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Tempering Chocolate

Chocolate Tempering Guide

Tempering chocolate is a classic technique all aspiring chocolatiers should get familiar with.

Tempering chocolate simply means melting the chocolate while controlling how its temperature rises and falls. This technique lets you use the chocolate the way you want to and get the perfect result for all your creations. If you want to make homemade chocolates that are as delicious as they are visually appealing, it is important you have a solid grasp of the process.

With the right methods and tools, you will be able to successfully temper your chocolate for beautiful desserts and confectionery.

Do I need to temper my chocolate?

In the process of tempering chocolate we give it properties and qualities that are extremely helpful for pastries, chocolate and confectionery. A good tempering technique provides the following benefits:

  • It keeps chocolate shiny and smooth – Extremely important for truffles
  • It makes it easier to turn out your chocolates
  • It snaps cleanly when broken

As you can see, tempering is essential for anyone who wants to make beautiful desserts and chocolates with a smooth, glossy, solid texture. It is important to follow every step in the process to get the results you want. Otherwise, chocolate can become brittle, dull, bumpy, flecked with white marks, and harder to turn out. Successful tempering is the key to successful chocolate making.

 

Chocolate tempering temperatures table

Here is a summary of the temperatures for successfully tempering chocolate. In the table below we will state temperatures that worked for us using our vegan courveture

TemperatureOrg Dark chocolateOrganic Milk ChocolateWhite chocolate & UTZ Milk Chocolate
Temp #150°C – 55°C47°C – 52°C45°C –  50°C
Temp #228°C – 29°C27°C – 28°C26°C – 27
Temp #331°C – 32°C29°C – 30°C28°C – 29°C

Bain Marie Method

This classic technique is the easiest to do. It involves melting (chopped) chocolate in a bain-marie while stirring and regularly checking the temperature. However, be careful not to drop any water in the chocolate – just a few drops are enough to spoil the lot. When we first started making truffles, we used our hob steamer and a casserole dish sat inside the steamer. You don’t need to jump straight into buying specialist bain-marie equipment. To temper your chocolate this way, you will need the following:

  • Thermometer
  • A large bowl or other container for the bain-marie
  • A container for cold water (and possibly ice cubes)
  • A wooden spatula or spoon

You need to initially check the temperature so that it does not rise above the maximum for the type of chocolate (see Temperature 1 in the above temperature chart and table).

  1. Once the thermometer shows the temperature in the table, take the chocolate out of the bain-marie.
  2. Place the container in the bowl of cold water, stirring regularly so that the chocolate cools to about 35°C whatever type you are using.
  3. Remove the container from the bowl of cold water, stirring the chocolate all the while, until it reaches Temperature 2.
  4. Finally, briefly place the chocolate back in the bain-marie to warm it up to its working temperature, Temperature 3 above.

 

Chocolate Tempering Machines

Using a chocolate temperature machine gives perfect results!

Tempering machines are extremely helpful and very convenient for people who have to temper chocolate regularly, as they make it almost impossible to fail. In a tempering machine, couverture chocolate will automatically go through each temperature in the process, giving you perfect results without you having to do a thing.

As such, it saves a lot of time in the kitchen, especially if tempering is something you do regularly. With this device, your chocolate preparations can’t go wrong.

If you start to get serious in with your business, I would highly recommend investing in a chocolate tempering machine. The time saved will heavily outweigh the cost after just 1 month.

Chocolate Moulds

Using the right mould is better for the environment and has better results!

In the world of chocolate moulds, 3 different materials are usually used, We wish a plastic and silicone free product was on the market for chocolate moulds :

  • Polycarbonate Moulds
  • Silicone Moulds
  • PET Moulds

We do not encourage anyone to use PET moulds. Although they are recyclable, they do not last many uses and contribute massively to plastic waste.

Polycarbonate Moulds

These are the moulds mostly used by chocolatiers and for good reason. They are sturdy & strong and minimise damaging the moulds and having to replace it. These are the moulds used to make truffles, the image below shows how to create the outer shell before adding a filling and then repeating the process to cap the truffle off. If you are wanting to explore the world of truffle making these are the moulds you should be looking at!

 

Silicone Moulds

These are another mould we do not recommend as recycling silicone is extremely hard and long process. The difference between silicone and plastic is that the plastic will evantually turn to microbeads and the silicone will return to the earth… Centuries later.

However most people buy silicone moulds when trying to create their own chocolate bars as they are cheap.

The biggest issue with silicone moulds is once filled with chocolate they need to be stored in the location they are going to set otherwise you risk breaking the chocolate and having to restart due to the flexibility of the material.

 

PET Moulds

I am not posting anything about PET moulds as they are useless and end up in landfill pretty quickly, they are only just fit for purpose and should be avoided.

Vegan Brownies Recipe

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