Chocolate Garnishes Part 1: Tempering

Hello and welcome! Today I will be talking about chocolate garnishes. They can seem hard to make but are easy once you get the hang of it. The hardest part would probably be tempering the chocolate before it can be used. Because of this, I will split this blog into two so we can give tempering the attention it needs since it is the most important step!

Tempering chocolate is a process in which you try and keep chocolate when melting it at its original crystallized form the molecules had. But why is this so important to do? Well you must do this so that after you have melted it and used to make a new decoration and form, no streaks are visible and it is as crunchy as before. It also doesn’t melt too quickly and last longer in its new shape/form. The whole purpose while tempering is not destroying the crystal form by melting it but while making decorations, keeping it around 32 degrees Celsius. They are two ways to melt it. One is on the stove which takes some materials and a bit harder to do. But the easiest is in the microwave. Now let’s get started!

(Creative Commons)

Tempering Chocolate

Step 1: Get about 1 lb of chocolate. Separate it into ¾ and ¼. With the ¾ chocolate, coarsely chop it into cubes. Try to make sure they stay the same size so they melt at the same rate. The other ¼ chocolate should be finely chopped into cubes as well.

Step 2: Put the ¾ coarsely chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and put inside the microwave. Put it on high and melt it for 1 minute. Take it out. At first it might not se melted, but it is. Stir the chocolate and in the bottom you will notice how melted it is. Keep stirring it until you can melt as much as the pieces as possible.

Step 3: If your chocolate isn’t melted all the way (which most likely isn’t), then put it again in the microwave for 15 seconds. Take it out and stir very well. Keep doing this in 10 to 15 second intervals until all the chocolate is melted and no chunks are visible.

Step 4:  By now check the temperature. It will most likely be over 32 degrees celsius. In order to bring down the temperature, mix in the ¼ pound finely coarse chocolate. This will melt easily into it without the need to microwave it.

Step 5: Glass bowls are great for melting chocolate but they do get heated quite easily. For this reason, it is best to transfer the chocolate onto a different bowl. With a spatula, mix the chocolate again and again stir so that it cools down until the 32 degrees celsius. Keep doing this until it isn’t as runny as before. It should thicken a bit. When it does it will be ready to use for decorations! You can get a piece of parchment paper to test the chocolate in for a few seconds. It should harden after no more than 3 minutes. If it does then it is ready to use!

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