Jump to content
  • 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.

rookie

Chocolate Tempering Machines

Recommended Posts

I am looking to purchase a tempering machine. Something small to do up to 10 lbs.

What do you recommend? What is the ACMC like and any suggestions on where to buy

in Toronto area to save on shipping or other places are welcome too. Is $950 Canadian

a good price?

Thanks

Rookie - Mary


Edited by rookie (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are you looking at purchasing a tempering machine for professional use? that is, are you starting a business or something like that?

it seems that to temper small amounts of chocolate (up to 10 pounds) it is easy enough to do by hand...if you understand how to temper in the first place.

there is a thread running right now "chocolate demonstration" which might give you ideas on learning other techniques before buying a machine.

p.s. unless, of course, you are a millionaire and have money burning a hole in your pocket...then please, spend your money on another piece of kitchen equipment :biggrin:


Edited by alanamoana (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alana--I think you ask a good question--recommendations about good tempering machines will be different based on use--not just on price. So Mary--two questions--how do you envision using the tempering machine day-in and day-out? And how strong are you when it comes to tempering--are you already a pro and pretty fluent with chocolate?

I've used the ACMC--what's $950 CAN in US dollars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ACMC is a great little machine IMHO. However, it doesn't do 10 pounds, more like 7. What's your budget? The chocovision machine is pretty good when you need to step up a little in size, but they're a little more tempermental for me. When I first started making commercial chocolates, I dipped about 2000 pieces a week out of my ACMC. In fact it still gets used ever day, and parts (motors, etc. are easy to get) So I

Tempering machines are great in that they allow you to do other things while the chocolate is going through it's cycles. Plus it keeps it a workable temperature for probably as long as you'll need provided the environment co-operates. It's hard to get any machine to go down to 27.5 celcius when the kitchen is 41!

I agree that if you are just tempering chocolate for an occasional thing, then do it by hand, if you're in a professional kitchen and you can afford it get a machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alana,

Thank you for your reponse. I am starting up a very small business for Halloween, Christmas, Valentines day and Easter primarily. Unfortunately I find tempering by hand somewhat difficult at times, this is why I am looking for a tempering machine.

You say there is a chocolate demo running right now? Where and when? I am interested in details.

I wish I was a millionaire but not as of yet anyway. Maybe someday. Haha

Thanks again

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

Thank you for you reply too. No I would not be using the machine day in and day out.

Someday I hope to be a pro but for now in am only a rookie (that's why I chose this name!).

When I mentioned cost ...that would be $950 Canadian dollars NOT US dollars. I have found a place that sells them locally but I am open to suggestions and other brand names.

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Timothy,

Thanks for the info. When you say budget ... less is best I wasn't even looking at spending $1000 for what I need it for. However it seems to be better than the Revolution 1 which is about $425

less and pumps out a lot more chocolate at one time. I am just starting a small truffle business.

I do understand that the parts for the ACMC are easy to get which are good. Actually where I was looking at buying it they fix them too.

As far as tempering by hand...I would love to be able to but with me it is hit and miss unfortunately.

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as tempering by hand...I would love to be able to but with me it is hit and miss unfortunately.

Why is it hit or miss??? Do you understand the properties and procedures of tempering well? A machine will only do the actual turning, heating and cooling for you. You have to tell it the temperatures it needs to use, at what points, be able to tell if it needs to go up or down a 1/2 degree to work correctly and be able to decipher the problems when it doesn't work correctly (and it won't from time to time).

Study , study, study...........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mary, it isn't a chocolate demo, but a thread where an egulleteer atttended a chocolate demo and discussed some interesting methods for tempering.

when you say you are starting a truffle business, are you wanting to temper in order to use chocolate molds? or are you making truffles that are ganache based and will be coated in tempered chocolate? if you're just starting a small business, and you aren't using chocolate molds just yet, it may be worth your while to just make ganaches and roll the chocolate centers in untempered chocolate and then dust with cocoa, powdered sugar or other coatings. this way, it won't matter if the chocolate is tempered or not. see how the business goes and in the meantime, practice tempering by hand.

i understand the responses where people say it is a timesaver, etc. but that is in the professional kitchen where they are working on other things in the meantime. i think that if this is the extent of your business, then you can invest the time to learn to temper by hand. it shouldn't take you any more time than using a tempering machine. claudia fleming of gramercy tavern used to make all the chocolates they used for service without a tempering machine.

