• Chocolate Tempering 101. Posted on July 01, 2013

    Chocolate Tempering 101. Many of you have been asking, "WHY temper" "How do I temper" "What is tempering", and we are here to help you answer these questions! Tempering is the process of melting and cooling chocolate at precise time and temperature so it will be smooth and shiny when it sets (on, say, a chocolate-covered strawberry or truffle) and have a nice "snap" when you bite into it. Chocolate that isn't tempered is often gray, streaky and soft. Tempering is key for making beautiful chocolate-dipped goodies and other candies. Candy-making products called "melts" let you skip the tempering, but they are NOT real chocolate: They're usually made with partially hydrogenated oil in place of cocoa butter (and these cannot be tempered!). See photo for an example of pretzels dipped in tempered chocolate compared to pretzels dipped in un-tempered (just melted) chocolate. Only a few minutes (and degrees) difference makes a dramatic visual impact!! TIPS: Keep your chocolate and tools dry. If water or steam gets into the bowl while you're melting, the chocolate will seize up into a stiff, grainy paste. Finely chop your chocolate. This helps it melt quickly and evenly. If you're chopping a big, thick block, use a large serrated knife. Avoid standard chocolate chips. They're made with less cocoa butter than bar chocolate, so they don't melt as easily. Good-quality bar chocolate (called couverture chocolate) is your best bet. Test your temper. Spread a small amount of melted chocolate on a plate; the chocolate should harden in a few minutes and remain shiny. If it doesn't, repeat the tempering process. Reuse your chocolate. Let your leftover tempered chocolate harden, then cover and store it at room temperature. You can re-temper it up to two more times. For faster and easier tempering (with perfect results) consider using a chocolate tempering machine instead of hand tempering! Compare different machines here: http://www.chocolatetemperingmachines.com/compare/chocolate-tempering-machines I hope this answers some of your questions! thanks to: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/just-the-facts-how-to-temper-chocolate/index.html picture thanks to: hhttp://www.bringtoboil.com/2009/08/the-shiny-science-of-chocolate/

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