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Tempered chocolate

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

   I need some help with chocolate, please. I do not own a chocolate warmer, so I am wondering what's the best way to maintain the ideal temperature after the chocolate has been tempered. If I am unable to maintain this temperature, would it be better to keep it warmer than ideal in a double boiler, or let it drop below the ideal temperature and reheat it as needed? Will doing either of these things ruin the tempering by forming too many crystals or degrading the ones that have been formed in the tempering process? Eventually I'd like to invest in a chocolate warmer, but until then I have to deal with these issues. Thanks for any help you can offer.

 

- Matthew

post #2 of 8

Best method I've found so far is a cheap electric heating blanket wrapped around the bowl.  garndeig centers offer "sprouting mats" as well that are close in temp range, but are more expensive than the heating blanket.  You will have to experiment with the temperatures on these devices, however.

 

Cheaper yet is a hunk of styrofoam carved out to accept a bowl.  This will eventually cool down, but  lot slower than without anything else.

 

Generally, it's better to let the couverture cool down and warm up with a heat gun or hairdryer as needed.  Keeping it hotter than 32-33 C will develop "bad" crystals and the couverture will start to sreak, then go out of temper. 

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the information here, foodpump. I really appreciate your help with this. Both are great ideas and I don''t know why I didn't think of either one of them.
 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a few more questions about tempering.

 

When using the tabling method to temper chocolate, I've read that you bring the chocolate up to 122F and then pour about 2/3 of the chocolate on the table. Then work the chocolate on the table until it drops to 80F and then add it back to the remaining 1/3 and bring that back up to 90F to begin working with it. What about the remaining 1/3? Should that be maintained at 122 while working the rest of the chocolate on the table, or should I let that start cooling to 90F?

 

Also, once the chocolate that was worked on the table is added back to the remaining 1/3, is it possible to over mix the chocolate creating "bad crystals?"

 

Last question here: once tempered chocolate has hardened, can it be remelted and reused? In other words, if I have some left over, can I store it and then just repeat the tempering process, or should it just be thrown out (I hate the idea of wasting chocolate)?
 

Thanks,

Matthew

post #5 of 8

1) The remaining 1/3 should be around 90.  The whole idea is to cool down the chocolate

 

2)If the chocolate is kept at working temperature, you can't introduce "bad" crystals.  These crystals ("bad ones") form at lower or higher temps, but not at working temperature. For example at work I have a 20 kg (40 lb) melter with a wheel.  The wheel sits in the chocolate and goes round and round, with a s/s "comb" combing off chocolate from the wheel and funneling it into a spout where it flows back into the tub.  If my temp is right, I can have this wheel going for hours and hours and have my chocolate in good temper..  You must have seen similar set-ups in chocolate or candy shops.

 

3) Of course you can re-use the chocolate.  As long as it's not contaminated with water or "stuff" (crumbs, nut pieces, ganache crumbs, etc.) you just have to melt it to 45-ish Celc. (120 F?) and re-temper. Think of water, you can change it from liquid to solid (ice) to gas (Steam) to infinity.  As long as the chocolate isn't contaminated you can melt it and temper it over and over and over again.

 

hope this helps...

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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

This definitely helps, foodpump. Thank you so much for taking time to read this and offer your help. It's much appreciated.

 

Just to make sure I understand you correctly regarding the reuse of tempered chocolate, I have to repeat the entire tempering process, right? I can't just remelt it to the working temperature of 90F (32 C) since it was already tempered before?

 

Also, I was wondering if that melting device with the wheel comes in smaller sizes and if so, what is the proper name for that piece of equipment so I know what to search for?

 

Thanks,

Matthew

post #7 of 8

With the chocolate? NO.  When you cool down your tempered choc in a bowl, you will find the next day that the choc. in the middle of the bowl is all grey and crumbly--out of temper.  This is due to "latent heat build up"  The heat in the middle of the bowl can't escape quickly enough and it raises the temp and throws the middle portion of the choc. out of temper.  You could pour the tempered choc out in a thin layer to cool down and over come this, but you still have to melt it again if you want to have liquid, tempered chocolate .

 

If you google Matfer's website you will find smaller melters with wheels.  I don't know what they call them, just wheels I guess.  D + R in Montreal (design and realisation) has a unit as well, but much, much larger.  The wheels are not magic, they just go round and 'round.  YOU do the tempering, the wheel just keeps the choc. moving so it doesn't crust over and it also provides you with a handy steady stream of choc for molding.

 

Hope this helps

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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay, this is really great information here. I didn't know the chocolate went out of tempering, but the way you explained this makes perfect sense. I'm just happy to know that it can be tempered again and reused rather than it going to waste. And I will definitely look for a chocolate warmer that has a stirring paddle/wheel.

 

Thanks again for your help, foodpump. I'm very grateful for your assistance here.

 

- Matthew

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