• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

seawakim

Tempering Chocolate

390 posts in this topic

Thanks everyone for such quick responses! To answer a few questions - I don't think my chocolate is bad (no water touched it, wasn't refrigerated), although I have previously used it to dip chilled truffle centers so maybe it's possible the centers had some condensation. I have gone through the tempering process several times with my chocolate, so it is well "used" - but from what I understand that's not supposed to be a problem. On my last attempt I used a 2nd thermometer to make sure my ACMC wasn't way off, and they were pretty close (usually within 1 degree, occasionally 2 degrees briefly). My seed chocolate is Callebaut block, so it is definitely tempered.

Based on your feedback, it sounds like I'm adding my seed at too high a temp and also not giving it enough time to form the beta crystals at the lower temp. (Although adding seed too early doesn't seem like it would hurt anything if you still have unmelted seed at the end - i.e. all your seed wasn't melted at too high a temp, is this correct?) And given that my machine is always agitating the chocolate, it seems that although my chocolate might not be tempered as soon as it drops to 89, it would eventually become tempered after more time just from the agitation, which I didn't find to be the case.

This is what I'll try next: melt at 120F, hold for a while, drop temp to 93 and then add seed chocolate, drop to 82, hold for 10 mins, bring back up to 89, hold for 10 mins, then remove leftover seed. Is that leaving the seed chocolate in too long? I know it might be; I guess now I'm paranoid I'm not seeding enough so I'm trying to stack the deck in favor of that.

If this doesn't work then I'll try starting with fresh tempered chocolate instead of my very used untempered chocolate, and see if that works. At least that will eliminate one variable.

Thanks for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are making this way too hard. Melt the choc to 120. Turn the temp down to working temp-90? Throw some broken up block in the back of the baffle. Turn the bowl on and walk away. When it hits the working temp, you are ready to go. Leave the block in the back, or what is left of it. Keep seed in the back while you are working. This will slowly melt and you can continue working. If it seems to over crystallize, turn the temp up 1-2 degrees.


Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are making this way too hard. Melt the choc to 120. Turn the temp down to working temp-90? Throw some broken up block in the back of the baffle. Turn the bowl on and walk away. When it hits the working temp, you are ready to go. Leave the block in the back, or what is left of it. Keep seed in the back while you are working. This will slowly melt and you can continue working. If it seems to over crystallize, turn the temp up 1-2 degrees.

I second this. In my own case, I remove the seed when the bowl reaches 90F so as to prevent over seeding.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to working with chocolate. How do I temper fine chocolate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a tempering machine (Revolution) and it works great. Mind you, I'm not tempering vast quantities for commercial purposes.


Deb

Liberty, MO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming you don't want to invest in a machine, I find using the microwave and an infrared thermometer to be an easy way to do it. You should look for instructions in a book, like the ones by Andrew Shott or Peter Grewling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grits12: Please check out the forum on the 2012 Confection Conference that will be held in March in the Washington DC Metro area. Everyone is welcome to attend, I'm sure we will have a session on chocolate tempering techniques, giving you the opportunity to try different methods of tempering chocolate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all -

I'm about to have my first go at tempering chocolate for making spiced PB cups, and I've of course obsessively been doing research about how to temper. From what I've seen, if you have quality block chocolate that is already in temper, and don't heat it above around 95 degrees, it should stay in temper. I have a dehydrator with a thermostat that will let me set the chamber to 90 or 95 degrees. I'm wondering if I could simply chop my chocolate, put it in a glass bowl, and stick it in the dehydrator until the chocolate has melted?

Emily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, but it takes a long time (overnight, typically). You might be better off just learning the seeding method for tempering chocolate, if you ever plan to do any more chocolate work.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, but it takes a long time (overnight, typically). You might be better off just learning the seeding method for tempering chocolate, if you ever plan to do any more chocolate work.

