could it be connected to the cocoa butter amount/density? And why on the lines between the squares?
Thanks Schneich and everyone!

#186 Sebastian

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 03:40 PM

what's most likely occurring is that the 'ribs' of the moulds are much thicker than the rest of your mould. The reason i asked the color is that it helps me understand what it's made out of - the clear or yellow ones can be particularly bad about heat transfer. Because it's thick plastic, it doesn't remove the heat very effectively. When your liquid chocolate cools, it forms crystals. When crystals form, they release heat - it's called the latent heat of crystallization. When this heat is released during crystallization, it is either:

1) transferred to the mould and carried away (thick plastic make this difficult)
2) absorbed by the mass of chocolate - sometimes this works well, other times it causes problems (some of which are very interesting, i'll explain shaling or honeycombing sometime later)
3) is released into the air and carried away (hence the reason for cooling tunnels and airflow (some use fans).

Since you're using chocolate liquor, it's got a much higher fat % than the chocolate you normally use. More fat = more cocoa butter = more crystals = more heat. You can try:

1) different moulds
2) moulding your chocolate in layers (a little bit at a time)
3) cooling your mould a little (this one's awfully tricky to get right)
4) keep your liquor on the slightly undertempered side (hard to measure if you don't have a tempermeter)

#187 schneich

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:15 AM

sorry sebastian but cooling the mold is just plain wrong, because your NEVER EVER cool your mold. the opposite is right you have to slightly warm your mold to match the temp of the chocolate!!


molding in layers ?? i have never heard of that technique either...




;-)


t.
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#188 Lior

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:08 AM

I understand. Molding in layers is sort of what I did, as I filled one third of the cavity, waited a bit and when it was just hardening filled the rest.
Which molds are better than theclear or yellow ones? Mine is a typical CW one.
A tempermeter sounds very good. Where can I source one-it may be worth the price! I like gadgets...
Also, I did slightly warm my mold-like Scheich suggests-a quick blow with my hair dryer a quick shine up with cotton and then I filled 1/3.
I have ordered the science of chocolate book by Beckett as Minifie is too expensive right now. Perhaps here I can learn about shaling and honeycombing!!
If the mild sits on a frame so that there is airflow underneath-would this be of any benefit?
Thank you both so much- I am so thirsty for chocolate knowledge!!! I can't wait for my book!! :smile:

#189 Sebastian

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:08 AM

sorry sebastian but cooling the mold is just plain wrong, because your NEVER EVER cool your mold. the opposite is right you have to slightly warm your mold to match the temp of the chocolate!!


molding in layers ?? i have never heard of that technique either...




;-)


t.

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Ordinarily, i'd agree with you Sneich. My guess is the vast majority of what you're moulding is, essentially, akin to shell moulding, where your chocolate layer is relatively thin. If you're doing bars, my guess is that they're also relatively thin (ie, < 15 mm?), so in either case, the heat capacity of your chocolate itself is very small. From the photos Lior posted, it appears that the bars are very thick, and from the description of the moulds she using, it also appears that the ribbing is thick - which means that the heat capacity of the chocolate is high and the heat transfer ability of the moulds is low (note we're not talking temperature, we're talking heat, which is a very different thing...). As i noted, it's a tricky approach - frankly it's easier to get new moulds, but that's not always practical or a viable option. I am, however, quite certain it's not 'plain wrong' 8-)

Moulding in layers is often used when solid moulding, say, a very large santa, or easter egg, or (insert large moulded object of your choice here). It's not commonly applied to bar manufacture (in fact, i've never seen it done on a production scale, and i've been in almost every chocolate plant in the world), but there's no reason it can't be an unusual, but practical - solution given what she has to work with. (edit - scratch that - actually i have seen one place do it - they're not doing it for bars, but they are applying the chocolate in layers)


Lior - certainly there can be an advantage to setting the mould on a frame to provide air flow under the mould. will it help in your c ase? it's so hard to troubleshoot over the internet or phone w/o actually being there, but i'd certainly try it! With chocolate, there's really only a few variables that are important - time, temperature, and heat - if you can control those three things, you've got 95% of your issues resolved! You can get a tempermeter from Tricor (company), for about 7000-10,000 USD.

Edited by Sebastian, 20 June 2009 - 06:10 AM.


