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seawakim

Tempering Chocolate

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

During the summer I have the AC on most of the time but turn the temp down when I am preparing to make chocolates. As I said previously, I have the temp no higher than 70F and the relative humidity around 45%. I use the airbrush in the basement and have a window AC that I turn on when I'm doing this work, so the environment is about the same. Yes, I do decorate most of my molds. There is no question that adding colored cocoa butter adds a level of possible difficulty, but I do actually make sure the c.b. is in temper (if I heat it too much, I get the temp down, then add some EZtemper silk, and I test it every time, though I know most people don't).

 

So you try to get all the shells to release from the molds before filling them? I am impressed. I have tried that, but sometimes a shell will break, so I mostly gave up on that. Sometimes it is easy to tell that they are not stuck to the cavity wall. In general, I find that if one piece comes out of a mold satisfactorily, eventually they all will--though it may not be a pretty process.

 

All in all, we seem to follow mostly the same procedure, except that, like Kerry, I resort to the freezer for a few minutes if necessary.  As I always say, chocolate is a mystery. For example, why will one chocolate release perfectly from the mold and the one next to it will be stuck?

 

I am concluding that the issue that prompted my original post arose from some shells that would not release from the mold, and when I put them back in the fridge repeatedly, they picked up humidity, thus no shine. Here is where one of those cooling cabinets made for chocolate, which supposedly recover quickly from humidity, might have come in handy.

 

Thanks for your response and your ideas.

 

To clarify one point -- I am not removing the shells from the mold to test that they will release. I use clear polycarbonate molds & look at the bottom of the molds for indicators that the chocolates have contracted from the molds.  

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23 minutes ago, curls said:

 

To clarify one point -- I am not removing the shells from the mold to test that they will release. I use clear polycarbonate molds & look at the bottom of the molds for indicators that the chocolates have contracted from the molds.  

Thanks for clearing that up. I was having serious inferiority reactions. By the way, we all saw Melissa Coppel in Las Vegas show that her shells released perfectly from the mold before they were filled--and I happened to see some workshop participants testing more of them, and all released.


Edited by Jim D. (log)
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As I guiltily pulled some finished chocolates (still in their molds) from the freezer a few minutes ago, I wondered how widespread this technique (for making stubborn bonbons come out of their mold) is. I consider it a failure of technique, but use it whenever the refrigerator cooling fails to work. I have never had the freezer method fail, and I sometimes think it might make for a saner chocolate experience to put the molds there in the first place (a humidity-controlled freezer would be a fine invention--perhaps it already exists, no doubt for a premium price). When some bonbons fall out with no effort and others refuse without some time in the freezer--and all molds were created from the same batch--I wonder what was done wrong. There are just too many variables to make an educated guess.

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I put recalcitrant chocolates in the freezer for 3 minutes at a time. 

 

Putting them straight in there tends to shock the chocolate and doesn't give you a better result - trust me on that!

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To Follow Package temperature ranges or NOT?

 

I have successfully tempered dark chocolate (for bon bons and dipped caramels) in the past and of late have resumed with consistent failures - been using microwave to melt and then cooling, adding mycryo 1% at 93F then cooling to 88F and reheating to 92-93F - also tried seeding instead - both blooming - tests on parchment strips in frig are fine.  Final products bloom - I am using the chocolate to dip caramels which I have done without difficulty in the past.

 

Tonight I tries using the temperature ranges on the Valrhona guanaja package (which scare me!) - Melting 131/136F, Crystallization 82/84F, and Manual Working 88/90F.  The Melt seems very high, the crystallization very cool (my home is ~80F in Hawaii no AC ), and the Working too low (tends to be tight to work with) - again Bloom on 48 salted espresso caramels.

 

Should I disregard the packaging temp ranges and just follow the general concept - melt to 113-115, seed to cool to 88, then up to 92-93F which worked in the past?

 

Attached are some older pics of my success.  And no, I never wrote down any notes of my prior successes! grrhhh :(

 

20170121_201613.thumb.jpg.93de6236d31994c01d7c77ebf93e3470.jpg

Feeling like I no longer have my chocolate super powers! Green Kryptonite!!  Suggestions appreciated!

20170423_183550.jpg

20170315_201211.jpg

20170904_163122.jpg

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Last 2 thoughts - I double dip the caramels and it seems like the first dip chocolate is in temper - I think that I may be losing temper on the second round of dipping - I use a heat gun to raise the temperature of the chocolate, as it lowers with dipping - could invest in a heating pad?  Even at the 88F in the second dip the chocolate seems tight?  Perhaps I will try a new batch in temper for the second dip as perhaps the caramel is affecting the chocolate?