after reading some of the other responses, i can say that with practice you should be able to temper pretty easily if you understand the "chemistry" of the chocolate. use a thermometer until you're comfortable without one. use your microwave. try all the different methods to find one that works for you.

i guess i feel that if you are wanting to start a business, you should be able to work with chocolate inside and out and not rely on a machine right away...what if the machine breaks down and you have an order you have to fill?! how would you deal with emergency situations like that? nothing beats knowledge and practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well said Tim and Alana--Mary--don't buy a tempering machine if you cannot temper comfortably by hand in each of several different ways first--tabliering, seeding, direct warming. Inside and out, day in and day out. Spend your money getting to that point--and on any special truffle and confectionery related instruction you feel you might need--and then consider buying a machine. you'll thank us later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allow me to further agree. Granted, my production is nothing like, say, Tim's, and my chocolates are only for mignardise plates- but I still wind up doing chocolate work (molded and enrobed centers, an array of garniture) if not everyday, then at least four days out of the week. I still temper by hand, and, in fact, I enjoy the process each and every time.

Becoming fluent in chocolate, by hand, will not only help with troubleshooting down the road, but will also reinforce the importance of cleanliness and efficiency, and ultimately force you to better respect chocolate's amazing properties. For the most part, chocolate is constant- it is the great number of external variables that make the difference. Exposing yourself to as many of those variables as possible will pay off in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mary,

I've been playing around with chocolate as well and trying to learn as much as possible with the thought of taking it up professionally in a few years when my current "day job" is done. Rather than spend the money for a tempering machine, why not spend a similar amount for a class at Notter's school or some other "advanced" type course? Last I checked the three day course at Notter's school was around $800. I'm not sure what the Chocolate Loft charges (and the website says they are still relocating to Providence. Note also that Notter is relocating to Orlando). Might be a better investment in the long run though to do some hands on work with a real pro if you plan on doing this as a business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Timothy,

Thanks for the info. When you say budget ... less is best I wasn't even looking at spending $1000 for what I need it for. However it seems to be better than the Revolution 1 which is about $425

less and pumps out a lot more chocolate at one time. I am just starting a small truffle business.

I do understand that the parts for the ACMC are easy to get which are good. Actually where I was looking at buying it they fix them too.

As far as tempering by hand...I would love to be able to but with me it is hit and miss unfortunately.

Mary

What are your specific problems with the Revolution 1? I know someone with the Revolution 2 model and they seem quite happy with it. The main advantage of these models is that they temper as little as 4 oz of chocolate at a time. If you're running a small restaurant or are a really advanced home user, making such a small volume of chocolate is perfect. The more expensive machines have a min. of 1-3 lbs. That's a hell of a lot of tempered chocolate for the non professional or small restaurant.

I'm really interested in your view on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What are your specific problems with the Revolution 1?

I'm not sure if this was directed at me or not..... but in case it was, I didn't use the revo 1. I had the x3210. It might have been a one-off thing, but mine would pull out of temper rather quickly. I could leave that little ACMC at 32 degrees for an 2 or more hours and it would stay in temper. The chocovicion would pull out after 30 or more minutes. My experience, FWIW.

I ended up selling it to a friend who is a hobbiest.

Actually, 1-3 pounds is not really a lot of chocolate when dipping or molding a few hundred pieces. besides, it's not like you're throwing away what's leftover...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The main advantage of these models is that they temper as little as 4 oz of chocolate at a time. If you're running a small restaurant or are a really advanced home user, making such a small volume of chocolate is perfect. The more expensive machines have a min. of 1-3 lbs. That's a hell of a lot of tempered chocolate for the non professional or small restaurant."

Though I haven't battle-tested the later Chocovision/Sinsation/Revolution-style models, they've always seemed gimmicky and cheap and some of the earlier instructions I read seemed, well, not all that helpful; I have put the ACMC through its paces and also the twice-as-expensive Italian tabletop temperer which JB Prince sells--and found them both reliable, the Italian one a very reliable accurate tank, and, to add to what Tim said, eliot, even home users, let alone advanced home users and small restaurants you're talking about, should really work with minimum 1 to 1.5 pounds up to several pounds at a time--it "works" better, it holds its temper longer, it's more forgiving to raise heat slightly. If you want 4 ounces of chocolate I'd bet directly warming it in the microwave would be faster and more accurate than in a machine, any machine.

