October 20, 2005
a question for the pro's amongst us. I have a question about tempering and subsequent cooling. I often temper my chocolate in a bowl. Assuming I have a perfect temper (a big assumption I know, but lets assume), why does it lose the temper as it cools in the bowl? If I used the chocolate to make a moulded choc, the surface of the moulded choc would remain in temper as it cooled. Why doesn't this happen to the chocolate in the bowl as it cools? Why can't I just keep using it out of the bowl even though the temperature has dropped below the "working temperature"?
July 13, 2006
I'm not sure how accurate my assumption will be but I'll give it a shot.
When you 'temper' chocolate you are creating an environment where beta crystals will multiply. When the cocoa butter starts crystalizing it encourages a chain reaction causing more cocoa butter to cyrstalize in that particular way..
A sideaffect of the crystalization process is that heat is generated when the cocoa butter crystalizes. If there is enough chocolate, it'll generate enough heat to untemper.
I will have a go at answering your question
Chocolate needs time, temperature and movement to be tempered your chocolate when in volume is taking to long to set the crystals are multiplying so when it sets you have a bloom
When you make bars, hollow figures, pralines we cast into thin layers (smaller amounts) this helps the heat to be removed quickly and the crystal structure will not change giving you a sharp snap and good gloss
I hope this helps and I am sure there will be a few others out there that may elaborate on this
October 20, 2005
Thanks for the responses. Putting the two together, it seems that the volume of chocolate in the bowl is what is causing the temper to be lost as it cools? In contrast, when some of the chocolate is used to mould with, the chocolate is able to cool at the correct rate and, therefore, remain in temper. Does this sound correct?
Would that be why when I make moulded chocolates (which remain in temper after unmoulding) and I pour the remaining chocolate out of the bowl into a big "chocolate button" the middle-upper surface sometimes loses its temper? Basically the "button" is too big to just be left to cool at the ambient room temperature?
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