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Help Needed: Tempering Chocolate

 
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 4:15 pm    Post subject: Help Needed: Tempering Chocolate Reply with quote

I moved this on the chance that a more direct topic title might get me some help. I've really tried over the years to master chocolate and I haven't succeeded yet. But someone here might have the key I'm looking for. I hope!!!

If anyone has any foolproof tempering/dipping techniques I'd be so grateful. I was using the Scharffen Berger method: start with 115 degree choc, then keep one bowl at 95 degrees, cool one to 85 degrees, and combine them both. The truffles I dipped yesterday afternoon have no shine and are beginning to bloom.

I still have some unmelted "seed" choc on hand as well as the hardened no-so-tempered chocolate I was working with yesterday. I was using Callebaut bittersweet. SAVE ME!!!
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: The elusive, shiny chocolate. Reply with quote

Hiya Rainey!

Instead of having two bowls at separate temperatures and combining, perhaps this method will work. If it works for you, then it may be easier in the long run. It's worked almost all the time for me. Laughing

Melt in double boiler until reaches 113 - 118 degrees F (warning: seizes at 122 degrees F).

Remove from heat as soon as it reaches 113 degrees F.

Here you want to reduce the temperature and you can do it in two ways:

1) Reduce temperature to 80 degrees F by adding more finely chopped chocolate. The amount should be approximately 1/4 of the initial weight that you put in the pan.

2) Put pan over cool water and stir gently until it reaches 80 degrees F.

Once it has reached 80 degrees, you must use the chocolate ASAP. Once the temperature changes too much, you will have to retemper it, going through the same porocess above.

I have found that using a candy thermometer sometimes throws me off, because it can be hard to get an accurate reading. If you can get a digital thermometer, that might help some.

Good luck. I wish you shiny, delicious chocolates!
_________________
In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just re-read your posting....so have another suggestion.

You can reuse the chocolate that you have tried to temper, as long as you didn't get it to the seizing stage, which it sounds like you didn't because you were still able to use it. If it seizes....it's garbage. Otherwise, you can always retemper it, and it should be like new!

So, I would suggest using what you already have, and if you want to use the method I mentioned, you could add the "seed" chocolate as the cool down.

Don't give up, it is worth it in the end!

Wink
_________________
In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seastar wrote:

Don't give up, it is worth it in the end!

Wink


I'm counting on that and don't intend to give up. ...it's just that 1) chocolate is so expensive to experiment with and 2) it's sooooo bloody messy and wasteful. Nevertheless, I'll persevere.

How about dipping? Since the chocolate needs to be retempered if the temperature changes, do you dip room temp centers? Do you attempt to warm them a bit? Can you place them on a cold plate to set the bottom quickly?

I've been using Alice Medrich's recipe for truffles. She dips hers but dips them in untempered chocolate and keeps the finished dipped truffles cold. Since her coating chocolate isn't tempered, she suggests dipping frozen ganache centers. This is putting my coating chocolate out of temper immediately and hardening the coating before it has a chance to settle to an appropriately thin layer and then still roll off the dipping fork.

Thanks so much for your help! I sent my son off early this morning with undipped truffles rolled in crushed toffee but I've still got a few centers left to fool with. My husband will not mind if he has to eat a few more of my mistakes. Wink
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seastar



Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Posts: 14
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toffee covered truffles sound good to me! Mmmm!

I have always chilled (in fridge) my truffle centers and then dipped them in the tempered chocolate, then allow to sit at room temperature.

Not sure what freezing might do to them....
_________________
In the whorehouses of the bakeries, I was serially, gluttonously, irredeemably unfaithful to all those chapatis-next-door waiting for me back home. East was East, but yeast was West.

On Leavened Bread - Salman Rushdie
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Feste



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 32
Location: Berkeley, CA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rainey,

I, too, have been repeatedly unsuccessful when making truffles. A candy-and-chocolate store near my house has a class in tempering in the microwave- can you believe it? I had to miss the spring one, so I'm going to have to wait until September (I'm pretty impatient). Anyway, in the meantime, I am going to try the method the pastry chef at the restaurant where I work explained to me:

Melt your chocolate in a double boiler, then remove it from the heat and add a large brick of chocolate. Stir the melted stuff around the big piece and take the temperature periodically until it hits 80 degrees, then remove the big piece. (Save it for later, I guess.) Proceed to dip, stirring and checking the temperature a *lot*.

She keeps the chocolate at the right temperature by draping a damp towel over a warming pot used to keep dessert sauces warm, and resting the bowl in that. I'm hoping my crock pot will work.

Good luck, and if you find a method that works, please share!
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