One thing most of us agree on is that it is very efficient to do small amounts for small projects by hand--perhaps even more efficient than it is in one of these machines. In case anyone doesn't know this, the heat source in some machines is a light bulb, a regular household light bulb turned on and off by circuitry and a temperature probe. And even more important than the heat source is the "cooling" source--how well-designed the fan and flow is to cool your warm chocolate down. An inexpensive machine may not do this well--and if you are working in a warm room--forgettaboutit. It's not like these inexpensive machines have built-in cooling ability. In less than ideal conditions, you can still temper the chocolate you'll need for even a big project in minutes by hand. Then you can dump it into a less expensive "warmer" if you prefer and hold it for a pretty long time.

I guess what most of the pastry chefs on this thread are advising is this--don't buy a tempering machine, any tempering machine, as a substitute for or as a shortcut to fundamentally understanding chocolate and working with chocolate. It's not. And the machine itself won't help you learn how to temper--in fact, it will probably confuse you since you don't actually know what you are doing, why you are doing it, you don't know how to adjust for all the variables, the science, the different tempering methods, the missteps that will throw you off, the stuff the supposed experts don't tell you in their books.

I would like to hear some current Revolution reports, though.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
are you wanting to temper in order to use chocolate molds?

Alana,

Yes, I have purchased polycarbonate molds (Chocolate World). So for the most part I won't be hand dipping. I will mainly be using ganache filling. I have purchased some flavourings

by Loranne Gourmet.

I also make cherry cordials with handmade fondant as well as caramel centres too.

Any idea what the best caramel would be to use (loaf melted or liquid)?

Thanks, I think all of you have convinced me to keep doing it by hand. I do use the stovetop method.

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
--don't buy a tempering machine if you cannot temper

Okay, You have all convinced me. I will continue to perfect it by hand first.

Thank you

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What are your specificproblems with the Revolution 1?

Eliot,

I don't own a Revolution 1. What I meant by comment was that it seems to do such a small quantity, where I am looking to do a larger quantity than what this small machine can handle.

Mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rookie,

try other methods, if the stovetop method gives you hit or miss results.

i use the microwave at work and then seed if the chocolate gets too warm.

but steve is right, learn all the methods and find a method that works consistently for you.

good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one that I found online (Canadian store, but ships to the States). It only tempers 1 lb, and I have no idea the quality of it (keep in mind the temperature controls are, judging from the picture, "low" and "high"... hardly high tech).

For $65 CDN, it might be an option for a home cook. The web site says it's on back order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's time of the year for candy making at my house and I'm looking for ways to make the process easier. We use a large amount of chocolate each year. So, here are my questions:

1) Is a chocolate tempering machine worth it? Does it work? I'm looking at the lower price models (under $400). Any recs?

2) I've been using Ghirardelli chocolate and like it. I get the 10 lb bars because the price is cheaper (about $2.00/lb). However, it's a pain breaking up the bar, even with the chocolate chipper we got at Sur La Table. Any suggestion on how we can go about breaking up the bar easier and quicker? Also, if not, any suggestion on a good subsitute that will be the same quality and roughly around the same price?

TIA :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Is a chocolate tempering machine worth it? Does it work? I'm looking at the lower price models (under $400). Any recs?

2) I've been using Ghirardelli chocolate and like it. I get the 10 lb bars because the price is cheaper (about $2.00/lb). However, it's a pain breaking up the bar, even with the chocolate chipper we got at Sur La Table. Any suggestion on how we can go about breaking up the bar easier and quicker? Also, if not, any suggestion on a good subsitute that will be the same quality and roughly around the same price?

1) I don't think it is worth it if you are only doing a couple of pounds of chocolate at a time, but I have never used one.

2) I buy the calets of Callebaut in bulk for ~$3/# ($2.83/# at Fairway last year, if you bought a whole case). I like Varhona but it tends to be at least twice the price.

I haven't used Ghiardelli, but that price sounds very attractive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check this thread.

When I buy the 10 pound chocolate slabs, I break it up with a chocolate chipper and a rubber mallet into chunks then chop the chunks with a big pizza knife(two handles) or a meat cleaver.

