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EZtemper - The Help You Need to Achieve Perfectly Tempered Chocolate FAST!


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24 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

Sometimes, if the chocolate has been tempered then left to sit, it thickens enough that you have to raise the temp above the usual range to melt out excess crystals. The right proportion of the right crystals is more important than temp (within reason).

 

Yes!  and that's something I didn't understand for a long time and am still trying to wrap my head around.  My first experience even knowing chocolate could be tempered was with a friend who had a 1 pound tempering machine.  She would use the chocolate while tempering some more.  Because she was using it quickly and then having more ready via her machine, I didn't learn anything about nuances of temperature.  In addition, I'm sure a lot went over my head because so much of it was new.  

 

Then, I started tempering myself using the seed method.  Many times I read about people who tempered via the seed method but also lowered the temp down to 82 or so and brought it back up.  I was confused because it seemed like they were combining two different tempering methods.  I now realize they were!  

 

In my studying I read so much about how critical the temperature was that I thought that if my dark chocolate went below 86F or above 88F that my chocolate would be out of temper, even though it didn't seem quite right in my mind.  

 

The more I read about the crystal melting temps, I started to understand that temps weren't as exact I as I understood them to be.  Now I'm trying to understand how flexible those temps are.  What I'm thinking is that as long as you don't go so low as to introduce type 4 crystals and not so high as to melt out the type V crystals, you could still be in temper (but of course might be over or under crystallized.)

 

 

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4 hours ago, GRiker said:

 

Yes!  and that's something I didn't understand for a long time and am still trying to wrap my head around.  My first experience even knowing chocolate could be tempered was with a friend who had a 1 pound tempering machine.  She would use the chocolate while tempering some more.  Because she was using it quickly and then having more ready via her machine, I didn't learn anything about nuances of temperature.  In addition, I'm sure a lot went over my head because so much of it was new.  

 

Then, I started tempering myself using the seed method.  Many times I read about people who tempered via the seed method but also lowered the temp down to 82 or so and brought it back up.  I was confused because it seemed like they were combining two different tempering methods.  I now realize they were!  

 

In my studying I read so much about how critical the temperature was that I thought that if my dark chocolate went below 86F or above 88F that my chocolate would be out of temper, even though it didn't seem quite right in my mind.  

 

The more I read about the crystal melting temps, I started to understand that temps weren't as exact I as I understood them to be.  Now I'm trying to understand how flexible those temps are.  What I'm thinking is that as long as you don't go so low as to introduce type 4 crystals and not so high as to melt out the type V crystals, you could still be in temper (but of course might be over or under crystallized.)

 

 

Sounds like you are well into chocolate geekery! 

 

Yes - there are people who combine the two methods - having no idea that they are two methods. It will give you tempered chocolate, but it's slower so why bother. 

 

Tempered the conventional way - I have always told people that when your chocolate becomes over tempered (as pastrygirl discusses above) you can push dark up to to 34.5 and milk to 32.5. The differences in temperature between chocolates seems to allow for the eutectic effect of the milk fat on the cocoa butter in milk and white chocolate. 

 

One of the pieces of the puzzle that isn't clearly out there in any of the literature is the temperature at which the various crystals form - instead you can only get information about the temperature at which the various crystals melt. 

 

Once you have tempered chocolate (ie chocolate with and ideal number of form V crystals in it)  - letting it cool down to the temperature where form IV crystals should form doesn't usually result in untempered chocolate  - you  can reheat it back up to the working temperature without seeing it go out of temper if that makes sense. 

 

 

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To the useful insights offered on tempering in this thread, I would add only what I have observed:  The temperatures given for the various crystals are approximate, and we just assume that they re-form at the same temps at which they melt. In my experience, it is not a disaster if your dark chocolate goes over 92.8F, even quite a bit over. It takes a while for all of those crystals to melt. When I am dealing with overtempered chocolate by adding some untempered to the batch, I have the untempered at around 95F. At that point you want some of the Type V crystals to melt out because there are too many of them. I always retest the temper after adding the new chocolate, but I have never had the resulting chocolate be out of temper. Once your chocolate is tempered, it (IMHO) can be quite forgiving as to temperatures.

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On 3/2/2020 at 1:18 AM, Jim D. said:

To the useful insights offered on tempering in this thread, I would add only what I have observed:  The temperatures given for the various crystals are approximate, and we just assume that they re-form at the same temps at which they melt. In my experience, it is not a disaster if your dark chocolate goes over 92.8F, even quite a bit over. It takes a while for all of those crystals to melt. When I am dealing with overtempered chocolate by adding some untempered to the batch, I have the untempered at around 95F. At that point you want some of the Type V crystals to melt out because there are too many of them. I always retest the temper after adding the new chocolate, but I have never had the resulting chocolate be out of temper. Once your chocolate is tempered, it (IMHO) can be quite forgiving as to temperatures.

