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Tempering Chocolate with Ease in Visual Studio .NET
Tempering Chocolate with Ease
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Simply melting chocolate is important for some center recipes, but any time you need to use chocolate for coating or for molding, you need to temper the chocolate In the tempering process, you heat and cool chocolate using movement to achieve the proper temperature and crystal structure Though many methods can get you where you need to go, the goal is to have chocolate that has a nice glossy finish when it s set and that has a nice snap when you bite into the candy Tempering is a matter of three elements: time, temperature, and agitation Chocolate must spend a certain amount of time warm and a certain amount of time cooling, and must end up at the right temperature You must accomplish all these steps while you keep the chocolate in motion because, through agitation, you keep a constant temperature throughout the chocolate, assuring yourself that the cocoa butter crystals are heated and cooled completely Lots of candy companies refuse to use chocolate in their candy making because of a fear of tempering, but I teach young people how to temper quite often Tempering is a procedure to learn, and it isn t difficult In the following sections, I describe several tempering methods and give you some details that you need to know before you start tempering
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14: Chopping, Melting, Tempering, and Storing Chocolate
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Checking out guidelines before you temper
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Tempering chocolate requires some preparation, even after you ve chopped and melted your chocolate The following sections show you how to keep an eye on cocoa butter and how to adjust your room temperature and humidity to create the ideal tempering conditions
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Understanding cocoa butter s role in tempering
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So what s tempering all about Well, a number of substances make up chocolate, and one of the most complicated (and important) is cocoa butter Cocoa butter contains the fat that gives chocolate its wonderful mouthfeel, which is how a food is perceived by your taste buds Fine chocolate has a very good mouthfeel because you enjoy the pleasant texture, taste, and aroma Multiple crystals with different melting points make up cocoa butter These crystals have a complex structure that must be maintained if you want chocolate to have a shiny appearance like you see in fine candy shops Chocolate bars, even the 10-pound bars I describe frequently in this book, are in temper when you receive them, assuming proper handling during shipping and storage To use the chocolate, you have to melt it, and it loses that temper when you do so By a process of heating and cooling while adding tempered chocolate to the melted chocolate, the crystals in the cocoa butter form again in their proper structure The result is tempered chocolate in a liquid state at about 88 degrees for milk chocolate and 90 degrees for dark chocolate Folks are often amazed by the low temperature of chocolate in its liquid state, assuming that it must be very hot, but chocolate is never hot If you simply melt the chocolate until you have a brown liquid, the crystals of the cocoa butter will never properly align themselves Only through tempering can you achieve this proper alignment of the crystals The process requires that you raise the temperature of the chocolate to at least 110 degrees (115 degrees for dark chocolate) Do not exceed 120 degrees After you ve heated the chocolate to 110 degrees and held it at that temperature for a few minutes, you re ready to cool the chocolate, re-form those crystals, and complete the tempering process
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Controlling room temperature and humidity
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Perhaps some elements are easier to control in a business situation than they are at home; nevertheless, temperature and humidity in the chocolate workspace no matter where that workspace is are of primary importance You simply cannot properly temper chocolate and dip chocolate items in an environment that s too warm, too damp, or both
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