I am not that worried about price so when I need smaller batches I simply order it from King Arthur flour in the "buttons" or chips.

Currently on hand I have the Merckens, the Guittard mini chips, the sugarfree semi-sweet and the Schonkinag bittersweet extreme dark.

Note that I do not eat chocolate but use it in gifts. I have to rely on others to evaluate the flavor.

King Arthur flour

I do have a chocolate temperer but for small batches I generally use a Pyrex bowl set on a wire grid in a crockpot with about 2 inches of water in the bottom, set on low. I tape a temp probe on a wire to the outside of the bowl so I know the temp of the water in which it is sitting.

For very small batches I melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every few seconds to make sure I catch it as soon as it has melted, then transfer it to an insulated cup that I have pre-warmed for dipping.

All you really need is a container that will maintain the low heat for the time you need for working with the melted chocolate.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had Chocovision temperers since 1997 and am very pleased with them. The first one was the now discontinued "Sinsation." That was replaced last year with a "Revolation 2." There are a few inherent problems with the Rev 2, but it does a good job of tempering small batches (up to 1.5 pounds). Sometimes you can find them on Ebay (in fact, Chocovision often sells rebuilt machines on Ebay).

As for chocolate, look around for the couverture "buttons" (also called pistoles, feves, calets and other names too numerous to mention). These quarter-sized bits make working with chocolate a whole lot easier. And measuring is more accurate, as most weigh a gram or two. These guys are avilable in 11 pound boxes. We use the Cacao Barry 58% semisweet as our standard couverture and the price works out to about $3.50 a pound.

Good luck.

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By JohnT
      I have heard over the years of bakers using beetroot in chocolate cakes to "enrich" them. I have never done this and I am not too fond of beetroot in its various forms (a childhood "thing"). However, I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake using "beetroot juice" in the recipe - the person requesting the cake even supplied me with the recipe!
       
      Right, this is a first time for me doing this and I need to make a sample cake to make sure it results in an edible cake. The recipe calls for 250ml (a metric cup) beetroot juice. So my question is, how would I produce a cup of this beetroot juice? Just wiz a few raw beets in a blender and strain out the juice? Do I boil the beets first or use them raw? Ignorance is sometimes bliss - but sometimes not.
       
      Help with this dilemma would be appreciated for this beet ignorant sod in "Darkest Africa".
      John.
    • By Kasia
      MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

      My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      chocolate crème
      100g of millet groats
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
      250ml of almond milk
      fruit mousse
      250g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel of one orange
      half a teaspoon of grated ginger
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By ChristysConfections
      I am trying to find boxes like these pictured below, with matching candy trays and candy pads. They are about the size of a piece of paper and about 2-2 1/2 inches high. Haven’t had any luck finding them domestically. Anyone else use something like these? How do you store/package your bulk chocolates?
       


    • By pastrygirl
      Has anyone used the chocolate pump that TCF offers?  https://www.tcfsales.com/products/c115-mol-d'art-melters/
       
      I'd like to increase both production and efficiency, so I'm looking at a 20-24kg melter, the pump, and possibly an EZ temper as an upgrade from a 6kg melter, a bunch of bowls and a ladle.
       
      What do other chocolatiers think?  I doubt I'll jump right into 24kg at a time, but I figure might as well have the capacity since it is the same footprint as the 12kg melter.  The pump would save a lot of time with molding, provided it doesn't clog up or over-temper the chocolate - is a stray chunk going to cause havoc?  And if it is a full 24kg, that's a lot of chocolate to hand-temper, so much heavy stirring.  Would the pump be able to mix in EZ Temper silk and make tempering virtually hands-free?
       
      thanks!
       
       
    • By MrJonathanGreen40
      One of my friends is leaving for Spain next week, and I’m planning to surprise her with a party before she leaves. Since she’s a huge lover of sweets, I decided to buy her a cake. I don’t know where to start looking, but my brother suggested that I buy from this online provider of custom cakes. I checked their website, and I think they have cakes that my friend will love. I haven’t bought anything yet because I want to be 100% sure that their cakes are truly excellent. Do you have any idea how I should examine cakes through the Internet? What are the things that I must take into consideration? Thanks!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×