December 9, 2023

How to solve the most common chocolate tempering issues

No one knows this better than we do! It’s temperamental, literally. It is extremely sensitive to temperature changes, humidity/moisture, and agitation. etc.! You may think you are tempering the chocolate correctly and everything is going well, but then realize that things have gone horribly wrong.

The most important skill of a chocolate maker or chocolatier is tempering chocolate. You will probably have to practice this skill many times before you succeed. You will probably buy a tempering device once you’ve invested enough money in your hobby or business. This will make life much easier. But, just because you have a machine does not mean you can skip learning how to temper. It’s not just about the final product when you know how to temper chocolate. You need to understand the entire process, including the chemistry, steps, and what you are looking for.

Control the temperature and humidity of your office air.

You will need to adjust your tempering method if the temperature of the room changes during the practice session. You can adjust the temper by changing the water temperature in the marble slab or cool water bath. A climate that is too humid or dry can also affect fit. Air conditioning and humidity control are essential for commercial operations. Ideal temperatures for chocolate production in a kitchen or production area are 64-70degF and 50-65% humidity.

Check your thermometer

You need to ensure that your equipment is working correctly and you have used it properly. After stirring the mass of chocolate thoroughly, you will want to measure the temperature.

Continue stirring the chocolate mass to temper

Have you continuously stirred the mass during the entire process? You run the risk that the group will solidify if you don’t go it. The chocolate that is up against the bottom of the bowl, which is hotter, may lose its temper if it becomes too hot. Since we’re only talking about small differences, like one or two degrees at most, you need to be very careful.

It would be best if you were careful not to introduce air bubbles into your chocolate mass.

Stir or agitate carefully, using a pulling or pushing motion and not a whirling sign. This will prevent air from entering the mixture, which can cause air bubbles. They can cause problems when molding. Air bubbles are more likely to occur when tempering non-couverture chocolate, i.e., One with a high viscosity. You should always check the consistency to see if the chocolate is better for ganache or enrobing/molding.

Do not over-temper your chocolate mass or over-seed it

You can create more V-form crystals as you stir the chocolate mass at the working temperatures. This makes it thicker, and even though the chocolate is still tempered, it becomes difficult to work with. You can combat this by melting some of the V-form excess crystals.

Addition of warm chocolate at 115deg F (47.2deg C). It would be best if you did not raise the temperature too high, as this will cause the chocolate to lose its temper.

You can also heat the edges of the chocolate mass using a heat gun or by placing it over hot water. Be sure to combine the chocolate mass with the heated chocolate thoroughly.

Do you now understand what we mean by saying that chocolate has a temperament? There’s still more!

Do a temper test.

Place a small amount of the tempered mass on a piece of parchment, acetate, or utensil. It should harden in minutes. As you work with the chocolate in your enrobing and molding sessions, remember to stir the mass of tempered chocolate.

What do you do after a failed tempering session?

You can temper the chocolate again and again. If you’ve not overheated your chocolate in an earlier session to the point that it could have burned, and if you’ve not added any foreign substances, like water, ganache, or nut pieces, you’ll only see increased viscosity. Start your next tempering session using new chocolate if you believe the mass has been compromised. The compromised assembly can be used in recipes like ganache and truffle centers to avoid wasting it.

Pour the chocolate on parchment or acetate when you are finished and allow it to harden. One of our students pours excess tempered into a plastic bag with a zipped top, then flattens out the chocolate to harden. It is easy to store the flat shape and, when needed, break it up into pieces.

Why does the mass sometimes become hardened with bloom after the chocolate has been tempered?

When you stop agitating the chocolate, the heat in the middle of the mass cannot dissipate. It retains heat and cools slowly. The latent heat is responsible for this. Chocolate crystallizing can cause a heat reaction (exothermic reaction), which can make it so hot that it loses its temper. Latent heat can also be a reason to cool down pieces that are rapidly crystallizing. As soon as the mold or dipped pieces start to reduce, you should put them into a refrigerator with good ventilation for about 15 minutes. This will remove the latent heat and stop the elements from becoming irrational.

During the slow cooling process, some cocoa butter molecules are released and rise to the surface. Others get trapped between layers. Do not worry if it happens. The mass will need to be heated again, either to temper it or to use it as a recipe. The cocoa butter will be mixed back into the group.

It would be best if you melted the crystals that have formed when you remelt chocolate. The mass of the untempered chocolate should be heated to at least 110deg (44deg) F for white or milk chocolate and 115deg (46deg) F for dark chocolate.

It is also possible to get a hint of bloom if you mold very thick bars or shapes, such as suckers and 3D forms, without cooling them down quickly. The side that is set will be shiny, tempered, and fine. The exposed chocolate can have light speckles or rings, which you may not mind. This problem can be overcome by using multiple layers of chocolate instead of one pour.

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