Tempering chocolate in a restaurant kitchen is often difficult because conditions are often not optimal for working with chocolate. So, what are the conditions for creating the perfect result? And what are the smart tips and tricks to successfully temper chocolate? We teamed up with Gastronomixs.com and they share all you need to know about chocolate and how to work with it with the help of master patissier Hidde de Brabander!
The components of chocolate
The basic ingredients in chocolate are cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and sugar. Dark chocolate contains a high percentage of cocoa-based components. In addition to sugar and cocoa-based ingredients, milk chocolate also contains milk-based components and flavourings. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, but consists only of cocoa butter, milk-based components, and sugar. This means that white chocolate actually isn't ‘real’ chocolate, as it does not contain cocoa powder.
Why do we temper chocolate?
The reason for tempering chocolate is that the cocoa butter can create that important sheen and crunch when the solid fats are crystallised correctly. Tempering is a basic preparation for many chocolate preparations. Tempering is a melting process in which chocolate is heated, cooled, and then slowly heated again. This process stabilises the fat crystals in the cocoa butter. Each type of chocolate requires different temperatures to work with.
A whole lot of hassle?
There are several techniques for tempering chocolate, all of which require a thermometer, a heat source, and absolute concentration. Patissiers 'table' their chocolate on marble sheets, but that's often too much hassle in a restaurant kitchen. A simpler technique is to melt two-thirds of your chocolate to 45°C in a bain-marie over low heat. Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and add the remaining chocolate in parts. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted. In the final step, the chocolate is slowly ‘heated’ to 31-32°C. But you can also heat it up in a sous vide. Be sure to take a look at this component if you want to try this technique!
Look at it shine!
To check whether the chocolate has been tempered well, dip a spatula or chef's knife in the chocolate, and allow to cool at room temperature. Properly tempered chocolate will solidify within three to four minutes and will have a lovely sheen. Once the chocolate has been tempered, we recommend keeping it at a temperature of 31-32°C.
Let's get cooking!
Would you like to try out different methods for tempering chocolate? Then choose the method that best suits you and create this fantastic ‘Chocolate and raspberry coral’.
Besides the coral component, Gastronomixs offers 33 other fantastic and versatile chocolate preparations, check them out here!
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