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Tempering Chocolate

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I want to try and make chocolate cigarellos by pouring the chocolate on the counter and scraping it the only problem is I don't know how to temper the chocolate. Do I do it by melting it to different temperatures depending on what chocolate it is or do I need to do it on a marble slab.
post #2 of 11
You have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. Type "tempering chocolate" into any search engine and you'll have more info than you'll know what to do with.
post #3 of 11
I recently tried cigarellos - wanted to do it the scraping way but finally went with nati's tutorial. Will try the other way again just for fun.

Anyway this is what I read about tempering chocolate from Cake Decorating Tricks by Sue McMahon"

Melt 2/3 of quantity of chocolate. Finely chop remaining and stir into the melted chocolate to seed it. Stir until all has melted. Dip the end of a knife into the chocolate to check if it's tempered. If it is, it will set very quickly. If it's not tempered, then stir in a little more and test again.

Good luck.
Cake...it's not just for breakfast anymore!
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Cake...it's not just for breakfast anymore!
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post #4 of 11
post #5 of 11
Hi icon_smile.gif

I recently tried tempering chocolate when I enrobed my truffles this past Christmas. I am in no way an expert, far from it. But here's the way I did it:

1) Heat 2/3 of your chocolate over a double boiler (I used a heat proof bowl over a pan of water) to 115 F (dark choc) and 110 F ( milk choc).

2) Take your bowl off the heat and start to put the remaining 1/3 chopped chocolate into the melted chocolate bit by bit to bring the temp down to 82 F (dark) and 80 F (milk).

3) Put your bowl back over the double boiler and bring the temp back up to 88-90 F (dark) and 86-88 F (milk). Keep your eye on this and I take it off the double boiler just short of the target temp as the chocolate will still increase in temperature.

Some notes:

I have also seen this done where you skip step 2, add the 1/3 of your chocolate and drop the temp to 90 F (dark) and keep it there. I've never tried it, but the pictures I've seen look like they are in temper.

I have, and still struggle with keeping my chocolate in temper. One way that seemed to help this was to put foil on an electric pad and put my bowl on that. My metal bowl worked better than my glass bowl. Be careful though, heating pads can vary in heat intensity, so keep an eye on your temp.

If you see that your chocolate is out of temper (dull finish, or streaky) you will need to go through the tempering process again. This is as much an art as it is a science, so if things don't seem to work out, don't get discouraged. I'm still struggling with it.

Hope that helped and sorry if I talked too much. icon_redface.gif
post #6 of 11
What I'd the purpose of tempering? Is this a silly question?
Lyndi M.
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Lyndi M.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyndim

What I'd the purpose of tempering? Is this a silly question?



That's not a silly question at all lyndim icon_smile.gif

I only have limited knowledge (so if anyone wants to help me out please do!), but tempering chocolate causes the chocolate to form in a particular desired crystalline structure that gives the best shine, "snap" when you break it, and optimal melting point (close to body heat).

Not tempering or improperly tempering will affect these qualities. You can see this when your chocolate goes out of temper, it will be streaky. The idea with the "snap" of the chocolate can be seen when you randomly melt chocolate down and start dipping. I've done this before and I can tell a difference in the texture...it seems softer. The other issue is that out of temper chocolates melt at lower heats than tempered chocolates. I've read where they melt in your hand, however, my hands are very cold and I never experienced this.

I hope that helps.
post #8 of 11
Klutzy baker, thanks, it helps a lot!
Lyndi M.
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Lyndi M.
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post #9 of 11
I've been doing some research on tempering, and I'm confused.

The Ghirardelli website says to heat the chocolate to 110-115 degrees, then cool down to 95-100:
http://www.ghirardelli.com/bake/chocolate_tempering.aspx

Country Kitchen SA says to melt the chocolate, then heat to 86-90 degrees.:
http://www.countrykitchensa.com/ckideas/ckidea.aspx?Occ1Id=54&ideaId=240&idea=1055

The Lindt Chocolate website uses the Celsius scale, and when I converted the recommended temperatures to Fahreneheit, 48*C= 118*F.
http://www.lindt.com/ca/swf/eng/connoisseurs/recipes/how-to-temper-chocolate/

Some sources recommend heating the chocolate to a certain temperature, then cooling to another temperature. Others don't.

What works best for those of you who have mastered this process?
Thanks.
post #10 of 11
Everyone I have ever taken a chocolate class from teaches to heat it up, then cool it down. The actual temperature depends on the chocolate. Milk chocolate has a lower melting point from dark, and different brands also have different points.

One method for cooling is using a piece of marble and moving it around to cool it. This is called "tabling' the chocolate. I've never learned that method.

The other method is seeding. You heat the chocolate up, then and solid chocolate in to melt, which will bring the temperature down. I usually seed down to near what I need, then just work with it to cool it the rest of the way by mixing. Generally speaking, I don't have a problem getting my chocolate in temper with this method.
post #11 of 11
Thanks, dchockeyguy. I think the seeding method sounds straightforward enough for me.
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