3 Jan 2014: The Forum is currently in read-only made while we update to a new version of the Seventy% website and forum.

The forum will be back with a faster, simplified and up to date website in the next two months.

Please consider registering
guest

Log In

Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
Topic RSS
Please give me an idiot's guide to tempering !
September 19, 2009
3:24 pm
Katisha
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
April 15, 2008
Offline

I have just resumed chocolate making (just for fun at home) after not doing any for about a year.

I remember why I stopped!

I just can’t seem to get a reliable temper that is runny enough to dip with any success. I only want to do it in small batches and as soon as I laboriously reach the right temperature and start dipping my truffles, the chocolate starts to thicken up and I end up with enormous mis-shapen pieces, which while tasting lovely are not satisfying to look at and which often have not coated the whole truffle.

Can any one help? Does anyone have a sure-fire technique for a temper that will last more than 3 minutes?

September 22, 2009
1:14 pm
les
carmarthen, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
June 11, 2007
Offline

Hi

for small batches i use the microwave. Point to remember is that the chocolate will continue to “cook” after removal.

I use callets placed in a bowl microwaved for 1 minute, take out and stir, then if not melting sufficiently balst for another 30 seconds and stir. examine the consistency of the chocolate and keep heating up in reduced times ie. 15, 10, 5 secs until most of the chocolate has melted.

remember it will continue to melt after.

you should be after chocolate of a consistency that will leave “worm cast” on top.
It may be finished off with blast from a hairdryer/ heat gun, use this also whilst working with the chocolate to maintain temperature.

Dip pallet kinfe in the chocolate ,A good tempered chocolate will leave a smooth blemish free flatish finish set within 10 mins.

Ive tried a digital thermometer and find that i am too concerned about getting the chocolate at the right temp. rather than what the chocolate is actually doing.

Keep practising until you get the “feel” of what the choc is doing.

les

les
September 23, 2009
9:34 pm
Katisha
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
April 15, 2008
Offline

Thanks Les. You are right in that I spend a lot of time worrying about the temperature, which does seem at odds with how the chocolate feels. By the time it has reached the right temperature it often seems too thick to get any decent dipping done!

But then if it takes ten minutes to see if you have got tempered chocolate on a palette knife, aren’t you in danger of it having gone out of temper by that time?

Sorry – daft novice questions!

September 25, 2009
2:01 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline

quote:


Originally posted by Katisha

I have just resumed chocolate making (just for fun at home) after not doing any for about a year.

I remember why I stopped!

I just can’t seem to get a reliable temper that is runny enough to dip with any success. I only want to do it in small batches


This is your problem. Tempered chocolate in small batches very rapidly solidifies, if you’ve not got it in a controlled temperer. The reason for this is simple: the process of tempering is in fact about bringing it to that crystallisation point/temperature where everything will solidify into a single crystal phase, which happens right as that phase begins to form, i.e. right when things are beginning to solidify anyway. Once the process starts a “runaway” effect takes over: greater crystal formation = faster solidification, etc. etc. That’s exactly what is wanted: rapid crystallisation that doesn’t give any other phase a chance to form.

quote:


and as soon as I laboriously reach the right temperature and start dipping my truffles, the chocolate starts to thicken up and I end up with enormous mis-shapen pieces, which while tasting lovely are not satisfying to look at and which often have not coated the whole truffle.

Can any one help? Does anyone have a sure-fire technique for a temper that will last more than 3 minutes?


The solutions are these:

1: work at warp speed – can be practical if your batch size is small
2: get a temperer
3: temper larger batches for dipping. Usually this is the most practical option, and it’s harmless, because if your chocolate is in temper what you’ll have left at the end of the process is a lump of tempered chocolate, perfectly usable again. You can always remelt and retemper later if needed.

It might go without saying, but also avoid working in very cool kitchens or with chilled centres unless you must (e.g. the centres aren’t solid enough to hold their shape unless chilled), because all this accelerates the process and creates additional technical problems.

BTW,

But then if it takes ten minutes to see if you have got tempered chocolate on a palette knife, aren’t you in danger of it having gone out of temper by that time?

tempered chocolate will go solid on a palette knife a LOT faster than in 10 minutes, at least with a reasonable amount (i.e. not too much). It should take a matter of seconds to know what the outcome will be.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
September 25, 2009
5:13 pm
Katisha
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
April 15, 2008
Offline

Thank you for taking the time to post all that – much appreciated.

Having looked at the somewhat prohibitive (for a non-pro) price of chocolate temperers, I was wondering if the smallest one of these new melting tanks from Keylink would be the way to go?

http://www.keychoc.com/melting-tanks.php

September 26, 2009
9:25 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 283
Member Since:
October 13, 2009
Offline

quote:


Originally posted by Katisha

Thank you for taking the time to post all that – much appreciated.

Having looked at the somewhat prohibitive (for a non-pro) price of chocolate temperers, I was wondering if the smallest one of these new melting tanks from Keylink would be the way to go?

http://www.keychoc.com/melting-tanks.php


My suspicion is no. 4 Kg is still a very great deal of chocolate for the non-pro, and in the much smaller amounts I suspect you’re thinking of the unit probably won’t perform as well. The problem is temperature uniformity. With a reasonably large amount of chocolate it isn’t hard to keep the chocolate at the same temperature, but when the amount becomes truly small (say, 1/2 kilo or less) then inevitable variations due to ambient air versus melter temperatures, convection, position of the heater and temperature sensor within the unit, etc. take over. At that point you’re essentially as well simply doing without.

Don’t forget that these units are still targetted for the professional market, hence not designed with home-user capacities in mind. It would be quite difficult, in fact, to design a unit for very low volume precisely because of all the effects I’ve mentioned. It would need more sensors, very accurate and extremely even heaters, and a lot of other features that would actually increase the price far over the pro units.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
September 27, 2009
10:28 pm
Katisha
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
April 15, 2008
Offline

OK thanks – that all makes sense. And saves me money!

I shall just have to practise and get quicker!

October 19, 2009
11:34 am
ChocHeart
Brighton, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
August 25, 2008
Offline

Hi Katisha
You could go for the rev 2 by chocovision, about 405 pounds at vantage house plus vat, or you may be able to get one cheap on ebay. They are mostly for dipping things in, but could also mould a bar if do carefully and half a mould at a time. I started with one, and on days when you just can’t get to temper or the temperature is too low/high the rev 2 seems to work like magic. They do c500g a time, so perfect for switching flavours, trying things, doing small batches. THey temper automatically (but no substitute for learning to master chocolate by hand, just a lot less frustrating!!!).

Emma

October 19, 2009
7:24 pm
Katisha
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
April 15, 2008
Offline

Thanks Emma – yes I have looked at those machines online loads of times but I don’t think I can justify £400 plus as just a hobby chocolate maker… Much as I would love one.

I took the advice above last week and left the thermometers in the drawer and melted my chocolate in the microwave and then attempted to go by the feel of it. I had much better results! I also kept the bowl on a heated pad (one of those microwaveable hot wheat bags) and deputised my 10-yr old to keep stirring while I dipped the truffles. Much better! Thanks all!