We Tried 5 Methods for Tempering Chocolate And This is The Very Best One

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But we’re right here to assist! To demystify chocolate tempering as soon as and for all, we tried 5 standard strategies to seek out the at-home one which is each straightforward and foolproof. Here’s every part we discovered.

Chocolate tempering is a strategy of melting after which cooling chocolate that provides the chocolate a tough, snappy, shiny end. The strategy of heating and cooling melts the chocolate’s fats crystals after which rebuilds them. In a nutshell, you warmth the chocolate to 110°F, cool it to 80°F, after which reheat it to 90°F. As lengthy because it stays round 90°F, the chocolate will maintain its mood. You don’t must mood chocolate for baking, however you could mood chocolate for dipping or molding (suppose coating truffles or strawberries or making hot chocolate bombs). It is a lot simpler to mood chocolate that is already in mood, so shopping for high-quality chocolate will make your job as chocolate crystal architect simpler. One watch-out: If you see a grey or white coating in your chocolate (known as bloom), it means the chocolate both received too scorching or received damp. Bloomed chocolate is wonderful to eat and bake with, however it’s out of mood, so it gained’t work for dipping or molding.

How We Tested These Methods

We examined these strategies again to again on the identical day utilizing high-quality chocolate disks (known as feves) from a restaurant provide retailer. To make testing as constant as potential, the feves all got here from the identical bag and have been chopped earlier than dividing up for the person assessments. We tempered 8 ounces of chocolate for every check, an quantity that is excellent for dipping a pint of strawberries with out an excessive amount of leftover chocolate. To check, we pulled a small pattern swipe, just like the photograph above, of every technique on parchment paper and in addition dipped strawberries and pretzel twists in every tempered chocolate. We evaluated the strategies based mostly on ease and whether or not the chocolate hardened rapidly and had that snappy end.

About this technique: You’ve almost definitely seen marble slab tempering within the image window of old-time sweet retailers. Chocolatiers use this technique for tempering massive batches of chocolate as a result of they will soften a number of chocolate without delay, use a big marble floor to chill it down, after which switch the tempered chocolate to a particular machine that retains it on the excellent temperature to allow them to use the chocolate as wanted. To do that at dwelling, you chop and soften the chocolate, pour it onto a cool marble slab, then use a bench scraper or spatula to clean, fold, and stir the chocolate till it reaches about 80° F. After cooling, you place the chocolate in a bowl and place it over a heat double boiler to deliver it as much as round 90° F.

Results: This technique works, however to actually do it proper, you want a really giant marble slab, which is very costly and impractical for dwelling cooks. If you utilize a small slab, you don’t have the room that you must maneuver the chocolate correctly, so you possibly can simply find yourself with an enormous mess. After all of that, you must get the chocolate into the double boiler, which presents its personal set of challenges. For all of these causes, this technique is finest left to the professionals.

Method: In a Food Processor

About this technique: This may sound loopy, however you possibly can use the friction of the food processor (with a little help from a hair dryer) to mood chocolate! You toss your chopped chocolate within the meals processor and pulse till the chocolate turns into a big lump. You may panic at this level, however a relaxation and some blasts of warmth from a hair dryer, the chocolate will clean out and attain near 100° F. Then you’ll add extra chopped chocolate and pulse to chill and incorporate the chocolate, touchdown you proper round 80° F. As you’re prepared to make use of the chocolate, you possibly can pulse the chocolate extra or hit it with the hair dryer to get it to a dippable 88 to 90° F.

Results: While the cleverness of this technique is arduous to beat, it takes a very very long time to soften the chocolate and your outcomes are removed from assured. We received tempered chocolate on the primary assessments, however after pulsing to soften a little bit extra, the chocolate dipped strawberries misplaced a few of their shine. Food processors additionally range in pace and warmth, which makes this technique even much less dependable.

Method: In a Sous Vide Water Bath

About this technique: The magic of sous vide cooking is {that a} small machine can warmth a water tub to an actual temperature, which lets you prepare dinner steaks to an ideal temperature and temper chocolate, too. For this technique, you begin by organising your sous vide machine for a 115 diploma water tub. Put your chocolate in a tightly sealed plastic bag (a vacuum-sealed bag is splendid, however a freezer-grade ziptop bag works, too) and add to the water tub. When the chocolate is melted, flip the temp right down to 81 levels and add ice to the water tub to drop the temperature. You’ll enhance the warmth once more to 90 levels, however in between temperatures that you must take away the bag from the water tub and therapeutic massage the chocolate so it melts evenly. If you used a single use bag, when the chocolate is prepared you possibly can open the bag and dip away or snip off the tip for straightforward drizzling.

Results: When executed with the suitable instruments (sous vide machine, vacuum-sealed baggage), this technique is just about foolproof, however most dwelling cooks don’t have these instruments readily available. The ziptop bag substitute works more often than not, however isn’t assured. If you already personal a sous vide machine, you must actually do this technique, however we wouldn’t dream of suggesting you run out and purchase all of this gear simply for tempering chocolate.

Method: Microwave Melted and Seeded

About this technique: “Microwave tempering” promises to not require seeding, the method of stirring extra chopped chocolate into the melted chocolate to deliver the temperature down and assist the fats crystals type. The thought right here is that you just use the microwave to softly soften the chocolate with out taking it out of mood. Using 15 to 30 second bursts of excessive microwave warmth, you have to be ready soften the chocolate to precisely 90 levels.

Results: We’re giving this technique excessive marks for ease. You solely want one bowl, a spatula, and a thermometer. It loses factors for reliability, although. In two makes an attempt, we needed to seed each instances to get the chocolate again into mood. Much just like the meals processor technique, you possibly can blame the inconsistency on the truth that microwave fashions range broadly, so getting the timing down completely can require a number of trial-and-error.

Method: Double Boiler Melted and Seeded

About this technique: A double boiler is the gentlest strategy to soften chocolate, which makes it splendid for tempering, too. For this technique, you begin by melting two thirds of your chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water. Once the chocolate melts, you add the remaining chopped chocolate in small increments to deliver the temperature again down and “seed” the formation of recent chocolate fats crystals. While this technique is probably the most foolproof with a thermometer, you may as well use your body temperature to test and get perfectly tempered chocolate. Just contact the tip of the chocolate-covered spatula to the realm just under your lip. The melted chocolate ought to really feel scorching and sting simply barely.

Results: Easy-does-it is one of the best technique for melting and tempering chocolate and this technique doesn’t require any further particular tools. You want an everyday pot, glass bowl, and a spatula and the quantity of chocolate you mood could be giant or small. Say you begin dipping your strawberries and your chocolate wants a mild reheat, you’ve received a mild pot of water standing by! Our double boiler chocolate set to an ideal snap and shine with out a bunch of guess work.

Tempering chocolate doesn’t should be arduous and it doesn’t require any particular tools to do it proper, so don’t let a little bit little bit of inexperience cease you from making particular treats. Buy the very best quality chocolate you possibly can, chop it finely, soften it gently, and add extra chopped chocolate to get the suitable temperature and you may make every part from chocolate-dipped strawberries to hot chocolate bombs with ease. How candy is that?

Meghan Splawn

Food Editor, Skills

Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn’s Skills content material. She’s a grasp of on a regular basis baking, household cooking, and harnessing good gentle. Meghan approaches meals with a watch in direction of budgeting — each money and time — and having enjoyable. Meghan has a baking and pastry diploma, and spent the primary 10 years of her profession as a part of Alton Brown’s culinary staff. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about meals and household known as Didn’t I Just Feed You.

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