Agreed. As someone new to this whole chocolate making thing (and learning thanks to people like Chris) I can say that the seeding method is really not hard. Use a scale and a microwave and it's pretty easy.

The one thing I was surprised by is how quickly the chocolate can heat up in a microwave. When instructions say to go in 5-10 second increments once you are getting close to target temps, that is not an exaggeration. 5 seconds can heat a pound of chocolate several degrees, better to check the temp more often than necessary than to have to toss it and start over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys -- didn't realize it would take quite that long in the dehydrator. I'll try the seeding method. Don't have a microwave so I'll do the double boiler...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I've just started experimenting with a bit of chocolate making and am loving it - I've had a few problems with tempering and I'd love a bit of analysis of my results:

The chocolate i've been using is Lindt 70% dessert chocolate (labelled as a good one to use in desserts/pastry, not sure if it's actually different % cocoa butter).

However, it's out of date by 6 months now, and i don't know if that is the source of my problems. One of my blocks had gotten slightly warm and looked like this when I opened it, the fat had separated I guess, but when I melted it it looked fine.

chocBlock.jpg

Anyway, I tried to temper but didn't have a thermometer, so I'm pretty sure I got it wrong. That's fine, I've just bought one so will try again and anticipate more success! Do you think the results I've gotten (see below) are all caused by lack of temper, or is the age of the chocolate also a problem? The big blob is a pool of leftover stuff after I dipped, and it set up with a weird swirl pattern and also was a bit crumbly when I snapped it... this is what I'm unsure about (the streakiness I guess is just varying temperatures of the chocolate around the bowl?).

chocDisc.jpg

These are three truffles from the same batch of chocolate - the different combinations of matte, slight shiny bits (is that in temper?!) and even some blooming have me a bit confused.

truffles.jpg

And lastly, one general question that I haven't seen an answer for - I've been using the method in Kerry's Demo, but I wonder if the chocolate needs to be already tempered to work? (i.e if I buy "regular" chocolate from a supermarket, apart from maybe not tasting great, will it still temper if I get the technique correct?.

Thanks :) I look forward to many more adventures!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it was seeded in the demo... appears that the temperature and agitation as it cools is what makes it work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it was seeded in the demo... appears that the temperature and agitation as it cools is what makes it work.

Yup - just looked - I'm wrong. Your's is dark chocolate - what temperatures did you use?

Oops - just read again - you didn't use a thermometer - so it's hard to trouble shoot.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I didn't really want to seek too much advice until I've tried a few times with the thermometer, since I know I'm almost certainly way out. I want to know... but I guess I should just wait entirely until I've given it another go... too impatient :)

Is the old chocolate (about 6 months past use-by) likely to be a problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I didn't really want to seek too much advice until I've tried a few times with the thermometer, since I know I'm almost certainly way out. I want to know... but I guess I should just wait entirely until I've given it another go... too impatient :)

Is the old chocolate (about 6 months past use-by) likely to be a problem?

I use dark chocolate well past it's best by date - they say that good stuff improves with age like fine wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read the threads on tempering but did not find the answer to this question: If you are using the seed method to temper a certain amount of chocolate (for a ganache, for example), how do you deal with the unmelted seed?

Before starting, I remove some of the chocolate to use as seed. I add it at the appropriate time, but it doesn't always melt entirely by the time the chocolate has fallen to the tempering range. Since I need all of the chocolate to make the correct amount for the recipe, I end up returning the bowl to the heat to continue the melting, but I realize that I risk overheating the chocolate and losing the effect of the seed. So what do people do? Just temper more chocolate than you need and then measure out the correct amount? The transfer and measuring process seems a bit messy--and also cools off the chocolate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it better to temper about 50% more than you need; it gives you leeway for unmelted chocolate, spillages etc. Then just weigh out what you need, pour the rest onto some acetate or parchment, let it set then break it up and store it for further use. It keeps for a long time, so there's no waste.

