Tempering Chocolate

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kyles

Head Chef
Joined
Dec 13, 2003
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1,181
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UK
I notice in Audeo's brilliant and comprehensive answer to the truffle question she mentions coating truffles in tempered chocolate.

I glaze over whenever I see instructions on how to temper chocolate, which to me make as much sense as quadratic equations and long division.

Can Audeo, or some other smart cookie give me the definitive dummies description as to how to carry out the mysterious task???
 

scott123

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
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403
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USA,NewJersey
Tempering is inherently complicated. The actual steps one follows are pretty simple, but the reasoning behind the steps involves some pretty big words. Does the word 'crystallization' glaze you over? :)
 

kyles

Head Chef
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Dec 13, 2003
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:) I'm not a complete dummy and words over three syllables are fine as long as they are typed v...e....r...y slowly!!!

LOL, give it a try scott123!
 

kyles

Head Chef
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Dec 13, 2003
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UK
That microwave method is interesting. I don't like double boilers, although am getting better at managing them., i will give that a try tomorrow!
 

Audeo

Head Chef
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Sep 1, 2004
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Scott is certainly right about the complexities of the science of tempering! But it can be fairly easily done. Marmalady has provided Jacques Torres' (my hero!) method, that I have never tried. Instead, my method is the old fashioned one.... But I firmly, firmly believe that measuring the temperature of the chocolate along the way is absolutely critical to tempering. Otherwise, you're just guessing...and that won't produce optimal results.

And if you're afraid of water or vapor from steam getting into the chocolate (water droplets caused by violent boiling in the bottom of a double boiler are much more likely than steam), then simply use a larger-walled bowl for the top of the double-boiler and place a tea towel between the bottom pan and the bowl...just be sure the towel cannot be touched and ignited by flames. My cooktop is ceramic, so it's a lot safer and the dripping water, if any, is not a concern either.

I've truly never had a failure using this method, but know that I take my dear sweet time in doing it:

Chop chocolate blocks into small pieces by chunking with a knife.

Fill bottom of double boiler so the hot water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan (I use a pyrex bowl for the upper pan). Do not let the water boil in the bottom of the boiler, but SIMMER! Stir the chocolate while melting to ensure even heating. Try to avoid creating air bubbles. Heat chocolate to 120 F. to 122 F.

Replace the hot water in the bottom of the boiler with 70 F. water, no cooler. Stir until the chocolate cools to between 79 F. and 80 F. It may occasionally be necessary to add additional cool water to the bottom of the double boiler.

Now replace the 70 F. water with warm water (about 92 F. to 93 F.) and raise the temperature of the chocolate to between 88 F. and 89 F. for dark chocolate or 84 F. to 86 F. for milk chocolate or white cocoa butter coating (white chocolate). Maintain the appropriate temperature while dipping. If the chocolate exceeds 90 F., it will be necessary to repeat the tempering process.

Yeah, on second thought, Marmalady's posting sure seem a lot easier!!! I guess I always seem to opt for the hard road not because I must, but because I can. My own personal therapy....!

Good luck, kyles!!! (Whatcha making?)
 

marmalady

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
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USA,SouthCarolina
I taught myself the microwave method (which is funny, because I am not generally a 'microwave' person, lol), because I could never melt/temper chocolate over water - seemed no matter what I did, it seized on me, or didn't temper.

Using Jacques' technique, I've only 'failed' once, and that was with the notoriously temperamental white chocolate!
 

kyles

Head Chef
Joined
Dec 13, 2003
Messages
1,181
Location
UK
i thought I would try dipping a batch of truffles instead of the chopped nuts or cocoa method.

We'll see how adventurous I feel tomorrow!!!!! :P
 

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