#190 Lior

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:51 AM

omg!!! 7-10 thousand USD!!!! Okay so that is out! I will melt those bars and start again. I will try the ideas and report back.
Thanks :rolleyes:

#191 John DePaula

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:30 AM

Ok, I'm in torsten's camp i.e. I agree with schneich: never cool the bar mold.

Lior, I'll go out on a limb and say that the following will fix your problem:

1) Do not use a heat gun to warm your mold. The risk of "hot spots" is too great and that will definitely de-temper your chocolate. Instead, put the molds in a warming cabinet and heat close to the working temperature of your chocolate, say, ~29C for dark. Check this with an IR thermometer (if you don't have one, get one! :biggrin: ) I do not have a warming cabinet (though I would love to have one...) so I am improvising by using either a spare 6kg Mol d'art melter or (and you're gonna love this...) I use my oven by turning it on its lowest setting briefly; I use my IR thermometer to make sure it's not too hot (say < 50C); I wrap up the molds in tea towels to provide more even insulation on top of a couple of cookie sheets; then I "soak" the molds in the gentle heat for about 30 minutes while I prepare other things. You'll have to play around with your setup to see what works.

2) When you fill your trays, you'll find that the warmed trays REALLY help to prevent bubbles. conversely, cooler trays help to CAUSE bubbles... You can wait until the chocolate has just begun to set around the edges, then put the tray into a refrigerator on top of a grill or shelf that has air flow all around, top and bottom. You can buy an inexpensive computer fan + adapter to hang inside the cooling unit to keep air flowing.

Hope this helps.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
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.”

#192 Tri2Cook

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 09:28 AM

I've never subscribed to the "that's not how it's done so that's not how it should be done" thing so, if it were me, I'd try to set up a phone call or email bounce with Sebastian and see what he has to say on the cooling thing. It's never a bad thing to learn something new or different. Even if it turns out not to be the best option for your purposes at this time, you can just stick it on the knowledge shelf in case you ever need it. Nothing particularly helpful I guess, just my thoughts as a non-expert.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#193 Lior

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:01 AM

I have 2 melters so that is an option-a great one. I think you mentioned this once and I forgot all about it. I will also try the oven and tea towels!!! cute!! If it helps with bubbles-all the better. I also do not have a warming cabinet or a vibration table...
I totally agree with tri2cook about never bumping an idea or what is behind it and would love to hear about the mold cooling method. Another thing that bugs me is that I never temper by eye- I always chicken out and it is so silly. I get tempted and use the thermometer.

#194 John DePaula

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:40 AM

If your room temperature is above ~32C (90F), and it might be in Ashkelon, then cooling your mold might be desirable.

For the record, I don't think there is one and only one way to do something correctly. I read that all the time in books and hear it from European instructors, but of course, that's ridiculous.

But forgive me if I do have an opinion about what isn't going to work. I can be boorish that way... :wink:
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#195 John DePaula

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:41 AM

I have 2 melters so that is an option-a great one. I think you mentioned this once and I forgot all about it. I will also try the oven and tea towels!!! cute!! If it helps with bubbles-all the better. I also do not have a warming cabinet or a vibration table...
I totally agree with tri2cook about never bumping an idea or what is behind it and would love to hear about the mold cooling method. Another thing that bugs me is that I never temper by eye- I always chicken out and it is so silly. I get tempted and use the thermometer.

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Do be careful, Lior, that you don't let the oven get too hot; obviously, there is a tiny window of safe temperature for your molds before damaging them...
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#196 lapin d'or

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 10:44 AM

I have been using my heated propagator to keep my moulds warm. It has worked quite well and was only ever used for seedlings for a few weeks in spring so now I feel I get much better value from it.

example : small propagator

I put a blanket over the top to keep the heat in well and shuffle the moulds around a few times while they are heating.

I am not happy with my attempts at layering chocolate - I did this for some large easter moulds but when you bite into the chocolate the layers shear apart and it just doesn't seem rigth.

Lapin

#197 John DePaula

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:29 AM

I have been using my heated propagator to keep my moulds warm. It has worked quite well and was only ever used for seedlings for a few weeks in spring so now I feel I get much better value from it.

example : small propagator

I put a blanket over the top to keep the heat in well and shuffle the moulds around a few times while they are heating.

