January 11, 2006
I am considering purchasing a temperer, The Hilliard Little Dipper. However, through a conversation with pastrychef.com, they suggested to save money that I hand temper the chocolate and use a melter/warmer to hold the temper. The price of the melter/warmer is $829. The temperer is $1,200. The $1,200 is really not a concern for me, but I find their suggestion interesting. I know how to hand temper chocolate, so their suggestion is a possibility and seems logical.
Has anyone taken this approach, using a high-tech warmer as part of their tempering approach? pastrychef.com has a melter/warmer they describe as follows below. I don't know why this wouldn't work. I just need a solution that yields reliable and consistent results; I'm willing to pay more for a true temperer if it yields this. Thoughts? Thanks! Zach
"Designed with the ability to melt and hold chocolate at a consistent temperature. These highly accuracy warmers are thermostatically controlled with a temperature range from 5-65 degrees Celsius (40-150 F). Specifically designed with the heating element mounted on both the bottom and sides for a gently uniform heat."
Personally, I would vote for the effector...It's been my experience that any rotating bowl system will inevitable incorporate air into your chocolate. Here's a link to another thread on the topic that has some good information:
August 1, 2006
September 30, 2004
Keep in mind that the Hilliard isn't a true temperer - it's a controlled melter. That doesn't mean it doesn't work well (I have 3 of them), but it's not going to temper your product - you have to begin with tempered product in order for it to work, or start with untempered product and add seed to it. They work very well if you've progressed past the kitchen, small volume stage, but haven't progressed to the point of needing an aasted large capacity tempering unit that handles thousands of pounds / hour. I also have a number of the melter/warming units you mention, and they work exactly on the same premise as the little dipper, with the exception that there's no possibility of recovering a chocolate that's lost it's temper (you can't add seed to this one and 'fix' your chocolate). These don't melt the chocolate as quickly as the hilliard, and they don't handle near the volume, but they work well for small amounts if you don't need to go from block to melted chocolate in a hurry. I should also mention that the agitation provided by the hilliard is a critical component in maintaing temper for longer periods of time, and that rotation doesn't incorporate any visable amount of air. When attached to a chain driven device to enrobe, you may get some air, but that's no different than any other enrober and is unavoidable.
January 11, 2006
January 11, 2006
Yes, but with the melter/effector you have to first have properly tempered chocolate, which is the real challenge. Hand tempering is fun, any good chocolatier should know the process and understand the feel of tempered chocolate, but in terms of efficiency, we can't really operate on hand-tempered chocolates simply because the process is not reliable. If every time I hand tempered I could rely on the results, I might continue at this stage (the results of course are related to experience). Additionally, the melter I'm looking at costs around $850, as most good ones seem to. The temperer just $400 more. I've talked to the owner of Hilliard and have talked to some references who own their machines. The Little Dipper is a temperer, and the scraper moves slowly as to not incorporate air into the chocolate. When I hand temper (using seeding), I am agitating the chocolate quite vigorously from time to time to encourage the V-form crystals to form which to some extent must incorporate some degree of air into the chocolate, but I've never had a problem with that. Thanks for all the great feedback and opinions. I'd like to discuss this even more.