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Tempering chocolate at home.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to temper chocolate at home without a machine?
I have tried before with just a bain-marie and a thermometer but i think it would have to be alot more exact.
I have read that you have to take into account things like moisture in the air and room temperature. How true is that?
I'd appreciate any advise.
Thanks.

p.s. Please keep in mind i live in london which is always raining and cold. Cheers.
post #2 of 16
Yes, it's most certainly possible. Simply keep your instant read thermometer on hand and your senses. You have to feel your way through the chocolate, note the difference in temperature between different stages and learn to recognize when the chocolate is at body temperature (i.e. your finger should feel neither cold nor warm).
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post #3 of 16
Yup. Choc is very sensitive to temps and humidity. In the summer, when the r/h (rel. Humidty) is over 80% it's best not to even think about working with choc. Hot, steamy commercial kitchens are notoriously bad for working with chocolate too.

One of the best books on chocolate is C.I.A.'s pastry instructor Grewling, and it's called "chocolates and confections".. E#xtreme amount of information there, with several methods of tempering and alot of do's and don'ts.

The book is highly recommended.
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post #4 of 16
You need a therm for tempuring chocolate?????

Anything you can do in a kitchen at work you can do at home....

Not everyone has a marbel slab at home, it is nice though, but I use mine a lot so it pays off.

If you can get one or have one it's the best way to do it at home, you just start the double boiler like you said and then move over to your slab.

Works great and it's the same way I do it in the shop, just my slap is about 5 feet shorter at home,...lol
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
When you say slab, do you mean bring it up to temp then cool it on a slab?
what if i dont have a slab?

I have tried to put it on plastic then bend it to make a shape and cool in fridge.
post #6 of 16
Maybe if you told us what your trying to accomplish we could help.

Yes how I temper is I bring it up to temp then I pour out a little over half of my chocolate out on my slab and work if with a offset and a bench scrapper.

When the chocolate starts to cool I scrap it off the slab back into the bowl with the still warm chocolate, this is where the cooled chocolate will bring the warm chocoalte down to temp and the cool chocolate back up, now I just use my lip to see if I got the right temp and then I use it right away for whatever I needed it.

This tecnic may take some time to master but it makes it very quick and effecient and you can still use a therm to do it this way but you have to temp quick.

So if you want to let us in maybe I can give you more detailed advice.

Robert
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks Robert,
I wasn't doing any recipe in particular just wanted to have a go at it out of interest.
I saw a recipe which used tempered chocolate on a plastic strip, about 2 inches deep, you bend it round and fasten it and when cooled you'll have teardrop shaped chocolate of which you can fill with mousse or anything like that.
I'd like to try that with the slab, i can see how it would take a while to get used to but i'd like to try and get the feel for it.
post #8 of 16
One of the easiest (and cleanest) ways to temper choc. is by the "seeding" method.

Melt about half of choc quite warm, around 45 c. Then add in the other half of the choc. which should still be factory-tempered. Most choc. comes in coin form but you can also coarsely chop slab choc as well. Stir in the choc to the melted pool until it all melts. Ideal working temp is 32C. Body thermometers are ideal for this purpose and are cheap and available at any drugstore.

This is the one of the easiest and cleanest methods, and is preffered by many chocolate workers.
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes that was the method i tried but i struggled to get the exact temp and the chocolate turned soft and streaky.
When you say 32C, how precise does that have to be?
And also, is it the same with white chocolate?
post #10 of 16
Precise? Well...32 is 32 is 32, not 33 and not 31

White and milk chocolates should be tempered at 31

If you are serious about tempering I strongly suggest you get Peter Grewling's book "Chocolates and confections" Not only does this book explain the various methods of tempering, but ore importantly it explains the HOWS and WHY'S of tempering and cocoa butter crystal structure
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post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
um???? right....thats not what i meant..... i meant what if it goes to say 35C?
My whole question was can i do this at home without a machine?
Meaning could i roughly do it with a hand held thermometer or does it need to be exactly 32C?
And thanks for the book suggestion it looks like just what i'm looking for.
post #12 of 16
Over 35 and it's too warm an you'll get grey streaks and crumbly texture. A regular fever thermometer is ideal fo this.

You can get it to 32 with the method I described above. In order to temper properly you need the right temperature, agitation, and time.

Get the book, it'll be the best money you ever spent.
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post #13 of 16
Look into bowl tempering, easy enough and you get to avoid all the smugness associated with using a slab or marble. if you are interested in learning about what i am talking about PM me. Easy, fast and no hassle. Also look to the temps required by the choc. manufacturers they vary depending of what brands you use.
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post #14 of 16
Hello all,

I dont have exact temperature details. However the method I use is to simmer water in a bowl and close the flame. I then place a bowl over it with my chocolate in it. Thats all.

Its takes 5-10 minutes but the chocolate gets smooth. It beither gets too heated up, nor forms lumps.
post #15 of 16
Hello all,

I dont have exact temperature details. However the method I use is to simmer water in a bowl and close the flame. I then place a bowl over it with my chocolate in it. Thats all.

Its takes 5-10 minutes but the chocolate gets smooth. It beither gets too heated up, nor forms lumps.
post #16 of 16
Fool proof recipe
3 part melted chocolate at 45 C (can be 1 degree off in both directions)
Add 1 part grated or finely chopped chocolate and mix when all the chocolate has melted, it will be at 32 C
i.e.
2100 grams melted chocolate at 45 C
700 grams grated or finely chopped chocolate
mix till all melted and it will be 32 C
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