 

this is exactly why it's so important to understand what the tempering process actually does, rather than slavishly follow temperature guidelines. You'll (generic you, not you specifically Jim :p) be much more successful at troubleshooting if you can pinpoint what the problem is, rather than just saying "well, the temperatures were all fine so I don't know what's going on" 😁

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On 3/1/2020 at 3:54 AM, Kerry Beal said:

Sounds like you are well into chocolate geekery! 

Indeed.  I'm afraid I am. 

 

On 3/1/2020 at 3:54 AM, Kerry Beal said:

 

Yes - there are people who combine the two methods - having no idea that they are two methods. It will give you tempered chocolate, but it's slower so why bother. 

I'm surprised to see even a chocolate manufacturer like Valrhona telling consumers both to seed and to lower the temperature.  https://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/baking-tips

Seems like a waste of time.  Maybe they just recommend that to get even more type V crystals? 

 

On 3/1/2020 at 3:54 AM, Kerry Beal said:

One of the pieces of the puzzle that isn't clearly out there in any of the literature is the temperature at which the various crystals form - instead you can only get information about the temperature at which the various crystals melt. 

I did some looking too and only found one slight acknowledgement of thinking about crystal formation.  Makes me curious...

 

On 3/1/2020 at 3:54 AM, Kerry Beal said:

Once you have tempered chocolate (ie chocolate with and ideal number of form V crystals in it)  - letting it cool down to the temperature where form IV crystals should form doesn't usually result in untempered chocolate  - you  can reheat it back up to the working temperature without seeing it go out of temper if that makes sense.

Yes.  Thanks for the reply.

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On 3/1/2020 at 6:18 AM, Jim D. said:

To the useful insights offered on tempering in this thread, I would add only what I have observed:  The temperatures given for the various crystals are approximate, and we just assume that they re-form at the same temps at which they melt. In my experience, it is not a disaster if your dark chocolate goes over 92.8F, even quite a bit over. It takes a while for all of those crystals to melt. When I am dealing with overtempered chocolate by adding some untempered to the batch, I have the untempered at around 95F. At that point

you want some of the Type V crystals to melt out because there are too many of them. I always retest the temper after adding the new chocolate, but I have never had the resulting chocolate be out of temper. Once your chocolate is tempered, it (IMHO) can be quite forgiving as to temperatures.

thanks for sharing your insights.  I think that's all part of the art part of chocolate that sometimes gets left out of the teaching, or at least the places where I've been learning.    I know I've read on the forum somewhere here the idea that there are guidelines, but in the end you may find that something outside those guidelines will work for you.  All part of the learning curve. 

 

The idea that the type V crystals don't disappear the minutes you go over their melting temp makes sense as the phase change will take time. 

 

I try to check my temper regularly especially when I replenish and I'm always surprised that I usually find all my tests show the chocolate had good temper.  With my limited experience,  I'm coming to agree that it's more forgiving than I thought.

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3 hours ago, GRiker said:

thanks for sharing your insights.  I think that's all part of the art part of chocolate that sometimes gets left out of the teaching, or at least the places where I've been learning.    I know I've read on the forum somewhere here the idea that there are guidelines, but in the end you may find that something outside those guidelines will work for you.  All part of the learning curve. 

 

The idea that the type V crystals don't disappear the minutes you go over their melting temp makes sense as the phase change will take time. 

 

I try to check my temper regularly especially when I replenish and I'm always surprised that I usually find all my tests show the chocolate had good temper.  With my limited experience,  I'm coming to agree that it's more forgiving than I thought.

Are you going to the Craft Chocolate Experience in SFO this weekend?

 

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On 3/4/2020 at 9:10 PM, GRiker said:

Yes on Saturday.  I saw EZTemper on the presenter list.  Are you going to be there? 

I won't - but @Alleguede will be. I'm off doing a course with Luis Amado - feel free to follow along - here

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On 3/5/2020 at 6:24 PM, Kerry Beal said:

@Alleguede will be.

 

Yes!  Did see him at the Craft Chocolate Experience and the nice looking cocoa pod molds.  Despite the health considerations, I think there was a descent turn out.  My husband and I really enjoyed it.  

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Just now, GRiker said:

 

Yes!  Did see him at the Craft Chocolate Experience and the nice looking cocoa pod molds.  Despite the health considerations, I think there was a descent turn out.  My husband and I really enjoyed it.  

Working on getting my hands on some more of those molds! I understand the turnout was fair for a first show - certainly would have been better I guess without the concerns. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 3:57 PM, YetiChocolates said:

Anybody else see this before? This is cocoa butter I have thrown in “as is” into the EZ Temper overnight @ 33.4 degrees. Sign of junk cocoa butter?

B9E81FF8-E189-46C6-B66B-533FF08DD720.thumb.jpeg.e9039ded2fd015deaebe6a4f944a9414.jpeg

 

I saw this on the silk that I made too.  I had been talking with a local chocolatier about why I might be having mold release issues.  She suggested it was likely my temper - or lack thereof.  When I tested my temper, it looked pretty good, but I wondered if my lumpy silk wasn't giving me as good a temper as I might need.  So, I used the suggestion to completely melt out the cocoa butter, let it solidify at room temperature and remelt to silk.  Once I did that I got a more mayonnaise like consistency talked about here.  At 92.5F, 33.6C, it was a bit thinner than mayonnaise, but a nice smooth consistency.  I used it today and  it seemed to work well.  

