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Old 04-04-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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To temper or not to temper that is the question

I love candied citrus peel. Recently after boiling in sugar syrup I soaked a batch in Grand Marnier for a week and I'm ready to dip in chocolate. Question: Tempering is really hit and miss with me, if I don't get it right will the storage time differ? What I mean to ask is does tempered chocolate increase the shelf life?

Thanks,


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Old 04-04-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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tempering chocolate doesn't change shelf life. What it does is (at the right temp) keeps it uniform, and it wont separate, leaving your chocolate looking funny.... they call it "bloomed". Tempering without a machine is pretty tricky, chocolate prefers to be tempered to about 86 degrees.... I think. I used to work in a chocolate shop but it's been about 9 years.
Keep in mind when it blooms it is not bad, nothing is wrong with it, it tastes no different. It's just not as pretty.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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Thank you!

You don't happen to know how long we can keep something dipped in chocolate in the fridge, do you? As for my citrus peels, they're candied and soaked in liquor, so I'd guess they could have a long life in my fridge and that I can't freeze them because of the chocolate. Do you think that's right?

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Old 04-05-2008, 07:34 PM   #4
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you really dont even need to refrigerate the chocolate if the citrus doesn't need to. It stays good as long as its contents.
Actually keeping it in the fridge may make the chocolate pick up other odors and make it taste funny. If you need to keep it I'd use the freezer, it just wont be pretty when thawed.
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by whole milk View Post
I love candied citrus peel. Recently after boiling in sugar syrup I soaked a batch in Grand Marnier for a week and I'm ready to dip in chocolate. Question: Tempering is really hit and miss with me, if I don't get it right will the storage time differ? What I mean to ask is does tempered chocolate increase the shelf life?

Thanks,

Hi Wholemilk,

1. If dipping candied peel in chocolate then it needs to be dry. If it is liquid then this liquid will leach into the chocolate and affect the ability of the chocolate to set or become hard. Consequently, you may need to dry out the liqueur soaked citrus peel in the oven first. Even then it may not work because it depends upon the recipe you`ve used to make the candied peel.

2. Not all chocolate needs to be tempered. The type of chocolate that needs to be tempered (must be) is COUVERTURE chocolate, most probabaly available from specialist shops, delis and NOT from the local supermarket.

3. If I remember the food science correctly, tempering is about melting, emulsifying and distributing the fat particles in chocolate so that they set within the chocolate and give a good gloss. If they do not set within the chocolate then they (the fat particles) come to the surface and cause "bloom" which spoils the appearance of the finished product - greyish/white or speckled surface. This makes the chocolates look old and stale.

4. It may be possible to buy blocks of tempered chocolate which you can use immediately, i.e., pre-tempered chocolate - don`t know of any suppliers or sources in the USA.

5. The chances are that a good quality plain chocolate bought in the supermarket only needs to be melted. Plain chocolate should not be heated above 50C/120F and milk chocolate not heated above 45C/110C.

6. Two things "kill" chocolate - moisture and excess heat. Chocolate is best melted in a clean, dry bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Never let any moisture get into the bowl. If you need to pick up the bowl, wrap the outside, top of the bowl in a teatowel and lift up sharply, then away from the pan. The teatowel will absorb moisture rising from the pan. Also, avoid using a microwave to melt chocolate.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:48 AM   #6
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4. It may be possible to buy blocks of tempered chocolate which you can use immediately, i.e., pre-tempered chocolate - don`t know of any suppliers or sources in the USA.
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.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:19 AM   #7
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Tempering is done to keep the sugar and fat molecules from separating which is what causes the bloom. I have always tempored by feel I learned it from the original owner of Rocky Mountain Choclate factory it's really simple to do. All you do is melt chocolate as usual then stir it while it cools this will keep the molecules from separating as it cools take a a small bit of chocolate and put it on your lips if it feels hot or warm it's not ready keep stirring, as soon as the chocolate feels really cool to the lip it's ready to dip. This is the only way I have ever done it it really works . Dont forget keep stirring slowly until it's ready.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
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Hello jpmcgrew,
You learned from the original owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? I worked for them under their master confectioner a few years back. I haven't ran into anyone that has worked with or for them before. How did you meet him?

Have a great day,
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
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Hello jpmcgrew,
You learned from the original owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory? I worked for them under their master confectioner a few years back. I haven't ran into anyone that has worked with or for them before. How did you meet him?

Have a great day,
I don't remember his name it was about 25 years ago in Durango, CO. I didn't work for him but he used to come to a little bakery in town called the Stone House Bakery it had to be the tiniest bakery ever. He would come in for our bagels and pastries. One day he came in and noticed my Tosca Bars had bloomed which was because I had no idea what I was doing with chocolate. So he took me to his factory just outside of town and he had little old ladies sitting there hand dipping their chocolates. That is where I learned to temper by feel no thermometers needed . So that's how I have done it ever since. Pretty cool dont you think?
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:56 PM   #10
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I used to work in a Rocky Mtn CHoc Factory!
Figured out how to scale the fudge recipe down to home sized. :)
I miss that job alot, luckily I am still friends with my former boss, she sends me pounds upon pounds of bloomed, packaged chocolates here and there.
I'm pretty convinced I want to get myself a little tempering machine.... I cant do it by look anymore. :(
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