Imagine, a world where Willy Wonka is king, and you have rivers of warm, silky, beautiful chocolate flowing everywhere. The bounty is so good, it even flows through taps!
Well, you can always be Willy Wonka in your kitchen. If you’ve yearned to know how to make treats made of the rich, luxurious goodness that is chocolate, read on!
First Things First
Tempering chocolate is the most important step for making smooth, glossy, evenly coloured coating for your dipped chocolates. This process prevents the dull grayish color and waxy texture that happens when the cocoa fat separates out. When you bite into a piece of tempered chocolate, it produces a crisp, satisfying snap.
The part of chocolate that allows it to melt so sumptuously in your mouth is cocoa butter. It is made of a family of six types of crystals. What makes working with chocolate tricky is that each type of crystal forms or sets at a different temperature and some of those forms aren’t very stable—they can change over time and even when in storage. The best way to temper chocolate is a method called ‘seeding’, using disks of tempered chocolate that are already available at bakeries.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a clean, dry bowl, over a double boiler/a saucepan with simmering water, to about 115˚-120˚F (46˚-49˚C).
- Remove from heat and let it cool to about 80˚F (27˚C). Drop in a good-sized solid disk of chocolate, which ‘seeds’ the melted chocolate with ‘good’ crystals. While cooling, stir frequently. The constant motion encourages good crystallisation, aka, tempering.
- Bring the chocolate up to the perfect temperature, where it’s full of those ‘good’ crystals. Keep the temperature between 88˚ and 91˚F (31˚-32˚C).
Your chocolate is now dip-worthy. You can dip all the chocolates you want and they all will be perfectly tempered. However, don’t let it go over 91˚F (32˚C) or you’ll have to begin the process all over again. If it drops below the optimal temperature, warm it gently to bring it back up.
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