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Couple of thoughts. How confident are you in the accuracy of your thermometer? and are you placing the items in the fridge for 10 to 15 min after dipping to carry off the latent heat of crystallization?

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In my experience, there is no need to lower the temp to 88 after seeding with Mycryo. Just put in the seed, stir, test temper and go. If chocolate cools too much while using, add a little warm untempered or tempered chocolate to it and continue. Using heat gun and not stirring really well, could be part of the problem.

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Ruth Kendrick

Chocolot
Artisan Chocolates and Toffees
www.chocolot.com

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I used MyCryo extensively (almost exclusively in fact), due to the small batches I was working with (and the tiny kitchen not lending itself to tabling). My procedure was as follows:

 

1. Melt to 45 c

2. Cool to around 34 c - I have heard that Mycryo needs the temp to be precisely 35 c but that hasn't been my experience at all. As long as it's 34-35 it seems fine.

3. Make sure it's well stirred and then add 1% mycryo by weight

4. Stir stir stir...as per any chocolate work...

5. Test temper - almost invariably fine. The only thing that ever threw it off was ambient temperature or humidity.

 

When casting or dipping, I would sometimes chill in the fridge briefly to remove latent heat as Kerry mentioned, but again...depended on ambient temp to some degree.

 

I maintain the temperature of the chocolate by using a heat gun every now and then; never really checked temperature after I got used to it, but I did re check temper before doing large (relatively speaking)batches. And lots of stirring - always.

 

I would say possible issues are - as Kerry and Chocolaot have suggested, also playing with temperature up and down too much, not stirring enough and possibly ambient temperature.

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Budding, UK based chocolatier .....or at least..that's the plan 

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Thanks all - I have only used the frig between a couple of times - sort of afraid that cold shock might impact temper - but worth a try as I have hit a rut - I have an IR thermometer and feel confident as I use it for other things and it has been on mark.

 

I didn't see any comments about whether anyone religiously follows the temps on the product packaging - getting a sense that most do not, but rather follow the temps outlined above and develop a feel.

 

Appreciate the fast responses!

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8 hours ago, AtHomeMaui said:

Thanks all - I have only used the frig between a couple of times - sort of afraid that cold shock might impact temper - but worth a try as I have hit a rut - I have an IR thermometer and feel confident as I use it for other things and it has been on mark.

 

I didn't see any comments about whether anyone religiously follows the temps on the product packaging - getting a sense that most do not, but rather follow the temps outlined above and develop a feel.

 

Appreciate the fast responses!

The only time I think to look at the package is if I run into troubles. Otherwise I just follow the rules.

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On 9/21/2018 at 5:22 AM, AtHomeMaui said:

Thanks all - I have only used the frig between a couple of times - sort of afraid that cold shock might impact temper - but worth a try as I have hit a rut - I have an IR thermometer and feel confident as I use it for other things and it has been on mark.

 

I didn't see any comments about whether anyone religiously follows the temps on the product packaging - getting a sense that most do not, but rather follow the temps outlined above and develop a feel.

 

Appreciate the fast responses!

 

The possible problem with using an IR thermometer, regardless of how accurate it is, is that it only measures surface temperature. With chocolate, that's fine if you have stirred it enough....but using a Thermapen (way more accurate than just about any IR) I've seen temperature differences of several degrees between the top and bottom of a bowl or the middle and sides. That difference could be a tipping point in some situations. None of that means you can't use an IR of course; it's just something to bear in mind :)

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Budding, UK based chocolatier .....or at least..that's the plan 

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10 minutes ago, prashamk said:

Does the compound slabs that doesn't contain cocoa butter require tempering? 

 

Nope - compound "chocolate" doesn't require tempering at all. (Although calling it chocolate is debatable.....chocolate flavoured maybe...but that might just be me being a chocolate snob :) )

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Budding, UK based chocolatier .....or at least..that's the plan 

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8 hours ago, prashamk said:

Does the compound slabs that doesn't contain cocoa butter require tempering? 

 

8 hours ago, martin0642 said:

 

Nope - compound "chocolate" doesn't require tempering at all. (Although calling it chocolate is debatable.....chocolate flavoured maybe...but that might just be me being a chocolate snob :) )

 

You can possibly (at a stretch) call it chocolate, but you can't call it couverture 😛

 

It's not that it doesn't require tempering, it just can't be tempered. Compound chocolate has had all the cocoa butter removed and replaced with other fats, something like palm oil probably, so if you're using it in your products, don't expect it to perform the same as you would using couverture or "real" chocolate (i.e. a chocolate product that still contains cocoa butter)

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Okay, so for the first time in the year I've been making chocolate, I have issues with over tempering - the shells won't release from the mould. I've tried twice and I think it's something with the chocolate I'm working with.

