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Old 07-04-2006, 06:47 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1
The need for tempered chocolate

Greetings to all from a Newbie at the forum but an old hand at chocolate.

A lot more than "snap" occurs to chocolate when it is tempered. Probably most important is the "melts in your mouth and not in your hand" component. Properly tempered chocolate allows you to pick it up with your bare hands and not end up with goo all over them. With chocolate covered strawberries this may not be a big deal since most of us pick them up by the stem. With things like truffles and other preparations this is critical. Unless of course you want to have chocolate goo all over!

You can use recycled bunny chocolate but that is probably not "couverture" (the type of chocolate that needs tempering). It more than likely is coating chocolate. That is chocolate that has some or all the cocoa butter replaced with hydrogenated oils. Coating chocolate does not need tempering but the taste and "mouth feel" are totally different. Try coating your tongue with crisco and you'll understand how coating chocolate feels.

A simpler method for tempering uses a "seed" instead of tabling (the method described previously). With a seed, once the chocolate is at the upper required temperature you add a chunk of chocolate to cool it down quickly. Then remove it when it reaches the lower level. This is not as time-sensitive as tabling.

I just finished a batch of strawberries I am taking to a friend's July 4th BBQ. SO i am practicing what I preach!

Almost Chef Nate
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