The Gloss: Tempering Chocolate
For artisan chocolatiers, tempering chocolate is an important step in the process of making high quality gourmet chocolate. Tempering helps ensure that the finished product has a smooth texture and exceptional flavour. But what exactly does tempering do?
To put it simply, tempering chocolate is the process of heating, cooling and then reheating melted cocoa butter in order to achieve smooth and glossy chocolate.
If tempering isn’t performed correctly it can be tricky for chocolate makers to produce high quality products consistently. There are certain steps which must be taken during the tempering process or else tempers will fail completely – causing white streaks in their artisanal creations!
Tempering chocolate is vital to ensure that the artisan or gourmet chocolates maintain their shape and consistency. When tempering, it’s important to make sure you don’t overheat the chocolate as this will cause cocoa butter crystals to form which may result in an unwanted grainy texture.
Tempering is important because it gives artisan chocolate its sheen, snap and velvety feel. It also helps to maintain the cocoa fat crystals in a stable condition so that they are less likely to bloom (forming imperfections on melting chocolate).
The first step in temping your chocolate is melting all of the necessary ingredients together until they are completely melted. It’s important not to let any water or steam touch them while they’re being heated. To avoid bubbles forming on top, stir slowly with a rubber spatula instead of using an electric mixer. Once everything has been brought down below 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45° Celsius), the chocolate needs to be taken off heat and stirred at room temperature for two minutes so that solid crystals don’t form when re-heated later on.
Once the chocolate has been brought back down to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27° Celsius), it’s time for a seed temper, which is basically just adding small bits of already tempered chocolate. These few pieces help melt all of the other ingredients and keep them from seizing up on you, so be sure not to stir too much at this point! Once everything starts melting together again, bring your temperature back down below 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28° Celsius) before combining with some sturdy metal tools that have also been kept warm using hot water or by being placed in an oven set to around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit (38° – 43° C). Now let everything sit until they’ve cooled off completely and enjoy some artisanal or gourmet chocolate!
Shiny Happy Chocolate
Here at Mr Popple’s Chocolate, we take pride in every step of the bean to bar process. Care is taken to ensure our organic chocolate always has a smooth and velvety finish. We recognise that first impressions are super important! That’s why we take tempering seriously. Shiny chocolate makes for happy customers!
Try our range of organic bean to bar chocolate at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk