Until now I have only been on the receiving and eating side of chocolate.
Never have I been subjected to the messy and unpredictable nature of
tempering the thing.
To temper chocolate.. you need to take it over several temperature changes.
This regulates the crystallization of cocoa butter within the chocolate
resulting in shiny, uniform appearance which has a pleasant 'snap'
when you get your teeth into it.
For the specific "Barry" brand of milk couverture chocolate we used in class,
we had to first melt it to a temperature of 45-50 degrees Celsius.
After that, we cooled it down to 27 degrees by pouring
two-thirds of the chocolate onto the marble and scraping it about..
We then place the chocolate back into its original bowl and reheated it back up to a
working temperature of 29-30 degrees Celsius.
|A delicious combination of nuts and milk chocolate|
The most exhausting part is however,
keeping the tempered chocolate at a steady 29-30 degrees while you
fastidiously dip your half-moon praline filling with your little chocolate
'fourchette' making sure it looks pretty, all the while going back and forth
to the bain marie if the temperature dips to 28 degrees.
So yes, you gotta work with your thermometer engaged the whole time!
As after meticulously working to get my Pralinés looking as good as possible,
I was relieved when it came time to make these rustic "Muscadine" chocolates.
Just dip the logs in chocolate and roll in icing sugar..
Nothing fussy about that!
All in all, although this practical was painstaking and way too fiddly for its own good..
I have to say I learnt A LOT and had a bunch fun getting all messy and chocolaty.
Next week: DARK CHOCOLATE.
I am excited.