OMG - I know I am going to be bashed for this question.
But, if you are just going to dip stuff in the chocolate or pour the chocolate over something, why is there a need to temper it? Why can't we just melt it and use it?
Please don't hate me, I love you guys.
Untempered chocolate doesn't always set hard and will sometimes only set mushy and untempered chocolate gets greyish splotches all over it called bloom which is unattractive. No one likes to temper chocolate but if you want a professional looking product its a necessary evil.
Thank you lizabu. I am more interested in quality rather than quantity. I don't mind taking the extra step to do something so the product is better. I just need to know why I am doing it. I've never had "gray spots" on my chocolate. Perhaps I have been tempering the chocolate without knowing I have done so but from the definition, that souds highly impossible.
I don't have a degree in this nor did I go to any "chef" school. I just love creating and baking and want to produce the most delicious and gourgeous product in my area.
Tempering maximizes the best crystalline structure of the chocolate. This will:
1. Give the chocolate a shine/sheen that one doesn't get when it's not in temper.
2. Make the chocolate 'snap' when it breaks.
3. Keep the chocolate from melting in one's hand as easily while eating a chocolate-dipped item.
Here's a link from one of my favorite sites:
If one doesn't use a high-quality, couverture chocolate, then I suppose tempering may not be worth it. However, if I'm going to the trouble of using a good-quality chocolate, then I'll at least try to get it in temper. (I'm still not very good at this! Hoping to save up for a tempering machine.)
dawncr, thanks SO much for that link! I finally understand it! I've asked a NUMBER of times for someone to explain tempering to me and the only thing I've gotten out of it is "You have to melt it and let it get hard again and then melt it." No one could explain why to me ....... Just "melt/harden/melt" which just seemed silly if there was no reason for it.
If the person giving the instruction doesn't understand it enough to explain it to the audience they are advising, then I'm going to question whether the advice is worth listening to.
This is a light-bulb day!! Thanks!
I love the cooking for engineers website! I happen to be an engineer, so I love the explanations and detail. Fits my nerd personality perfectly!
Oh and on a side note, there is a recipe for brownies on the site that is to die for! So good!