A Lesson in Chocolate Tempering
Ask any chocolatier in the industry what one of the most important skills is to learn and they will likely tell you the art of tempering.
Tempering chocolate is the art of bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature and viscosity, so that you don’t get ‘bloomed’ chocolate. Think of cocoa butter and chocolate like oil and vinegar, they desperately want to separate – this creates bloomed chocolate. Tempering chocolate creates a chocolate/cocoa butter utopia, where the chocolate is not able to separate within itself
There are two types of bloom:
Moisture Bloom – Sugar crystals pull in moisture and expand. With the moisture bloom you will see spots throughout the chocolate.
Fat Bloom – Cocoa butter separates from the rest of the ingredients. With the fat bloom you will see a hazy look throughout the chocolate.
Below you will see a photo of chocolate with a fat and moisture bloom, compared to a properly tempered chocolate bar. Which would you rather eat?!
How can you tell if you have a properly tempered bar? Even if there are no signs of a moisture bloom (spots) or a fat bloom (hazy), a tempered chocolate will have a tell-tale ‘snap’ sound when you break it. An un-tempered bar will bend slightly when you try to break it. In addition, tempered chocolate ‘sets’ quickly with a glossy finish, where un-tempered chocolate will ‘set’ slowly and you’ll end up with a dull finish.
Are you interested in learning more about how to temper chocolate? Take a look at the how-to below OR join me at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops!
-Bernhard, The Master Chocolatier
- Chocolate callets
- Measure out the amount of chocolate you need. Melt the chocolate in a clean dry bowl in a microwave. Do short bursts of 30-45 seconds, stirring in between until chocolate is totally melted and you reach 45 degrees Celsius.
- Cover a countertop with a piece of parchment paper. Pour roughly ⅔ of the melted chocolate onto the parchment.
- With a pallet knife or spatula, work the chocolate until it starts to crystallize (the step right before it starts to harden), if it goes too far and begins to get clumpy, you will have to start again from Step 1.
- Once it starts to crystallize, put the chocolate from the parchment paper back into the melted chocolate in the bowl. Mix it together and make sure it all blends in.
- To ensure readiness: Milk and White Chocolate should be brought to 28-30 degrees Celsius. Dark Chocolate should be brought to 31-32 degrees Celsius.
Drizzle some of the chocolate on your finger once you think you have brought it to correct working temperature. Touch your lip with the chocolate. If the chocolate reads cold, it is good to go.
You can meet the Chocolatier face-to-face at our Tasting Day on Saturday February 6th from 2pm to 4pm. Bernhard will be offering free samples of a new favourite single origin chocolate. Come by 3530 Mainway in Burlington to try it! Taste the difference quality makes!
If you’d like a more in-depth introduction to chocolate, join Bernhard at one of our Chocolate Making Workshops on Thursday, February 11th, Friday February 12th or Saturday February 13th. More information can be found at our website: http://www.christysgourmetgifts.com/store/item/?id=162
Stay tuned for a video where we discuss different chocolate tempering techniques.