Florentines succesfully made!

Discussion in 'Cookies' started by Lee_C, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    My dear mum, who knows I've become somewhat addicted to baking, sometimes to her annoyance as I talk about it all the time, :oops: said that if I want a bit of a challenge, try making some Florentines. I've always loved Florentines so decided to give them a try yesterday. They're actually really easy to make and they've come out delicious. :) I based my recipe on the GBBO technical challenge. 50g brown sugar, 50g butter, 50g golden syrup, 50g flour, 50g mixed peel, 50g almond flakes, 25g chopped glace cherries. I threw in some chopped up sultanas too. Melt and stir sugar, butter and syrup over a low heat, take off the heat, throw in the rest of the ingredients and combine. Put teaspoon size blobs onto a baking sheet, making sure to keep a lot of space between each as they do flatten out a lot. Bake at 180c for 8 to 10 minutes. Let them cool a few minutes and coat or half dip with chocolate.

    The challenging part for me is the chocolate tempering! My first attempt created some white bloom which you can probably see in my photos. Some videos are saying you can temper without a thermometer, so that's what I tried. Bain Marie method, glass bowl, melted 2/3 of dark chocolate, took it off the heat and stirred in the other 1/3 I'd reserved. But clearly this doesn't work well, you really need a thermometer.

    Second attempt, I made a smaller batch tonight to coat a couple of remaining Florentines and a couple of newly made macaroons. I'm waiting to receive an instant read thermometer with a needle that goes into liquid, but meanwhile I decided to try with my Infrared thermometer. I didn't think it would be suitable as it only reads surface temperature, but there's a few youtube videos where they're using one successfully for tempering. I definitely had better success tonight, I'd say 95% perfect tempering, with just a few tiny spots. I'm not sure the infrared thermometer is that great for this though. I used a metal bowl this time as I believe it doesn't insulate and retain the heat as much as glass.

    I melted it to 49c, cooled it to 28/29c by seeding and also with the aid of a bowl of iced water, removed a small piece of unmelted chocolate, and then went to reheat it to 31/32c, although when I took it off the heat, the thermometer was reading late 30s. I only reheated it for a few seconds though. Either the infrared wasn't reading it accurately or I needed to reheat it for like, I don't know, maybe 4 seconds. Anyway, it seemed to dry a lot quicker than yesterday's attempt which is a good sign, and my tempered test chocolate on the end of my palate knife has dried with a lovely silky smooth touch and no melting or greasiness as I touch it. It does have some tiny blemishes though. I suspect because my final working temperature wasn't quite right and I might have introduced a few stray bad crystals. But overall I'm reasonably happy with my tempering.

    20190415_221320.jpg 20190415_220716.jpg 20190415_220604.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 16, 2019
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  2. Lee_C

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    They look amazing, I'm glad you got there in the end. I've been struggling with tempering chocolate recently, I've had success with dark chocolate in the past but not milk chocolate for some reason. Never made florentines either but I love them.
     
    Becky, Apr 16, 2019
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  3. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @Becky, you’re in good company. Despite my advance skills In baking, tempering chocolate remains hit or miss. I buy the same brand (Guittard) of chocolate when I make dipped cookies. For some reason that brand never fails me.

    I purchased a kilo each of Callebaut milk chocolate and 54% dark chocolate last week to experiment with tempering. I frequently use Callebaut in cookies and cakes. I tempered it classes, but never at home. I like the flavor of Callebaut better than Guittard. So I want to change the chocolate I use for dipped cookies.

    Also I’ve found that people know quality chocolate when they eat it. I took a batch of chocolate dipped biscotti to a coffee cupping a few months ago. Several people commented on the chocolate noting they liked that I used real dark chocolate. They said they could tell that it wasn’t something like candy melts or melted chocolate chips.

    My brother spends a lot of time in Mexico on his coffee business. He’s been bringing me back chocolate and vanilla beans. He really wants to cultivate cacao beans there. But I don’t know if the land he and his partners own is the right elevation for cacao.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 16, 2019
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  4. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    These florentines look delicious. This is my type of cookie. I love dried fruit. Don’t fret about the tempering, chocolate is one of those things that is very difficult to work with.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 16, 2019
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    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Becky and norcalbaker. Working with chocolate is definitely a bit intimidating! I'm glad that I've had some practise with tempering cheap bars of chocolate, £0.30 pence per 100g bar, before I move up to the more expensive Lindt or Green & Black chocolate. I'm looking forward to getting my thermometer and really doing it properly.
    Becky, I saw you made a thread last year that you'd made violet marshmallow chocolates. I so want to make chocolates! I'd love to see super shiny spheres out of silicon moulds. I'm wondering if 70% good quality chocolate tempers better than my cheap 49% chocolate or if it wouldn't make any difference and is just down to the correct temperatures?


    This is what I used, bought a few bars.
    https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/300795095

    20190415_210451.jpg

    I'm no connoisseur of dark chocolate so don't really know how this tastes compared to expensive stuff, but tastes alright to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 16, 2019
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    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @Lee_C

    Chocolate is one of those ingredients in which quality matters. The percentage of cocoa butter in the chocolate is critical to it fluidity. The higher the cocoa butter content the higher the fluidity.


    High fluidity chocolate is easier to work with and tempers harder than low fluidity chocolate. Since it will dry harder, it can be used to create very thin shells. It’s also easier to remove from the molds.


