Chocolate Making GuidePosted by Alec on November 20, 2013.
Anyone who joins one of our fantastic chocolate making workshops will know the satisfaction that you get when you make your own delicious sweets. By far, the most important part of this activity is tempering the chocolate. Basically, you’ll start with raw chocolate, and you need to heat it and cool it very slowly in order to make it maliable and ensure it properly sets – this process is called tempering the chocolate. Read our below Chocolate Making Guide for delicious details.
Chocolate Making Guide- Choosing the right raw chocolate
Most pure chocolate is fine for making your own sweets. Try to find packs of buttons or chips that are made for melting. When choosing, look at the ingredients list – always choose chocolate that contains quality Cocoa butter over alternatives such as vegetable fat; generally, less milk (darker chocolate) is better – you’ll want to add your own cream later to make gnash or lighter chocolate for the fillings.
Chocolate Making Guide - Why you need to temper chocolate
If you were to just heat chocolate directly over an element, too quickly, or too hot, the crystals that form when it cools would be different sizes, meaning that the resulting chocolate will have an uneven consistency, be ugly or soft, and (if you’re unlucky) the fat may seperate from the solids, making it leave a waxy layer in your mouth! Well prepared chocolate is an even consistency (and will ‘snap’ when you break it), is shiny and ‘crisp’, and should melt in your mouth.
Chocolate Making Guide - How to temper chocolate at home without any fancy equipment
The Long Way
Heat water slowly in a pan – it should never be so hot that it boils, and really shouldn’t have too much steam coming off it. Aim for around 30 degrees (celcius) – the water should be warm enough to be comfortable putting your finger in. Next, place a heat-proof bowl & chocolate into the water and turn the temperature down slightly and stir occasionally.
When the chocolate is almost fully melted, remove about three quarters of it and place in another dish to cool slightly. When the outside of the cooling chocolate begins to form a shell, add it back to the warm chocolate and turn off the heat. Continue to stir the chocolate occassionally until it’s thick enough to use for dipping, rolling, or putting into a mould.
The Lazy Way
Put your chocolate into a bowl and place in the microwave. Turn it on to a low heat, and stop to check it every 10 seconds or so. When the chocolate has started to melt (but still has some unmelted peaks), take it out and mix it. Wrap a cloth around the bowl to keep it warm and leave it to cool slowly for five to ten minutes.
You should now have perfectly tempered chocolate! Next week, we’ll go over how to turn your tempered chocolate into gnash – a delicious praline filling.