Chocolate tempering is an important step for making smooth, glossy coating for dipped chocolates. This process prevents the waxy texture and dull grayish colour that occurs when the cocoa fat separates out. Chocolate that has gone through this process has a shiny, flawless look. Also, it feels firm and tends to break off with a snap if bitten.
Required Humidity and Temperature when Tempering Chocolate
Tempering chocolate requires storing chocolate in a dry, cool, and dark place. The tempering process works best at normal room temperature. The chocolate tempering machine and utensils must be thoroughly dry, with the chocolate not more than 10°C (17°F) colder than room temperature. This can prevent the formation of condensation on the surface when exposed to warmer conditions.
The majority of chocolate will temper perfectly when initially melted at the default setting which is 43°C (109°F). At this temperature, cocoa butter, the ingredient the tempering process will impact will melt completely.
Tempering Big Quantities
Those who need at least 700 grams of tempered chocolate can replenish the pool of chocolate as the use it. The extra chocolate can be melted in a bain-marie and allowed to cool below 34°C (94°F). But, when using plenty of chocolate, more time will be needed. When the tempered chocolate will be used, it must be replaced with untempered ones. The melted chocolate behind the baffle must be added and allowed to blend with the tempered chocolate in the machine. The mixture will become fully tempered within just a few minutes. Experts recommend starting to replenish as soon as 100cc (4 oz) is used, with a ladle of this capacity to replace the used quantity.
Adjusting the Chocolate Viscosity
Chocolate that is tempered is slightly viscous. The amount of chocolate that will cling to a dipped piece will be determined by the degree of its viscosity. A chocolate that is quite viscous will have a very thick coating. The coating will be thin of the chocolate is runny. Usually, the tempered chocolate produced using the machine will provide satisfactory results. When adjusting the viscosity, a small amount of cocoa butter can be added to the chocolate pool to thin it.
How to Perfect the Finish
The majority of chocolate will tamper at the default settings but test samples must be made to be sure. In case the finish is slightly streaky, this means that the chocolate is either a bit too hot or took too long to cool. Ensure correct room temperature and humidity. A finish that is too matt requires increasing the temper temperature or adding cocoa butter.