can anyone please tell me the best way to temper chocolate im having a nightmare ... have tried using a seed of choc...have tried using a marble slab...still cant do it !!!! and has anyone got a laser thermometer ????
It really depends on the chocolate you are using. All brands are different. You can use a regular thermometer. Laser are awesome but will cost you. I take my one brand of chocolate to 117* over a double boiler on medium heat and melt. Take off heat and wipe your bowl down. Start seeding by placing smaller bits of the same chocolate and let each handfull dissolve as you go. Always stir. This will take a while to bring the temp down. Keep seeding until you have reached the proper temp. HTH.
I like to temper using the microwave (no worries about water vapor getting into the chocolate and causing it to seize up). I got a newsletter from Squires Kitchen the other day with this great write-up, so I saved it in case anyone asked.
How to temper chocolate: Marks microwave method
This method is a great alternative to traditional tempering techniques, but as all microwaves are different, it may take you more than once to get it right so take your time.
You will need:
Good quality chocolate
Plastic bowl suitable for use in the microwave
Plastic or metal spoon or spatula
Hairdryer or heat gun
Palette knife or offset spatula
Digital thermometer (optional you can still temper chocolate without one) or candy thermometer
Place two thirds of the amount of chocolate that you are going to temper into a bowl; the third will be used later in the tempering process. You will need to use a microwavable plastic bowl as porcelain or glass will become too hot.
Place the bowl into the microwave ad heat for 30 seconds on half power. Stir the chocolate and then return it to the microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat this as many times as required until the chocolate has melted. Dont be tempted to rush this stage of the process as the chocolate may burn if heated too long.
You will notice that the chocolate will start to melt slowly. When the chocolate has melted completely it should be around 45°C (113-118 F).
Add the remaining third of the chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir gently (dont over-stir the chocolate). The cold chocolate will melt into the warm chocolate, lowering the temperature slightly.
The chocolate will become thicker and the cool chocolate may not melt completely. If this is the case, use a hairdryer or heat gun to slowly melt the chocolate, stirring at the same time. Take care not to overheat the chocolate. Just before all the chocolate has melted stop heating it and let it finish melting by itself.
Test the temperature of the chocolate to make sure you have tempered it correctly. If you have a thermometer the temperatures should be as follows:
Dark chocolate 31°C--88-90F
Milk chocolate 29°C--84-86F
White chocolate 27°C--81-83F
You can also check that the chocolate is correctly tempered by dipping the end of a palette knife in the chocolate and setting it aside. If it starts to set in a few minutes then the chocolate is tempered and ready to use. If the chocolate doesnt set then its still too hot.
If the chocolate is too hot, more cool chocolate needs to be added in order to cool it down.
When you are working with the tempered chocolate it may begin to cool and thicken. Use the hairdryer or heat gun again to heat the chocolate just a little. Check the temperature as before with the thermometer or palette knife.
I have a wonderful heating pad that has 3 settings on it--lo, med., hi. I put it inside a 2 gallon zip lock bag and put my tempered chocolate in the plastic bowl on that. On hi, it keeps about a pound of dark chocolate at 88-90 degrees, on med. it works great for milk chocolate, and on low it keeps white chocolate at the right temp.
Oh, and if you're going to do this a lot, a laser thermometer is a really good investment.
thanks very much ill have a go....im due to go on a slatterys course soon...cant wait def thnking of investing in a laser therm....where do you but large sheets of acetate from to do wrapping do you know?? i know squires do it but its quite expensive i think!!