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Problem with chocolate blooming


hchocolate
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I am having problems with my chocolate blooming. I am fairly certain that I am tempering the chocolate correctly. I have not had problems with getting a good temper in the past--although my experience is limited.

I am hand dipping caramel centers in dark chocolate couverature. After about 10 minutes of drying, the candies have a noticeable white bloom on their surface.

The room temperature is around 72f. Could there be a problem with temperature or humidity? Or is my tempering suspect? Any advice on avoiding bloom would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Christa

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unfortunately there are a million possibilities for bloom. if you are absolutely sure it is not the temper check all of the following.

steam getting into the bowl of melting chocolate while on the water bath

humidity in the air (are you neat a dish station)

72 while not that hot is not the best temperature, if your choco does not start to set within a minute or so try putting it in the freezer for a minute to jump start it

is it a new type of chocolate, sometimes batches can just be funky

nkaplan@delposto.com
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To what Nicole already asked you to consider, I'll add:

Which chocolate are you using? Are you using a couverture--and dipping into a bowl of thin, loose chocolate at 92F--or are you dipping into a thicker, cooler bowl of chocolate--and as a result getting a too-thick coating of chocolate on your caramels? That can be your problem because that thick wall will not cool properly--chocolates wants to be thin--and cool quickly--what happens in this case, when you dip too cool, is the outside cools first, faster, appears to set up--but the inside chocolate stays warm and interferes with proper setting.

But that also speaks to your tempering ability--so rule that out first.

If I were problem-solving for you, I'd try to determine whether it is your tempering ability or whether it has something to do with enrobing the caramel centers--meaning, do something with your chocolate to see if it blooms apart from enrobing the caramels. Take a temper test--by dragging a piece of parchment into the chocolate--and setting that aside. If that strip stays fine--sets up at room temperature, shiny, no bloom--then you know it is your process, not your chocolate. If your temper strip stays fine at your room temperature--then your bon bons should stay fine as well.

Next--what temperature are your caramel centers? The most common mistake is dipping something too cool, which can shock the chocolate, even if it is tempered. (The second and third most common mistakes causing bloom or improper setting are 2) dipping something with a slight bead of moisture on it and 3) shocking the dipped chocolates by thrusting them into a fridge, also where moisture can collect on the center.)

Rule those out first, and then we can consider some other more nuanced possibilities:

1) Lack of humidity. Seeing as it is winter, you may have to adjust a little bit when it is bone dry. Lack of humidity can be as troublesome as too much humidity when it comes to tempering.

2) Over-activated chocolate--meaning your chocolate is in temper but you've stirred it too much and agitated too many bonds into forming too soon.

But again, before you go there--let's make sure your tempering is not the problem, that you're using an appropriate courverture and that your caramels are at the right temperature before dipping.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Thank you both for your replies. I took your advice and made sure that the couverature set more quickly after I dipped the caramels. And that did solve my problem with the tops of the chocoaltes blooming. Apparently the chocolate was in fact too cold and was setting slow enough to cause blooming. I think that I was overly cautious about heating the chocoalte too high thus loosing my temper, and I did not quite get it hot enough. I made sure that this time I was right at 91/92.

I just attended a class with Werner Hitz on candy making (it was a great class) and we did not really get clear direction on how to handle blooming. Thanks Steve for explaining what causes blooming so clearly. Very good advice.

Christa

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I need help keeping my chocolate at the right temp. while enrobing. Everything works great until my temp. starts dropping and my chocolate gets too thick to set properly. It's always at the point where I'm close to being done and it's a real pain to temper more for a few centers. I've gotten tangled in details and advice, sometimes I just gently reheat but when I want to be safe I have to temper more chocolate.

Any advice for keeping your chocolate at a working temp. with-out a tempering booth, lights, heating pad or yogurt maker? I get confused about technique and temps for adding more chocolate into my cooling tempered bowl of chocolate. I'd love to solve this. Anyone?

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Wendy, maintaining temper is always the larger issue, it is worth it to spend the time trying to figure out where it is--exactly--you're getting tangled up. And we're available to help you.