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1 minute ago, GRiker said:

 

I saw this on the silk that I made too.  I had been talking with a local chocolatier about why I might be having mold release issues.  She suggested it was likely my temper - or lack thereof.  When I tested my temper, it looked pretty good, but I wondered if my lumpy silk wasn't giving me as good a temper as I might need.  So, I used the suggestion to completely melt out the cocoa butter, let it solidify at room temperature and remelt to silk.  Once I did that I got a more mayonnaise like consistency talked about here.  At 92.5F, 33.6C, it was a bit thinner than mayonnaise, but a nice smooth consistency.  I used it today and  it seemed to work well.  

Yeah - old cocoa butter with form VI conversion. 

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6 hours ago, Rajala said:

Just saw an ad for EZtemper in a Swedish magazine. 😮

 

You had to write "Just saw an ad for EZtemper in a Swedish magazine AND I BOUGHT IT". After Quetzacoatl, now you angered Kali Beal too. Your next chocolate domes are doomed.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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6 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Really?

 

Yes. Really.

 

image.png.1c4bb1d26e87ffab56442fd79b9303d8.png

 

9 minutes ago, teonzo said:

 

You had to write "Just saw an ad for EZtemper in a Swedish magazine AND I BOUGHT IT". After Quetzacoatl, now you angered Kali Beal too. Your next chocolate domes are doomed.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

Haha, my chocolate eggs turned in to a mess earlier.

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13 hours ago, Rajala said:

my chocolate eggs turned in to a mess earlier

 

See? The Chocolate God does not forgive. Neither the Chocolate Doctor.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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  • 3 months later...
1 hour ago, hvea said:

would an eztemper fit into a luggage easily? :) I might visit Canada towards the end of the year and would buy and bring it back with me if it would be easy to carry

26 by 26 by 34 cm 4.5 kg. I generally travel to trade shows with 2 in a suitcase along with other stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/4/2020 at 5:31 PM, GRiker said:

 

 

The idea that the type V crystals don't disappear the minutes you go over their melting temp makes sense as the phase change will take time. 

 

I try to check my temper regularly especially when I replenish and I'm always surprised that I usually find all my tests show the chocolate had good temper.  With my limited experience,  I'm coming to agree that it's more forgiving than I thought.

 

I can add something, the phase change contributes to the degree of temper , too long and the choc will over temper.

Using it too quickly gives a different degree of temper, not something you will notice immediately but chocolate that is molded for 50 week shelf life has to be accurately done.

There is a small german temper test machine (schmidt), the size of a lunch box , that will indicate the degree of temper in any batch.

It measures the minute amount of heat that is given off as the choc sets.

At the atomic level the electrons drop to lower orbits as the choc sets, in order to do so they emit photons to rid themselves of energy. This is heat in the form of a burst.

 

To understand it easier, consider ice when it forms, the water temp is dropping but there is a temp rise at the moment of crystalization as the photons are emitted.

The temperature rise can be measured, even as the ice forms. The paradoxical nature of physics is the temp increases as the ice sets.

 

Same thing with chocolate, its just simple physics. Electrons cannot drop into lower energy orbits unless they emit quantum packets of energy, as quanta are discreet packets they  can be measured very accurately.

The schmidt machine measures that heat burst and graphs it onto a paper scroll, they look for a certain S curve, the shape of the curve shows the degree of temper.

 

Its not in cookbooks because its not the sort of knowledge the food industry uses, its common knowledge at the industrial level because those guy aren't chocolatiers, they are engineers and they look at chocolate differently. They look at chocolate like any processed product, it could just as well be crude oil or natural gas.

We can use their knowledge to fill in the gaps and any method or machine that gives more control over the process is useful.

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31 minutes ago, retired baker said:

At the atomic level the electrons drop to lower orbits as the choc sets, in order to do so they emit photons to rid themselves of energy. This is heat in the form of a burst.


I do have some minor issues with that description - where do you get this from ?!

 

 

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6 hours ago, Duvel said:


I do have some minor issues with that description - where do you get this from ?!

 

 

 

Senior engineer for premier biscuit chocolates in the UK, its a division of cadbury.

This is from memory from our conversation 20 yrs ago, I think the basic idea is correct....best as I recall.

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12 minutes ago, retired baker said:

 

Senior engineer for premier biscuit chocolates in the UK, its a division of cadbury.

This is from memory from our conversation 20 yrs ago, I think the basic idea is correct....best as I recall.


Unfortunately not - if you are referring to a crystallization process, no electron transitions or photon emissions take place.

You can measure the latent heat of crystallization accurately in a calorimeter, and I would suggest that this might be the underlying principle of that German tool you are referencing.

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