You know, a cake or a dessert has to be perfect in every detail: not only in taste but also in appearance.
That’s why tempering chocolate is essential to prepare perfect decorations or small pastry jewels.
But what does tempering chocolate mean?
Tempering chocolate is a process by which chocolate becomes shiny, without that ugly white film.
By melting and then cooling it to very precise temperatures, hardness and strong taste are ensured for a very excellent result.
This technique is used to produce shiny chocolate to decorate or create small masterpieces of pastry.
This is possible thanks to the pre-crystallization of cocoa butter in chocolate, a phenomenon due to the working temperature of chocolate.
But let’s step back to how the process is carried out.
When the chocolate is melted and then cooled, some fats (such as cocoa butter) crystallize on the surface, producing an annoying white film and making the chocolate grained, not shiny which melts in a few time.
To prevent this bad result, chocolate is tempered, exploiting the alternation of different temperatures to get a stable crystallization and a perfect chocolate.
How it happens?
WARNING: it is very important to remember that even a few degrees more or a few less, can force you to start over again the whole preparation.
In this process, the temperatures are almost sacred and must be followed meticulously.
The first step is to slowly melt the chocolate. Once melted, pour the chocolate over a very cold shelf and work over it until it’s cooled.
At this point you need to put the cooled chocolate in the pot, cooking it until it reaches the appointed temperature (which is different for white, milk and dark chocolate).
Despite the methods for tempering chocolate are different, including to temper on marble and through insemination, today we don’t want to explain the techniques, but the problems and difficulties that this preparation unfortunately presents.
We know that tempering chocolate is based on three parameters: time, movement and temperature.
1) In fact, if the chocolate is cooled without moving it, it will solidify very slowly, the texture will be grainy and the colour not shiny
2) Also time is an annoying element: once melted, the chocolate must be cooled quickly in order to strengthen the crystallisation and get the maximum brightness.
3) However, the temperature creates the worst problems.
As we said, the temperatures of each step must be followed with extreme care and also the place where you cook can affects the final outcome.
There are special thermometers to control the chocolate temperature, but of course this involves a very high control which may not be enough when you deal with such a delicate food as chocolate.
So..not an easy process, isn’t it?
Next time we will reveal some tricks to temper chocolate with no problems and maybe…HotmixPRO can help you also this time!