I know this is not a chocolate board, but I was hoping someone might know the answer to this. Is it necessary to temper chocolate bars (ex: the gourmet bars you buy at the grocery store) if you melt them to use them for say dipping strawberries.
I know if you use couvature chocolate you need to temper and if you use chips you do not, but I am not sure about processed bars.
Any help is appreciated.
If they are pure chocolate, yes, they should be tempered. Otherwise, the chocolate will bloom. You can make ganache, will prevent bloom, but the covering on the berries will be softer-delicious-but softer.
You don't temper the chocolate bars that you buy at the grocery store. Like JoAnnB said, if it has milk, lecithin, etc. in it, you can't temper it. You're good with just melting the processed bars and dipping your strawberries.
What do you mean by Tempering chocolate?
JoannB- What do you mean by chocolate "bloom"? I have NEVER herd of that.
In order for real chocolate to be nice and shiny when removed from a mold/packaging, to have that nice "snap" when you break it, and to feel smooth in your mouth, it must be "in temper" when poured. In temper means that the cocoa butter crystals are all lined up nice and neat so that there are no white streaks in the chocolate. Chocolate that is not in temper will be dull and "dusty" in appearance--it will have cocoa butter "bloom" on the surface.
To temper the chocolate, you melt it to a temperature well above "temper" (but not hot enough to burn or scorch it) and then cool it while stirring it and adding more (cooler) chocolate to prevent it from solidifying. After that, you can warm it back up to a temperature that keeps it flowing nicely. The temperatures of "temper" for dark, milk, and white chocolate are all different. Chocolate in good temper will, when finger swiped across a piece of parchment paper, cast over (get dull) from the edges to the center in a short period of time as it sets up.
There is more to this, but it gets to the basics of bloom and tempering.
Here's a link that a chocolatier passed on to me. http://www.sweetc.com/Recipes/temperin.htm I've always been intimidated by the tempering process but some of these seem quite easy.
Hope this helps!
Wow thats alot of great information! Thanks ALOT!!