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Is it okay to blend couvetures?


Lesa D.
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I just received Peter Greweling's new book-what a super and beautiful book, especially for beginners like me. I couldn't find any info on how to mix different couvetures and/or how they are tempered. Is this even advisable, since different chocolates require different tempering temperatures?

For example, if I wanted to mix a little Valrhona bittersweet with a Callebut milk to achieve a specific flavor profile based on my filling, can I do this successfully? My very first box of Easter bon bons (as you recall), didn't turn out well because I didn't temper them properly~fat and moisture/sugar bloom galore. I also mixed different chocolates to get different flavors as I mentioned above.

Peter Greweling's recipes have you dipping them in different, separate chocolates for the same piece of chocolate: say, dip first in milk choc., then finish with dark choc. dip. Is the reason because different chocolates contain different fat or coco butter pecentages, and therefore, need different tempering temperatures for successs? If you mix the two (or three in my case sometimes), how would you know what temperature to stay at to get a proper temper?

As I said, my first batch didn't turn out well because I haven't mastered tempering, but could my having mixed the chocolates as well contributed to this failure? Any Ideas? Thanks! Lesa

Edited by Lesa D. (log)
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I've done it before without a problem (though not to achieve certain flavour profiles). If both batches of chocolate are tempered, the final result will be tempered. Or if one is tempered while the other isn't, adding the tempered chocolate to the untempered one can be thought of as an extension of the seeding method of tempering (paying attention to the temperature of the untempered batch).

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they can be tempered together, but you have to maintain the lowest working temperature based on the chocolate with the most added fat. in other words, if you're tempering a blend of milk and dark chocolate, then you can go no higher than the proper temperature guidelines used for the tempering of milk chocolate.

because you're a beginner, i would recommend tempering them separately and getting used to this (practice, practice, practice). particularly in the case of dark chocolate, in order to melt out all of the cocoa butter crystals (bad ones) you have to reach a certain temperature that you can't reach with milk or white chocolates.

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So it would be good to let the darker chocolate melt first and use the lighter to seed? I didn't have enough milk chocolate last night and was throwing in shards of dark just to bring the temperature down, but it ended up not working.

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I was working with the temps for milk chocolate, but I think that because I used some dark at the end of the seeding the temp wasn't high enough to sufficiently break down the cocoa butter. It still tasted great and turned out pretty darn well!

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I don't see what the problem is. Chocolate is already a mix of ingredients already. As long as you throughly mix it, it's just going to get you a unique blend. The tempering temperatures are going to be different from either of the originals but it doesn't make it untemperable.

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm no expert, but I've yet to encounter hybrid chocolate types used for molding in books, so there's probably a reason it's just not really done. In my experience, the results of the temper have never been as long-lasting as a good temper of a single type of chocolate. I don't think there's necessarily a reason for this other than it just being a bit more challenging and requiring more experience/luck to get things right when the chocolate is an in-betweener. Plus, despite trying, I've never found milky darks or whiter milks to be all that tasty and thus worth the effort.

A couple alternatives you can try is mix differing varieties of the same chocolate type to achieve unique flavor profiles (El Rey, for example, has a really earthy flavor that can add a funkiness to other chocolates), or do your hybrid types in the fillings so that tempering isn't as much of an issue. You're likely to get more flavor mileage there, too. :smile:

Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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