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seawakim

Tempering Chocolate

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Since I took Kerry's class a couple of years ago, and also, since I don't make chocolates, but temper almost daily for cookies and other stuff, I do all of my melting in the micro and watch the viscosity. My instant read thermometer just isn't instant enough for my pace and I'm not looking for sheen, just snap, and I get it every time. The few times that I do want sheen, I'm just much more careful about what I'm doing (translation - patient).

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My tempering technique is very standard with chefs. I have it listed below...

Tempering for Dark Chocolate:

1) Melt Chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler to 120 degrees F.

2) Let cool away from heat to 105 F in the same bowl.

3) At 105 F add the seed chocolate.

4) Keep seed chocolate in the melted chocolate until it reaches 89 degrees. Remove any chocolate that has not melted.

5) The chocolate is now tempered.

If you have the chance at any time, go to see chocolate actually tempered by a professional. I actually just taught a class in Salt Lake City this week and I had a lot of questions that I see on this thread. Once you see it done it is a lot easier to accomplish.

Have a great day,

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I use a thermometer, the laser one to check my temp. For years I used the lip test for temperature. I find that by using a thermometer, I am able to get a better shine from my chocolate when moulding. the temperature is critical for a good shine...and there is a difference between tempering and then accurate tempering. I also find if I bring the final temp to the upper range 31-32.5 degrees is where I get the best sheen. Very tricky to do.

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Yesterday I hand seeded a kilo of 100% cacao pate in order to make bars for a client. I have done this many times before. This is the second time I get a strange bloom. It does not look like fat or sugar, but cacao powder- looking. It happens on the places in between the squares of the "big" bar and not at all on the smaller bar (50g) and not on my "temper test". Any ideas? I am very curious what I did wrong or why this happened.

gallery_53591_4944_61331.jpg

same batch same time:

gallery_53591_4944_248299.jpg

temper test:

gallery_53591_4944_24785.jpg

thanks!!

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Weird. How much does the big bar weigh? I know I have more trouble with the 500g bar mold due to the latent heat of crystallization and trouble cooling it sufficiently while crystallizing.

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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.

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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

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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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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!

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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)

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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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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:

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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.

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 (log)

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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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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:

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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.

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...

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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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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

That is an excellent idea, using the propagator! Much safer than using a real oven and inexpensive, too. Love it.

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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!

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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:

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:

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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?

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