 

Valrhona Blond. I heat it to 45 degrees, pour it on my countertop and work it down to 27, and then reheat to 29-30. I read on the bag that they suggest 28-29. I pour ALL the chocolate on my countertop, and reheat very carefully in the microwave (just the way I learned.)

 

Suggestions? Let it go cooler than 27 or heat it to just below 29 maybe?

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15 minutes ago, Rajala said:

Okay, so for the first time in the year I've been making chocolate, I have issues with over tempering - the shells won't release from the mould. I've tried twice and I think it's something with the chocolate I'm working with.

 

Valrhona Blond. I heat it to 45 degrees, pour it on my countertop and work it down to 27, and then reheat to 29-30. I read on the bag that they suggest 28-29. I pour ALL the chocolate on my countertop, and reheat very carefully in the microwave (just the way I learned.)

 

Suggestions? Let it go cooler than 27 or heat it to just below 29 maybe?

 

I'm slightly confused by the method - if you're going to table it then I wouldn't put it all on teh counter, tabling it and then reheating in a microwave sounds like a recipe for issues. Pouring about 3/4 to cool by tabling, then add it back to the molten chocolate in the bowl.

 

Reheating to 29 would be fine in theory.... 


Budding, UK based chocolatier .....or at least..that's the plan 

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55 minutes ago, martin0642 said:

 

I'm slightly confused by the method - if you're going to table it then I wouldn't put it all on teh counter, tabling it and then reheating in a microwave sounds like a recipe for issues. Pouring about 3/4 to cool by tabling, then add it back to the molten chocolate in the bowl.

 

Reheating to 29 would be fine in theory.... 

 

29 obviously didn’t work, I tried twice.

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1 minute ago, Kerry Beal said:

I take white chocolate down to 25.

 

I'll try with that. I very rarely mould with white chocolate, maybe that's why I'm having issues. :D 

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time to lose your thermometer and do it by feel ;)

 

Only partly kidding - when I was taught how to temper, they banned all thermometers from the kitchen so we had to know what the chocolate behaved like at each stage. You can feel it thickening up, you know that's when you need to get it back in the bowl to head back to working temperature :)

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5 hours ago, Rajala said:

Okay, so for the first time in the year I've been making chocolate, I have issues with over tempering - the shells won't release from the mould. I've tried twice and I think it's something with the chocolate I'm working with.

 

Valrhona Blond. I heat it to 45 degrees, pour it on my countertop and work it down to 27, and then reheat to 29-30. I read on the bag that they suggest 28-29. I pour ALL the chocolate on my countertop, and reheat very carefully in the microwave (just the way I learned.)

 

Is it Dulcey?  I make a bar with Dulcey and it usually behaves as it should.  I mold it around 88 - 89F  or approx 31 C.  Full disclosure I do blend it with 10-15% Callebaut Zephyr to save a buck, that probably changes the viscosity slightly.  I know their Opalys (intentionally thicker white) can be a challenge with rapid thickening, and @Jim D. had mentioned getting some Orelys, (another Valrhona blond, more brown sugar than caramel). Jim, have you tried molding with it?  It's 35% so that might be more fluid than the Dulcey which is 32% fat.

 

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56 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

 

Is it Dulcey?  I make a bar with Dulcey and it usually behaves as it should.  I mold it around 88 - 89F  or approx 31 C.  Full disclosure I do blend it with 10-15% Callebaut Zephyr to save a buck, that probably changes the viscosity slightly.  I know their Opalys (intentionally thicker white) can be a challenge with rapid thickening, and @Jim D. had mentioned getting some Orelys, (another Valrhona blond, more brown sugar than caramel). Jim, have you tried molding with it?  It's 35% so that might be more fluid than the Dulcey which is 32% fat.

 

No, I haven't tried molding with Orelys, just used it so far for the chocolate chip truffles I make. I did try making an (unsuccessful) apple ganache with it, and in that procedure it acted much like Opalys--that is, it got very thick, to the point that I had to add more liquid. But I have learned to manage Opalys and have no doubt that Orelys would be the same. "Managing" means having some untempered chocolate ready and adding it when the thickening starts and not being afraid to raise the temp to levels that are not recommended for white chocolate.

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