I am not happy with my attempts at layering chocolate - I did this for some large easter moulds but when you bite into the chocolate the layers shear apart and it just doesn't seem rigth.

Lapin

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That is an excellent idea, using the propagator! Much safer than using a real oven and inexpensive, too. Love it.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#198 Lior

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:00 PM

Great idea! I will have to see if they have them here! Oh and we are now at 27 C 80% humidity and it will get to 32-34 in July and August and Sept. Ususally doesn't go higher... blckhhhh I hate heat (and there are medusas-jellyfish on their way to our beach, my son already got a small sting...)

Perhaps I don't have to warm the molds if they are in a room out of air conditioning...
I love all the smart solutions everyone has!

#199 Tri2Cook

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 01:02 PM

For the record, I don't think there is one and only one way to do something correctly.  I read that all the time in books and hear it from European instructors, but of course, that's ridiculous.

But forgive me if I do have an opinion about what isn't going to work. I can be boorish that way... :wink:

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No accusation intended, at least not towards any individual. I'm always fascinated with seeing or reading about someone doing something in a new way or in a way that is generally considered incorrect and having good results. So it was a rooting-for-the-underdog thing that had me hoping she wouldn't disregard the idea just because it's not considered "the right way". :biggrin:
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#200 Edward J

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:25 PM

Scratching my head over this one....

Last week I got in a chocolate wheel that sits in the full gastro-norm size (full hotel pan size in N.American speak) chocolate melter.

With dark couverture I work exclusivley with Lindt 70%,. The couverture was tempered properly, did a sample and it showed no streaks. Hand dipped maybe 70 pcs and the temper was good--all this while the wheel was running.

Next I coated out some molds. I held the molds under the stream of couverture from the wheel, scraped off, then put the mold on the vibrating table, knocked out the excess, then placed the molds upside down on s/s bars resting on a marble topped table. Did 4 or 6 molds @18 cavities each. Scraped the molds clean, and left them to crystalize in the upright position. My room is around 20 C and the humidty is under 60%. Within 10 minutes the molds developed fat bloom.

The melter is a waterbath type, and I did not touch the settings the whole morning. The hand dipped pieces are good, but I'm still scratching my head about the molds.

Am I correct in thinking that the couverture was "overtempered" from the motion of the wheel PLUS the vibrating table?

Am I going to have to ladle the molds inspite of the wheel?

#201 schneich

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:32 AM

did you stack the molds or turn them upside down (cavities down)
if so, you probably untempered the chocolate by trapping the heat from the
exothermic crystallization. when you do molds you want to put em in the fridge
right away putting them on the side..


cheers


t.
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patissier chocolatier cafe
cologne, germany

#202 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:59 AM

Doesn't sound overtempered - sounds more like something threw it out of temper.

#203 Lisa Shock

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:30 AM

You mentioned that you held the molds...hot hands by any chance?

#204 Kerry Beal

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:34 AM

Another thought is that the tempering unit itself overheated between the time you dipped and the time you molded. No way to go back and check that at this point. Did you turn the heat up as the chocolate started to thicken on the wheel?

#205 chiantiglace

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:36 PM

im sure latent heating wasn't the cause nor hot hands. You would have to hold your hand there for a long time to throw it out of temper, if thats even possible because polycarbonate is not the best conductor in the world, not even close.


It sounds something on the lines of kerry's second post. Your test was a fluke, the chocolate was heated in the bowl some way from the time you tested to the time you used it. and 20C is the absolute perfect room temp, they should have set up in less than three minutes.

also, you can't agitate chocolate too much.

Edited by chiantiglace, 19 August 2009 - 04:37 PM.

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#206 Edward J

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:16 PM

Yeah, that's what I thought.

The couverture in the melter wasn't out of temper. For one thing there's almost 12 kgs of couverure in there, and the melter is a waterbath type, with about 8 liters of water in it. In order to raise the temp it would take almost 20 minutes--and I didn't touch the thermostat. I also did a test after discovering the bloom on the molds, and the couverture was in good temper

The bloom on the molds was a very consistant, even layer. The molds that spend the most time in the vibrating table had the most bloom on them, the simpler molds had less--when I finally got the shells out, the outside layer was still in good shape, but the inside had turned grey.

