Easter Egg & Gifts – Chocolate Tempering Class Notes
History Of Chocolate
The origins of chocolate can be traced back to the ancient Maya and Aztec civilisations in Central America, who first enjoyed a spicy drink made from roasted cocoa beans. Chocolate was exclusively for drinking until the early Victorian era, when a technique developed by Rudolph Lintt that refined the chocolate to a smooth velvet consistency with a process known as conching. The chocolate could then be tempered and allowed to set solid for ‘eating’. Throughout its history, whether as a cocoa, a drinking chocolate beverage or a confectionery treat, chocolate has been a much sought-after food.
The story of cocoa begins with cocoa trees, which for thousands of years, grew wild in the tropical rain forests of the Amazon basin and other tropical areas in Central and South America. Hundreds of years before cocoa was brought to Europe, the Maya Indians and the Aztecs recognised the value of cocoa beans both as an ingredient for their special drink and as currency. Hence the term when you have no money “I have not got a bean” referring to cocoa beans.
The history of chocolate is much debated and complex, some web sites of interest on this subject.
In order to achieve the best results from your chocolate, the crystals within the cocoa butter have to be “Tempered” or pre-crystalised.
Chocolate purchased is already tempered, only when chocolate is warmed too much do the crystals disappear.
Tempered or Pre-crystallised chocolate can be achieved in a few
different ways: –
- Completely melt the chocolate.
- Pour two thirds of the melted chocolate out onto a cold surface (metal or marble)
- The chocolate is then manipulated backwards and forwards with scraper – thus creating stable crystals.
- When the chocolate has slightly thickened but not set, add the chocolate back with the third left in the bowl and stir.
- The remaining 1/3 of warmer chocolate will help the manipulated chocolate to become workable and the crystals generated by movement will mix and temper the third left behind.
- Chocolate can be placed into the machine and left to completely melt overnight.
- This will result in molten chocolate without any crystals
- Then the next day more chocolate buttons can be added (seeding) because the buttons already contain crystals, they will seed the warmer chocolate.
- The warmer chocolate will melt the fresh seed, resulting in perfectly tempered workable chocolate.
- The result when the two chocolates are mixed by the machine, will be chocolate with the correct crystalline formation.
- The 5-minute test is still used to ensure enough buttons were added to create tempered or pre crystallised chocolate.
- A faster way to temper chocolate in smaller quantities, is in the microwave
- Fill a plastic bowl ¾ full with chocolate callets.
- Microwave on full for 1 minute only and stir – to remove heat spots.
- Now microwave for 30 second increments and stir.
- Repeat 30 second microwave until your chocolate looks ¾ melted.
- Chocolate lumps are a perfect indication, it means chocolate has not got too warm!
- Step away from the microwave and stir chocolate vigorously heat gently.
- With heat gun 20 sec blasts.
- Make sure that FEW lumps are still visible (perfect indication).
- 5 MINUTE CHECK – SEE NOTES.
- Chocolate can be kept in temper by looking after it.
- LOOKING AFTER CHOCOLATE – Every 5 minutes, just blast the chocolate with a heat source.
- This will remove any excess crystal that naturally builds up.
5 MINUTE ESSENTIAL CHOCOLATE CHECK
Always do this test to ensure that chocolate is perfect to use. Never skip this essential step!!
- Dip Scraper or Knife in chocolate and wait 5 minutes
- If the chocolate is touch dry in 5 minutes, you will have created tempered chocolate – perfect to use.
- If the chocolate sets before the 5 minutes, then too many stable crystals have been formed.
- This means your chocolate is too cool and will make the chocolate difficult to handle.
- Slightly heat the chocolate with a hairdryer or heat gun to melt out the excess stable crystals (20 second blasts and stir)
- Chocolate should remain cool to the touch and the viscosity (how it flows) should leave a line and then disappear.
- You cannot work with custard consistency!!!
- If the chocolate is still wet after 5 minutes this means not enough stable crystals and the chocolate has got too warm.
- Add a handful of fresh unmelted chocolate (seed) taking it back to ¾ melted stage.
- Gently blast with a heat source and continue to the 5-minute check.
- Now look after perfectly tempered chocolate by blasting with heat gun every 5 minutes to remove excess crystals that naturally form to make your chocolate set.
- Temp 18-20c.
- Storage Space without strong smelling odours.
- Sunlight free.
- Air-tight, closed original package.
- Clean, dry, with a low humidity level.
- Insect and rodent free.
- 90g Whipping Cream
- 250g Milk Chocolate
- Pour melted chocolate onto cold cream and stir briskly until paste is formed.
- Pipe instantly into small balls, leave to set approx. 15 mins.
- Pick up and roll into balls (you will get covered in chocolate!)
- Dip each truffle into melted chocolate and leave to set.
- Top the coated truffle with a small blob of white chocolate.
- Eat within 3 days.
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