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Homemade Chocolate Candy Making Basics Part 2
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How To Temper Chocolate
Here are some things to consider before starting:
- Work in a cold room. Ideal room temperature should be between 65 to 68°F and no warmer for the chocolate to set properly.
- If you are to coat candies and fillings, be sure to bring their temperature to as close possible, between 70 to 75ºF especially when combining with other ingredients to obtain a smooth, glossy surface when hardened.
- To get the the possible gloss for molded chocolate when hardened, have the temperature of the molds as close as possible to the temperature of the room. Molds can be slightly warmed in warm water but make sure to thoroughly dry them before use. (make sure all your utensils are dry because your chocolate will seize even to the slightest moisture.)
Quick Temperature Guide for Easy Temper:
Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate White Chocolate
Melting 45°C to 50°C 45°C to 50°C 40°C to 45°C
Working 31°C to 32°C 29°C to 30°C 29°C to 30°C
Cooling 27°C to 28°C 25°C to 26°C 25°C to 26°C
quick temperature guide source: Nicolay Benoit, Belgian Chocolatier
Easy Temper Step-By-Step Guide :
1. Prepare the chocolates for melting by weighing the amount of chocolates to be used and chop it using serrated knife and chopping board when using chocolate blocks for easy melting. (Personally, I prefer shredding the chocolate blocks for easier handling and the chocolate melts evenly and quickly. Shredding is a lot easier and safer than chopping. But you can adopt your own personal style most convenient to you as you gain more experience.) Chop the chocolate as much as the same size for even melting.
2-a. Place the chopped or shredded chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl on top of the double boiler. Be careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water and water should stay at a simmer to avoid the chocolate from scorching. Be very careful also not to let a single drop of water into your melted chocolate. Because chocolate contains fat, any moisture that comes into contact will make your melted chocolate seize. When this happens, you have to start all over again. (Don't throw your seized chocolate because it can still be used in making chocolate candies that do not require tempering.) Remove the bowl from the double boiler when only a few of the chocolates remain unmelted. Stir with a silicon or rubber spatula to distribute the heat evenly melting the remaining unmelted chocolate in the process.
Check the temperature of the melted chocolate using the chocolate thermometer. Refer to the temperature guides for the ideal temperature of the different types of chocolate. It is better to have your chocolates melted under the working temperature rather than over the working temperature because you can always bring the temperature up by reheating the chocolate, while you have to start the melting process all over again when you go over the working temperature and makes the tempering process tedious. (This is the reason why only a few attempts to make their own chocolate. But once you get the hang of it, it will be easy as one, two, three.:)
2-b. When melting chocolates using the microwave, the ideal one is one with an 800 power wattage microwave, but to simplify this process, I just melt mine using medium power initially using 30 seconds increments to melt the chocolate and then use 15 seconds increment intervals in succession constantly checking after each increments to make sure that it is evenly melted and to avoid scorching the chocolate. I use this process on my shredded chocolates. U can use the one minute initial increments, then reduce to thirty seconds and then to 15 seconds increment intervals if using chopped chocolate until only a few pieces of unmelted chocolate remains. Take it out from the oven and use the silicon or rubber spatula to stir the melted chocolate. The stirring will evenly distribute the heat and melt the remaining unmelted chocolate pieces.
3. Add Flavors by adding cocoa butter, flavorings and ingredients and stir the chocolate and bring it to the ideal working temperature by checking the temperature using the chocolate thermometer. Keep the temperature constant by placing the bowl of melted chocolate on a pan filled with warm water or by using a warming machine if available.
How To Temper Chocolate: Quick Method
- Fill a large mixing bowl with at least 2 inches deep of cold water and add 3 to 4 pieces of ice cubes. Set aside.
- Fill the double boiler with water making sure the water will not touch the bottom of the top pan, if double boiler is not available, a saucepan will do. Bring to a simmer. Place 3/4 of the total amount of chocolate to be melted on top pan of the double boiler (on a heat proof bowl on top of the saucepan, if double boiler is not available). Stir the chocolate with a silicon or rubber spatula to evenly melt the chocolate and check if it already reaches the melting temperature. (refer to the quick melting guide).
- When it reaches the melting temperature, remove the pan or bowl from the double boiler or saucepan and add the remaining unmelted chocolate to the melted chocolate. Stir to evenly distribute the heat and melt all the chocolate. When all the chocolate have been melted place the pan or the bowl on top of the reserved cold-water bath.
- Stir until it reaches the working temperature, remove the bowl or pan from the water-bath when it reaches the working temperature. Be sure to wipe dry the bottom of the bowl so that no moisture will come in contact into the melted chocolate before pouring it into the individual chocolate molds or before using it for dipping, filling or enrobing.
- Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl so it will be easy for you to know if it needs to be reheated as necessary for the chocolate to stay in its working temperature. You may use the aid of a blower or dryer to bring the melted chocolate back to its working temperature.
Spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate on parchment paper and place in the refrigerator to set for about 3 minutes. You'll know that it is properly tempered if the chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks. Repeat the process if the result is otherwise. But if you are just starting, don't worry, your finished product will not be as glossy and lovely but the flavor is still the same. Indulge yourself and don't be discourage. You have all the time to try again. Always remember, practice makes perfect!