Originally Posted by siobhanbrown
Oh God this confused me. I went ahead and added the seed until it got low enough in temp, but I wouldn't think that the chocolate would, just sitting there, rise in temp. Do I have to continually add more seed as I dip? Nowhere I got info from mentioned that, they said heat to required temp (depending on type of chocolate) and then start adding the seed to cool. I cooled it to between 88 and 90 (i used dark chocolate). It did thicken as I dipped, but I microwaved it for 5 second bursts to thin it out a bit.
After you add the seeds (using 2 parts melted, one part seed) you have to keep chocolate warm to dip for any length of time.
Think: chocolate is at 88 and room/food is at 65, it WILL cool off. So use a double boiler with the water in the bottom from the tap at 92F. Use enough water to surround the bottom of the chocolate container, to keep it at the right temperature for as long as you need. Stir the chocolate gently to keep it all at a constant temperature. Traditionally, dippers used bare hands and that was enough heat to keep the tempered chocolate flowing. YES they do a hospital-type scrubdown first...
Every time you reheat in the microwave, add some more seeds. The microwave heats in a different way than the double boiler, it will melt your seeds a lot faster.
The other thing to remember is that real chocolate baking chips are different than professional grade coating chocolate.
Baking chips are intended to be melted once in the oven, and to then more or less set up inside the cookie or cake or whatever. So they have more cocoa and more sugar (cheap) and less cocoa butter (expensive). And that makes them harder to dip with, because the cocoa butter is what makes the dipping chocolate flow smoothly. You could add 1 ounce of real cocoa butter to 24 ounces real chocolate baking chips and you would see a difference in the results.
Your chocolate disks might be something better than baking chips. Look at the nutritional information box for fat content. If cocoa butter is the only fat ingredient, then higher fat % means more cocoa butter and therefore easier dipping. You can add a small amount of cocoa butter as well.
I personally struggled with this for years, until I spent the $$$ on Callebaut broken-up block. Then I saw a whole block with the label, it had the seeding explained in a graph, that's how I knew it was professional grade. WOW what a difference...