The room is quite small--about 6' x 8' (2 meters by 21/2 meters) with central airconditioning and no heat sources other than the two chocolate melters. There are two tables, one 6" and one 2', and each topped with a 3/4" (20 mm) continous marble slab.

The chocoalte wheel is good, but the noise was unbearable. I contacted the mnfctr, and let him listen to the noise on the phone--they agreed that the motor was faulty, I Fed-exed the motor on Monday, and will try again molding with the wheel when I get it back.

#207 sixela

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 04:03 AM

Theoretically, I get that the whole idea of tempering however there are some things I really don't understand and Calebaut's website and chocolate TV is only confusing me more...Callebaut shows 3-4 different ways of tempering but what I'm really interested in is the seed method vs. microwave...from what i understand,with the seed method you must first bring the temp. of the chocolate to a certain high (all temps are approximate) 118ish then cool it down to a certain low 85ish then heat it up to 90ish. In the video and on other sites, when using the microwave, you merely nuke it gently at 1/2 power until it starts to melt, then it's at temper...Why don't i have to bring it up down and up again as I did with the see method??? It seems ridiculously more easy, but i still don't get how the pre-crystallization takes place without the up down up of standard tempering....

I'm trying to square my brain around this but it seems like i'm missing a piece.

#208 bkeith

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:06 AM

I think you're mixing terms. I use the seeding method, and I use the microwave to accomplish it. Sounds like you're talking about seeding vs. "direct warming". In essence:

. Seeding refers to the method where you melt part of your chocolate to the "virgin" state where all the cocoa butter crystals have melted -- 118F or so. Then you add unmelted (seed) chocolate that's already in temper (as it should be when you receive it unless it's been stored badly), and stir like mad. As the unmelted chocolate softens and melts out, the good (beta) crystals it contains grab onto the melted cocoa butter in the virgin chocolate and encourage the formation or more beta crystals. Once the mixture gets to the proper working temperature range (88-90F-ish), you remove any chunks of unmelted chocolate that are left to prevent over-tempering and work with the now-tempered chocolate.

. Direct warming takes advantage of the fact that if you're careful, you can gently warm chocoalte to the point where it's melted and at proper working range without taking it above the point where the beta crystals start to melt out. In essence, you're melting the chocolate without ever going out of temper. Just warm and stir, warm and stir, a bit at a time until the chocolate is melted and in working range. Make sure you don't get the chocoalte above 90F or so, and you should be in good shape. It's a bit fiddly and fussy to do for folks who are new to tempering, which is why I stopped teaching that method and went back to seeding.

Whatever method you use, it's always good advice to test the batch of chocolate to ensure you've gotten it into good temper before working with it -- saves heartache later. Just use the tip of a spatula or knife or a scrap of parchment paper. Dip into the tempered chocolate and let it sit at room temp. If it sets within a few minutes, you're in good shape. If not, you're probably not in temper (and/or your room's too hot).

Hope that helps.
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#209 merlicky

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 08:57 AM

To add a little more to what Keith said…

When you work with the microwave until the chocolate just starts to melt you are basically using the seeding method. You are not melting all the chocolate, so the remaining chocolate will seed whatever cocoa butter comes out of temper. If you use this method you have to make sure that you are using chocolate that was already in good temper.

Also, when using the seeding method you don’t have to bring the temperature down and then heat it back up to working temperature. This is only needed if you are tabling the chocolate (or any other rapid cool method). The tabling method quickly lowers the temperature of the chocolate, thus producing Form V crystals along with some lower form crystals. By heating the chocolate back up to working temperature all the lower form crystals are melted away leaving just the good Beta crystals. The seeding method, if done right, does not result in these lower form crystals and therefore you don’t need to drop the temperature and heat it back up.

#210 sixela

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:03 AM

bkieth:
yes, it helps quite a bit---I'm going to assume that the callebaut couveture chips I'm using are already in temper, though I still have a couple of questions:

1. Does this asssume if i do the direct warming via the microwave or stovetop with these chips and it exceeds 88-90 degrees, it will go out of temper?

2. Does this also mean that if I do seeding technique that I will always have to add tempered chocolate as seeds? Which is to say, If I use chocolate that i screwed up on tempering, can I re-temper it without adding new tempered chocolate by bringing it up to the requisite temp and cooling it down to desired temp?


thanks so much for your help!





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