#6819: Tempering chocolate
Posted by: rhoward2va at 10:19 pm on Jun 7, 2007
After many problems with tempering chocolate for coating Easter eggs, I found this method on the internet. It is the easiest way I have found and works great:
* Exported from MasterCook *
Tempering Dark Chocolate
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate
Chop about 18 ounces (70 to 75 percent) of the chocolate into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the quicker your chocolate will melt and temper. Set aside the remaining 25 to 30 percent (about 6 ounces) to be used for seeding. There is no need to be exact on this measurement, as you just want enough unmelted, tempered chocolate to start the seeding process. Grate this seeding chocolate into fine pieces so that it will incorporate easily into the melted chocolate.
Step 1 - Melt chocolate. Place the 18 ounces of chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on half-power, being very careful to stir the mixture every minute for the first 2 minutes. After that, stir every 30 seconds until it is almost completely melted, which should take about three to four minutes.
Remove the bowl of chocolate from the microwave and stir to cool it slightly. Removing the bowl before all the chocolate is completely melted will help prevent over heating. You don't want your chocolate to burn. Those last bits of solid chocolate will melt as you stir. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of the melted chocolate - it should be between: 114-118° F (46-48° C). If it has not reached this temperature, return it to the microwave for 20 seconds or so until it reaches the desired temperature.
Step 2 - Add seed chocolate you have set aside.
Start adding handfuls of the grated chocolate you set aside to the melted chocolate. Stir in the seeding chocolate bits continuously until the desired temperature (see below) is reached and the bits have dissolved completely. This could take anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes depending on the temperature of your environment. Your chocolate should now be tempered. Test the temper by spreading a small amount on a piece of wax paper to see if it sets up without any blooming. This should take about 5 minutes.
Dark chocolate should be between 88 - 89° F (31° C)
Make sure to stir the tempered chocolate and check the temperature during the time you are using it for dipping or molding. You can put the tempered chocolate mass in the microwave for 10 - 15 seconds at half-power if the temperature starts to drop. Just make sure that you don't raise the temperature above 90° F (32° C) or you will lose your temper and have to start over again at Step 1.
A heating pad set at low will help if you are doing a lot of work at one time. Again, make sure the heating pad doesn't raise the temperature of the chocolate too high. Keep stirring and checking the chocolate mass with a thermometer.
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