That said, you do have a few options that aren't equipment-driven a la heating pad, heat gun, warmers. In order of preference--from least likely to screw up and lose temper to most likely to screw up:

1) the simplest if you have no problem tempering initially, you could start with more chocolate than you usually do when you sit down to enrobe--meaning instead of tempering up 3 pounds, temper 5; instead of tempering 5, temper 7--for a given job. A larger amount of chocolate will hold its temperature longer--allowing you to work longer;

2) place a towel under your bowl so it doesn't come in contact with your cool countertop;

3) work with a microwave-safe bowl so you can always zap it for a few seconds if it cools off too quickly;

4) add a small amount of completely un-tempered chocolate (115F) to your bowl and stir well to combine. This chocolate has to be at least 115--not 95, not 105--because for this to work its cocoa butter crystalline structure has to be unlocked. This unlocked, too-warm chocolate will then be shown the way to reform by the larger amount of still-tempered chocolate it is being added to--and as a result--raise the overall temperature of your bowl up a few degrees in the process--which will allow you to keep working!

You don't lose initial temper by your chocolate getting too cool--you lose workability and fluidity but it is still "in temper." So what you're looking to do is raise that temperature up slightly--say from 86 or 87 back up to 88-92. It's usually at 92 that one screws up with most brands of chocolate--when you push to 93 you've lost temper and your chocolate won't re-crystallize properly. (You have to start all over again--raising all of this chocolate to 115+ and re-tempering by various methods.)

Let's say you are dipping or enrobing truffles--you might find if you rolled those ganache balls in your hands rather than dipping the heat of your hands will allow you to work longer and be more efficient. But what is more efficient will always vary by your environment and working conditions.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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OK, another tempering question:

I've been experimenting with darkening my milk chocolate by adding a bit of 75% (1/8th the weight, to be precise). The taste is just where I want it, but it's winding up slightly out of temper when it sets up - just a hint of a haze. Am I correct to think that I should try raising the temeperature I'm molding at? Although that seems the logical thing to do, somehow it doesn't feel right, though I can't say why.

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My apologies for adding my questions to this thread, I hope Steve or someone else will have time to answer all.

It's option #4 that I haven't been able to wrap my mind around and have avoided. Just adding hot chocolate with-out the standard cooling (as in tempering) step doesn't seem quite logical in my head-even though I understand-I guess I need to just take that leap. And then I worry that I don't have enough tempered chocolate left in my bowl to handle the new non-tempered chocolate. For instance, like when using the seeding method what percentage is enough tempered chocolate in my bowl to handle the non-tempered coming in? 1/3?

Thanks!

P.S. Your other options are ones I do use. I rarely make truffles that are round where I could use my hands to dip. I typically make mice or something to to clue people into the fact that these are NOT store bought.

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  • 3 years later...

(I’m not sure if this should be in the tempering discussion, but that thread seemed to be more about the techniques of tempering and not fixes for chocolate that had bad temper.)

This morning I tempered some chocolate and dipped my truffles. The temper was good and all the truffles stayed glossy.

But, right near the end (before I had to leave for work) I wanted to dip a couple more. The chocolate had started to get thick so I hit it with the hair dryer. But, being in a hurry I wasn't very careful and over heated the chocolate. So I stopped dipping.

However, I now have chocolate with some bloom on it and I'm not sure what should be done. Can this chocolate be melted back down and reused/re-tempered? Or is it now relegated to the eating or hot cocoa chocolate pile?

Thanks,

Mike.

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  • 2 years later...

As embarrassing as this is, I have to get it straight right now. At least it's a first. :raz:

I tempered a batch of dark chocolate in my Revolation and filled a particular mold with chocolate. Into the fridge, decanted about 1/2 hour later, so far so good.

After rinsing the mold out...some tiny bits of chocolate stuck in one cavity...I dried it well. Very well. Used a hair dryer on it to make sure it was really dry.

Refilled the same mold, into the fridge, decanted easily...every piece had light brown bloom on it.

Question #1. Did this probably happen because the mold was too hot after the hair drying episode? (I completely forgot about letting it cool because we were trying to get out of the house for a dog walk before it got too dark.) Does this scenario make sense?

Question #2. Can I re-temper this same bloomed chocolate and use it again in the same mold (cool)?

Thanks for answers! :rolleyes: I really appreciate all the help I have gotten over the past year.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Yes and yes. :-) It could easily have happened because the mold was too hot from the hairdryer. This can easily happen.

You can retemper and use the chocolate again without a problem.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions!

Jeffrey Stern

www.jeffreygstern.com

http://bit.ly/cKwUL4

http://destination-ecuador.net

cocoapodman at gmail dot com

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i agree, the mold was too hot, so the chocolate in your bowl would not need to be re-tempered, but your bloomed solid pieces can yes, be remelted and tempered. just make sure you get your choc warm enough to melt out those naughty cocoa butter crystals so you can re-align. i had a friend that tried to remelt and retemper and she only went to 95 F. it didn't work the best, unstable temper :0)

best of luck!!!

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  • 3 years later...

Good Day Everyone

I made some chocolate this weekend. I had a great time making them but they did not turn out like I wanted. here is one of the picture of the chocolate that turned out great the triangle truffle. I then temper some more chocolate of the same type and make chocolate bars and some more truffles but these have weird marks that I have no clue what they are. Can any one tell me what these marks are? and how they happened? and how to avoid this happening again. I am using a new chocolate that I have never used before and the machine that I used is the rev 2. Any insight will be a great help.

Thanks Chuck

good pic.jpg

chocolate bar.jpg

chocolate truffle.jpg

Edited by polbob (log)
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the speckle on the final picture there is definitely bloom. Your chocolate was not perfectly in temper, or perhaps the room was a little warm when you left the moulds to set? As for the white on the bar, I'd say bloom as well seeing as we're seeing it in the final picture, but it also looks a lot like white coloured cocoa butter if your moulds were not perfectly cleaned from the previous time you used them?

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  • 11 months later...

Hi everyone

I'm having trouble with my chocolate constantly blooming in the last few weeks and any helpful advice would be gratefully received.

I'm fairly new to chocolate - I've only been playing around with it since I took a week's course towards the end of last year - but I've got quite into making chocolate lollies.  For the first few months everything was going fine.  I tend to heat pretempered couverture gently in the microwave and finish melting with a heat gun to keep it in temper.  I would get the occasional bits of bloom if I was a bit too heat-gun-happy but almost every time the chocolate would be fine and shiny with a lovely snap.

My problems started just before Easter when all of a sudden most of the batches I was making started to fail.  I'm assuming my problem may be humidity.  Since Easter I have been checking regularly and the relative humidity is almost always over 60%, sometimes 70% which - from what I gather - is quite high.  I don't know what it was previously as I never bothered to check when things were working OK but I assume it was lower over the winter.

What I'm really confused about is that sometimes I would make several lollies from the same batch and some would be fine and some would have quite severe bloom.  I always thought the chocolate would either be tempered or not tempered so I don't really understand why some would work and some not?  Also, the bloom always seemed worse on a particular type of 'fried egg' style lolly for which I would pipe chocolate in the shape of the egg white and then swirl it round with a cocktail stick to give it a nice texture.  I was just wondering whether this swirling would in some way cause the chocolate to bloom?  Can this happen?  Can tempered liquid chocolate be caused to bloom because of how you move it around whilst its setting or is that nonsense?

Anyway, I'd really appreciate any advice - I think I'm going to invest in a dehumidifer but if anybody has any light to shed in the meantime I'd be really grateful

Thanks

Katherine

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Sounds like you aren't actually tempering the chocolate - just not letting it get out of temper.  Perhaps it has been thrown out of temper as your room temperature changed.

 

Can you take us through your process including the temperatures you reach and how you measure them?

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Hi Kerry

Thanks for your reply.  Yep - I've mainly just been trying to keep the chocolate in temper.  When batches have failed I have tempered it on a marble slab and most of the time that seems to work - though some lollies still get the bloom which is why I was wondering if it was something to do with the conditions whilst its setting - or something that I was doing to it.

To be honest, the way we were taught to do it, I haven't been measuring the exact temperature of the chocolate at all.  They just said to keep making sure the chocolate never felt too warm whilst it was being melted and to make sure to only heat it until it was just gone.  If for some reason it failed, we were taught to put it back in the microwave and heat it for maybe another 30 seconds or so until it was completely liquid and thinner in consistency, pour 2/3 onto the marble slab and table temper until the 'sludgy' stage and then add back to the melted stuff - mixing and then reheating slightly with a heat gun if necessary to get rid of lumps.  Its frustrating because that approach was working so well for months and then suddenly something has gone to pot and I can't work out what!

Best

Katherine

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