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Old 05-09-2008, 07:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jasonr View Post
All real chocolate you buy, from Hershey to Valhrona, is tempered when you buy it. All chocolate is "pre-tempered", regardless of make or quality. And you can temper any chocolate you buy, regardless of whether or not it is a couverture.

Common sense tells us that if you melt tempered chocolate and then let it harden, it will harden into the same thing it was before. Common sense is wrong, unfortunately. If you melt chocolate, it will go out of temper. I don't know the science, but it has to do with the alignment of crystals or some such thing. Bottom line: if you want melted chocolate to set like it did before it was melted, you have no choice but to temper it.

Tempering does more than prevent discolouration. Tempered chocolate is much shinier. If you don't temper, it will appear duller. You can tell the difference visually.

The other big plus to tempering is that the chocolate will set at room temperature fairly quickly, and you'll get that satisfying "snap" when you break it (at least with dark chocolate, less so for white or milk). If you don't temper, it takes forever to set, and the consistency never gets to that good hard snap.

Why not try to temper? If you're successful, then great, if you fail, then you're no worse off than if you hadn't tried.
Hi Jasonr,
This is a global website and as such one has to respond bearing this in mind as the original poster may be buying their chocolate from all over the world - not just in the USA!!!! The chocolate that you buy, can buy, may not be the same as me!

The fact is that not all chocolate is tempered (in the global scheme of purchasing!), so that when used for dipping, filling etc., it will be shiny, glossy and have the characteristic snap of a high quality chocolate product. Tempering is necessary for a great many chocolate products to give the gloss and snap to the chocolate which encases the final product. The "catch words" here are gloss and snap!

When I was a student, I was taught that there are two different fats in chocolate - Fat A and Fat B. The process of tempering was to redistribute the fats and, on cooling, allow them to settle/set in such a way as to produce a glossy product with a good snap. The objective is to allow the fats to set and not rise to the surface - IIRC! When ,and if, the fats rise to the surface, through poor tempering, the resultant chocolate(s) will be liable to bloom and lack the appropriate snap and, more importantly, the gloss.

In conclusion, anyone wishing to work with chocolate should have 2/3 very finely calibrated thermometers which operate at appropriate temperatures or buy pre-tempered chocolate.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:36 PM   #12
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Chocolate that has been melted must be re-tempered because the melting separates the the fat and the sugar molecules which is why they need to be stirred slowly as the chocolate cools to a certain point to stabilize the two so that they will hold together as to not cause the bloom. This is not rocket science folks. You do not need a thermometer to temper small amounts of chocolate. I'm talking 2-4 cups. I don't know if larger amounts can be done by feel. Of course you could have larger amounts melted and then temper smaller batches as you go but I'm talking about home or small business not a large factory.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:38 PM   #13
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I'm just starting to work with chocolate and I'm having a lot of fun doing it. Tempered chocolate, when melted, does need to be tempered again. I purchased a small tempering unit that tempers up to 1.5 lbs in around 30 minutes. Very easy and worth the money. I made some very quick and easy oreo balls and dipped them and they had the gloss and "snap".
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #14
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If it's not tempered you may also get a gritty chocolate. You may want to try confectioners coating. It's not as good as true chocolate but it doesn't need to be tempered. When it's mixed with nuts, dried fruits, pretzels etc. It will taste fine. But if you do try the coating try to get a good brand not Wilton.
You can find some good video's on youtube on tempering. One with Jac. Torres and one from Epicurious.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Hi Jasonr,
This is a global website and as such one has to respond bearing this in mind as the original poster may be buying their chocolate from all over the world - not just in the USA!!!! The chocolate that you buy, can buy, may not be the same as me!
As far as I am aware, all commercially available chocolate is tempered. I don't think it's possible to buy chocolate that hasn't been tempered. It's just part of the process any manufacturer goes through when they turn their chocolate into bars / squares / blocks, etc...

Where are you buying your chocolate from that they don't temper it?
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:00 PM   #16
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I hate tempering!!! If I could buy pre-tempered, high quality liquid chocolate then I would! Has anyone bought a tempering machine? I would love to buy one but at 350 (roughly $644) dollars I feel it a bit on the expensive side!

Any suggestions as to where to buy a 'home' machine rather than an industrial one? I guess it may even be worth buying from the US if the price is right. As I do love my truffle making, and want to experiment a lot more with chocolate!
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jasonr View Post
As far as I am aware, all commercially available chocolate is tempered. I don't think it's possible to buy chocolate that hasn't been tempered. It's just part of the process any manufacturer goes through when they turn their chocolate into bars / squares / blocks, etc...

Where are you buying your chocolate from that they don't temper it?
Hi JasonR,

Good to talk with you again. How is the demi-glace going - I`m sure you`ve realised by now that it is a question of experiencing what is happening in the pan rather than a message. All you needed was practice and confidence and you`ve clearly got that!

Re. chocolate. Is all chocolate labelled as tempered chococlate. I`m not sure that it is in the UK or EU. It may be so in the USA but even then I`m not convinced. In the UK one tends to buy chocolate on the basis of cocoa solids and cost rather than having been previously tempered. It is only after trying to use it that one discovers the need to temper it as it "clouds and blooms" on standing after use. Yes, there is pre-tempered chocolate available, but, IIRC, it still needs to be melted to a specific temperature.

