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Tempering chocolate

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What is the easiest way to temper chocolate? I have read many different versions. One was to seed it with already tempered chocolate. I don't have any. I have a large block of chocolate so I am guessing it is untempered. Below is one of the ways that I found on CC by Karen421.

US temps:
Milk or White = 110 - 115
Bittersweet = 118 -120
Dark = 115 - 118

Double boiler method:Heat ¾ of chocolate to temp above, remove from double boiler & add rest of chocolate, cool to 84 . Put back on double boiler, heat to (milk or white 97 - bittersweet 88-91 - dark 85-87) cool and use!

She talks about adding the rest of the chocolate. She doesn't say to add tempered chocolate as in the seeding method. Has anyone done it this way? Is the an easy way to do it? I only have a candy thermometer to use.
Edited by cakestomuch - 10/17/13 at 4:15pm
post #2 of 21

If the block of chocolate you have is new, has shine and snap, and doesn't show "bloom", then the chocolate is tempered.

 

When I was doing chocolates, I invested in a tempering machine, so I've gotten lazy on hand tempering.  But, the easiest method I found is to melt 2/3 the amount of chocolate to 115-120 degrees for dark chocolate.  Add the remaining 1/3 (a large whole chunk makes it easier to fish out) and stir until the chocolate reaches 90 degrees, which is the working temp. Remove whats left of the seed chocolate.  As long as you keep the chocolate in the range of 88-90, you can continue to use it.  If it cools down, it can be reheated to that temp range, but if it goes higher, it will be out of temper. I used to hand temper 35 lbs of chocolate using this method, and it always worked very well. I've done small amounts in the microwave like this as well.

This method works if  the chocolate you start with is new, tempered and has not been used before.  If it has and is not in temper, then you need to melt to 115-120, add new chocolate to that, stir, cooling down to about 85, then reheating to 90.

Milk and white chocolate's working temp is 88, melting first to 110-115.  Dark is 90.  There can be a degree or two difference depending on chocolate brand, but as long as it's in the range you should be OK.  

Hope that makes sense.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
"If the block of chocolate you have is new, has shine and snap, and doesn't show "bloom", then the chocolate is tempered."

It is new, but seems to have a dull finish. It is a 6 pound block so I don't know if it has a snap.


"As long as you keep the chocolate in the range of 88-90, you can continue to use it.  If it cools down, it can be reheated to that temp range, but if it goes higher, it will be out of temper."

What do you mean that I can still use it when it is 88-90? I want to temper it and use it later for ganache and other things.


"This method works if  the chocolate you start with is new, tempered and has not been used before."

I don't understand this. I want to temper the chocolate. It is new and has not been used yet.

Can I use chocolate that has not been tempered to make ganache? Will it not work or be softer?
post #4 of 21
All chocolate that you buy in the store is tempered. You can tell because it is hard and solid at room temperature. You only need to temper chocolate if you are going to be coating things with the chocolate or making molded chocolate candies, and need them to be hard and solid at room temperature. Chocolate for ganache does not need to be tempered first. Just heat your cream, pour it over the chocolate, and whisk to melt it all. You can buy chocolate with added ingredients, called compound chocolate, that will re harden without needing to be tempered, such as Wilton candy melts, merken's chocolate coins, Guittard a'peels, etc. I like to use those when I'm doing a chocolate covering or molded chocolate candy decorations. I use a laser gun thermometer when I'm doing chocolate tempering, to quickly measure the temperatures. Follow the seeding directions in the first response you got.
post #5 of 21
So, in other words, your block of chocolate is tempered. Chop off the amount you want to melt and use for coating or molding, place 2/3 of it in your bowl, heat and melt, then add in the rest of the chocolate, stir until it's all melted and keep measuring the temperature until you get the 80-90 range.

The reason you must do this, is chocolate has a crystal structure. Melting it breaks the structure, but if you add some unmelted chocolate to add in, it lowers the temperature and re crystallizes the batch, hence becoming tempered chocolate.

Note that chocolate chips, especially cheap brands will be compound chocolate and will set without tempering. High quality chocolate is sold in bats because it won't hold a nice stiff "chip" shape without the added ingredients to keep it harder.

I hope this helps!
post #6 of 21

What is the easiest way to temper chocolate?   Answer - buy a tempering machine.

 

problem: it's expensive & everyone will be bugging you for more chocolates.

post #7 of 21

You beat me MB, that was going to be my answer.  Then you can go and have a coffee and read a magazine whilst the chocolate is doing its thing for you.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Tempering machine to expensive.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah!! icon_biggrin.gif It worked. I was able to temper the chocolate. I did the test and the block of chocolate was not tempered. Now I can make some ganache. I have made it before, but I always used Nestle or Giraldi chocolate chips.
post #10 of 21

cakestomuch:    tempering machines are expensive, but if you have a business need it's not TOO expensive.  It's only too expensive for most small operations or home bakers like me.

 

I had one for years till I wore it out. I haven't yet replaced it. I made hand dipped chocolate ganache truffles & lollipops exclusively out of Semi-Sweet chocolate.

 

Ganache does NOT get tempered.  cream & chocolate properly heated - easy peasy. 

post #11 of 21

Actually, ganache is much more stable when made with tempered chocolate.  Un-tempered can prevent it from setting.  A problem if making truffles.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
icon_sad.gif I'm upset now. I tempered as per instructions. I did the test where you put some on a piece of wax paper. Let it cool to room temp and it was firm and had a snap. I poured all of it on a pan that was lined with parchment paper. After it cooled to room temperature it became streaky and is somewhat soft. What happened?
post #13 of 21
What are you trying to do with it? Are you using it to make homemade dipped chocolates? I'm confused... Did you make ganache out of it, heating cream and pouring it over the chopped chocolate, or did you just melt the whole large bar and then pour it into a dish? I'm confused about what you're trying to do.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestomuch View Post

Yeah!! icon_biggrin.gif It worked. I was able to temper the chocolate. I did the test and the block of chocolate was not tempered. Now I can make some ganache. I have made it before, but I always used Nestle or Giraldi chocolate chips.

What test? Did you melt some and see if it would set up? That doesn't test if the bar was tempered, because you untempered the chocolate by melting it. Your bar is tempered, or else it would not be solid at room temperature. You don't need to temper chocolate before using it to make ganache.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
The first test I did was to cut off a small piece from the 6 pound block. I melted it in the microwave so it melted. I then put that on a piece of wax paper and let it come to room temperature. At room temp it was soft so that should mean that it is untempered. At least that is what I understand from reading. I then chopped the chocolate up in small pieces. I slowly melted this in a double boiler. I got the temp up to 115°. I then added the rest of the chocolate to cool it down. I did not have enough chopped to cool it to 84° so I added some Nestles chips (luckly I went to the store before starting this). I got it down to about 84° and then I warmed it up to 90°. While it was still warm I put a little on a piece of wax paper and let it cool. When cooled it was firm and had a snap to it so I thought it was tempered. I then poured the rest of the chocolate in a pan lined with wax paper. I let it cool while I did other things. When I came back it was streaky and 2 toned. I cut a piece off and it was soft. I then melted a small amount and put on wax paper. It stayed soft when cooled. I used the temps that I did because after reading different ways to do it a lot of people have different temps for the chocolate. The chocolate is 55% cacao.

I am trying to temper the chocolate so that I can use it when I need it to make ganache or truffles. I want it like it is a bag of chips from the store. Those are already tempered.
TIA
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