Friday, December 18, 2009

Tempering Chocolate

Tis the season for all sorts of decadence. I know strawberries are not in season right now, but I was thinking of chocolate covered strawberries when I came across this article in the New York Times about tempering chocolate... and I am sure you can think of other items you might want dipped.

Some tidbits...

"Tempering is the process of melting chocolate to break down its crystal structure and then allowing it to re-form at the right temperature. When done properly, the cooled chocolate hardens with a nice shiny appearance. When done improperly, the chocolate takes on a whitish swirl and is said to have “bloomed.” Bloomed chocolate tastes fine (and can be lovely in its own right), but properly tempered it is not.

There are a couple of ways to temper chocolate. I like the “seeding” method: You melt the chocolate (it should be about 110 to 115 degrees), remove it from the heat and then add small pieces of un-melted chocolate (these are the “seeds”) to speed the cooling process while controlling the temperature. Once you start seeding and the temperature drops into the low 80s, you want to slowly bring it back up to between 88 degrees and 91 degrees and hold it there as best you can; this is the temperature range you need for dipping."

Find the full article HERE.

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