Tempering is a process which redistributes the different fat particles (when I was a student it was a case of fat A and fat b) so that the chocolate when cold and set is hard and glossy and has "snap". Now, in my experience, you can do this with different dark chocolates (not milk). The critical point is the raising, lowering and raising of temperature to redistribute the fats so that when the fats sets a good, hard, glossy set around the chocolate is achieved.

To asume that a bar of chocolate will give a good gloss and snap when used by you is not enough. It has been tempered for sale which is not the same as being tempered for use by you in another product.

All the best,
Archiduc
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:16 PM   #18
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Arch, the demiglace went great. I've since moved on to other things, but all the suggestions were helpful.

I think you're a little confused on the tempering issue.

Firstly, I guarantee you that milk chocolate can be tempered. I can open up about four or five books on my shelf that will say the same thing, including two professional pastry textbooks. Even white chocolate can be tempered. Bo Friberg in the Professional Pastry Chef goes on about how to temper white and milk chocolate. Pierre Herme, one of the best pastry chefs in the world, specifically instructs you to temper your milk chocolate in his own books.

I can personally attest to tempering milk chocolate with the exact same technique I use for dark chocolate, and it has the same effects. I could never do certain things without tempering my milk chocolate,

Secondly, I'm really quite sure that all chocolate, no matter who manufactures it, is tempered when you buy it. It has nothing to do with labeling, as there's no need to label chocolate tempered or untempered. This is a given. I'm not sure what you mean by "tempered for sale" versus "tempered for use in another product".

As I said, all commercially available chocolate that I have ever heard of is tempered when you buy it. If you melt it, it gets knocked out of temper, and so has to be tempered again if you want to use it in an application that requires certain characteristics of tempered chocolate.

Some chocolate may have different characteristics and may require some slight variances in temperature control when tempering, but all chocolate, ultimately, can be tempered.

What you may be confused by is the existence of certain chocolate products (typically I think known as plastic chocolate) that have many of the characterstics of tempered chocolate, without requiring any tempering on melting. I believe this is done by substituting some vegetable oil for some of the cocoa butter, or otherwise changing the composition of the chocolate. But the end product is not really chocolate anymore. Maybe that's what you're thinking of?
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr View Post
Arch, the demiglace went great. I've since moved on to other things, but all the suggestions were helpful.

I think you're a little confused on the tempering issue.

Firstly, I guarantee you that milk chocolate can be tempered. I can open up about four or five books on my shelf that will say the same thing, including two professional pastry textbooks. Even white chocolate can be tempered. Bo Friberg in the Professional Pastry Chef goes on about how to temper white and milk chocolate. Pierre Herme, one of the best pastry chefs in the world, specifically instructs you to temper your milk chocolate in his own books.

I can personally attest to tempering milk chocolate with the exact same technique I use for dark chocolate, and it has the same effects. I could never do certain things without tempering my milk chocolate,

Secondly, I'm really quite sure that all chocolate, no matter who manufactures it, is tempered when you buy it. It has nothing to do with labeling, as there's no need to label chocolate tempered or untempered. This is a given. I'm not sure what you mean by "tempered for sale" versus "tempered for use in another product".

As I said, all commercially available chocolate that I have ever heard of is tempered when you buy it. If you melt it, it gets knocked out of temper, and so has to be tempered again if you want to use it in an application that requires certain characteristics of tempered chocolate.

Some chocolate may have different characteristics and may require some slight variances in temperature control when tempering, but all chocolate, ultimately, can be tempered.

What you may be confused by is the existence of certain chocolate products (typically I think known as plastic chocolate) that have many of the characterstics of tempered chocolate, without requiring any tempering on melting. I believe this is done by substituting some vegetable oil for some of the cocoa butter, or otherwise changing the composition of the chocolate. But the end product is not really chocolate anymore. Maybe that's what you're thinking of?
Hi Jason,

I knew you would master the sauce! There is a point when teaching, as I discovered, when one has to butt out and leave the person to explore, taste and develop their competence and confidence! In other words, one has to turn one`s back and leave them to it them to make decisions as to flavour and consistency!

Now, stop being so saucy!

This is a worldwide messageboard, composed of people from different countries, incomes, abilities and financial positions which will determine whether they buy their chocolate from a corner shop, deli or specialist supplier; a bar of Bournville, couverture, Supercook Chocolate (milk or plain) or Hershey`s bars.

You are right to say that all chocolate will have been tempered prior to selling and will therefore keep within the sell by date (in the shop) and not "bloom". Prior to selling, chocolate will have been tempered to enable it to remain stable without the creation of "bloom" whilst it sits on the shop shelf.

In the UK, I could go into many shops, supermarkets, delis, etc., and buy chocolate or products labelled as chocolate as per EC regulations which are great and flavoursome and some which are poor for use in making chocolates insofar as they lack the potential "snap" (after tempering) of a good chocolate, but are used by just melting and used for dipping.

AFAIK - it is possible to buy "pre-tempered chocolate" in the UK.

Finally, it depends, to some degree, as to regulations in the USA and EC as to what constitutes milk and white chocolate. I may be wrong, but I suspect there may be a difference and labelling may not clarify this difference when using the learned texts to which you refer.

All the best,
Archiduc
P.S. Check the law and debate re. chocolate in the EU!
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