A larger quantity will also hold its temperature better than a smaller one.


Edited by jmacnaughtan (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it better to temper about 50% more than you need; it gives you leeway for unmelted chocolate, spillages etc. Then just weigh out what you need, pour the rest onto some acetate or parchment, let it set then break it up and store it for further use. It keeps for a long time, so there's no waste.

A larger quantity will also hold its temperature better than a smaller one.

I totally agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I make bark I temper the exact amount in my melter as I make so much of it and don't want to scale it out. Of course, bark isn't really exact...

Some tricks I use is to try not to add too much seed. I try to get the seed to melt out at around 33C, then I just do a lot of stirring to increase the amount of Beta 5 crystals. I watch and either keep the pan in the melter or take it out depending on how fast the seed is melting (ie. cooler or warmer environment to control the melt). If you do end up with too much seed, use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt it out. You will have more control than putting it back on the heat and heating up the whole bowl which will retain heat. If you just have a little seed left, try a stick blender. Not only will it eat up the seed, but it will help in tempering your chocolate due to the super fast stirring!

All that being said, I agree with the above posters to temper more chocolate than you need for your purposes. Much easier!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seed should be 25% of what you have melted. Ie., if you melt 1000g of chocolate, you need to seed with 250g of additional chocolate, giving your total amount as 1250g. I don't seed much anymore, but do it with callets to get an even melt. If the last few bits don't melt in, I use an immersion blender to incorporate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it better to temper about 50% more than you need; it gives you leeway for unmelted chocolate, spillages etc. Then just weigh out what you need, pour the rest onto some acetate or parchment, let it set then break it up and store it for further use. It keeps for a long time, so there's no waste.

A larger quantity will also hold its temperature better than a smaller one.

This is what I do, too. Especially if you make more than one ganache with the same chocolate, you temper more of it, then scale what you need for each formula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are determined to use the exact amount - you could use a block of chocolate as your seed. Once tempered - remove the block, melt it in the microwave and add carefully to the tempered chocolate a bit at a time so you don't exceed the working temperature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By pastrygirl
      Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this!
       
      I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!
    • By beacheschef
      I'm making truffles for a wholesale customer who will be distributing them to their guests on a daily basis. I've been working on my recipes for quite a while, and have some good recipes for a number of flavors. Since the customer base is pretty varied, I'm not adding any alcohol to the ganache centers. The customer is pleased, but has asked me to expand my flavors to a few that they suggested.
      I've been working on a mint center with a white chocolate ganache and am infusing the cream with fresh mint leaves. No matter how much mint I add, the mint taste is not pronounced enough. I've also infused the mint leaves in the cream for up to 6 hours before adding the cream to the chocolate, without pleasing results.
      I've also been playing around with a fresh ginger ganache and am interested in lemongrass and other natural flavorings. Since I don't know if the customer will be pleased with the end result, I'd rather not buy the flavored compounds (I've used the mint flavor compound in a previous job) to enhance the flavor until I get a better result using the fresh ingredients.
      Do you have some advice for using natural herbs and spices to flavor ganache without using extracts, alcohol, or compounds?
    • By RuthWells
      I know this question gets asked frequently, and I've done my research, but I can't believe that I can't find a less expensive option for packaging to hold 2 truffle-sized bonbons.  The two options I liked (from Nashville Wraps and BoxandWrap) come to over $1.60 each when factoring in shipping.  There is no way to price them at that cost.  Am I missing some options out there?
    • By RuthWells
      I know the gold standard for storing molded chocolate bon bons is to vacuum-pack lightly, then freeze.  Any suggestions for an overly-enthusiastic home chocolatier with an abundance of inventory and no vacuum sealer?  My local coffe shop is selling my wares, but not as quickly as I've been producing them!
    • By Droo
      I want to make a liquid caramel filled small easter eggs - I'll be using polycarbonate moulds. Any thoughts on how I can assemble these without having the caramel run out?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.