    High fluidity chocolate has a glossier finish, again due to the buttercream. But it’s not that mirror gloss.


    The chocolates with a mirror gloss are shaped in molds that have been sprayed with pure cocoa butter. It is that pure cocoa butter that creates the high gloss. See links below.


    =====================


    The three brands of chocolate most commonly used by pastry chefs are: Valrhona, Cacao Barry, and Callebaut.


    Cacao Barry and Callebaut are owned by the same company. But they keep the productions separate to maintain the integrity of each brand.

    Theses three brands are sold in the shape of disks or callets. Callets look like chocolate chips but they are couverture chocolate. Chocolate chips from the grocery store are not couverture chocolate. Chocolate chips are compound chocolate. Compound chocolate does not contain cocoa butter. The small uniform shape ensures a more even rate of melting.

    Callebaut sells some of their chocolate in 5 kilo blocks.

    Valrhona is the most expensive. But it’s for people who are really into chocolate. I did some tastes test with chocolate chunk cookies several years ago; not a single taster like the Valrhona. I was using 70%. Everyone described it as “bitter.”


    The Callebaut 54% was like by all the adults.

    I have found that 66% is about the maximum or most palates. Personally, 70% is the max for my palate.

    The Callebaut 811 is 54%. It is one of the most commonly used chocolates as it’s flavor is mild, so appeals to a wide range of tastes. It also has a high fluidity, so can be used in a variety of applications. The 811 also has a very good price point for a fine chocolate.

    The 811 is my standard chocolate for chocolate chunk cookies, fillings, and buttercream. I purchased it in blocks. But I don’t temper this chocolate. I use a different brand for tempering.


    One of the nice things about Callebaut is their labeling system for fluidity. The front of the label depicts five drop shapes. The colored in drops indicates the fluidity: one drop, two drop, etc. The number of colored drops indicate the level of fluidity.


    One chocolate covered drop his low fluidity and suitable for melting and adding into Things like buttercream. You would not mold with a chocolate with a low fluidity.


    Three chocolate covered drops is the level of fluidity that is most often used to because you can add it to other things or mold it.


    This is the Callebaut 811.

    https://www.chocolatetradingco.com/buy/callebaut-dark-chocolate-chips-53


    Callebaut fluidity label explained

    https://www.callebaut.com/en-US/chocolate-technique/troubleshooting/fluidity


    How chocolate molds are made glossy and colored in a commercial kitchen.




    How to use colored cocoa butter at home




    ==========


    For the best chocolate porn, see Chef Amaury Guichon—this man is the master of all things chocolate.


    https://www.instagram.com/amauryguichon/?hl=en
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 16, 2019
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  7. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @Lee_C

    This will show you the limits to the gloss without cocoa butter. When I dip my biscotti I first place it chocolate side down on parchment to create a smooth bottom. After the chocolate sets, I flip them chocolate side up. The chocolate that comes in contact with the parchment paper will look dull. If you zoom in and look at the side of the biscotti where the chocolate did not touch the parchment paper, you’ll see it’s glossier than the bottoms. It’s shiny, but it is not that beautiful mirror glossy. You have to use cocoa butter for that mirror gloss.

    4FD6ACB7-2B15-45CA-9D98-7980A006E69E.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 16, 2019
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  8. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Thank you norcalbaker for that great information and for answering my question. So now I know that better quality chocolate is better for tempering. Yes, you're right, the Callebaut labelling is very cool and informative with the 1 to 5 fluidity droplets. I think I'll hold fire on making chocolates for a little while though, it's getting a bit expensive to buy all these high quality ingredients!

    I see now how cocoa butter is key to a mirror finish. Your biscotti looks delicious.

    And yeah, I just looked at all the photos of Amaury Guichon and a few videos about him. His creations are insane!! So much talent and he started at 14. Clearly something of a child prodigy. The chocolate furniture and clocks are incredible. :eek:

    On a simpler level compared to him, but still way too advanced for me, I enjoyed watching this video last night. A lot of processes going on. Super shiny chocolates!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 17, 2019
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    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh those are beautiful chocolates. That shine really makes a difference in perception, of how we view the experience of eating chocolate. There’s a chocolate shop down the road from me in a small town called Yountville that produces chocolate like those in the video. Shiny and decorated like little pieces of art. Every time I have one of their chocolates it’s a special experience. I always take the time to find a nice bench to sit and slowly enjoyed the chocolate.

    In the main town, Napa, there’s a chocolate shop that does not use the cocoa butter on their chocolates, so they are dull looking. They’re delicious chocolates, but the dull look doesn’t incite the small sense of joy. So I rarely buy their chocolate. But they do make a hazelnut praline ice cream that is to die for. :p

    Yes, the hobby of baking can be very expensive! :(
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 17, 2019
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  10. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Oooh, hazelnut and praline ice cream. That has to be on my bucket list. :D

    But norcalbaker and Becky, it seems there's an even easier way to temper chocolate! Watch this video from 1:00. No seeding needed. Apparently crystals separate at 34c/93f so all it takes is melting the chocolate below 34c!



    Your thoughts? I'm assuming this crystal separation temperature threshold applies to dark, milk and white chocolate. It looks like it should work much easier than worrying about melting, then cooling to a specific temperature and then raising it back to another specific temperature.
     
    Lee_C, Apr 17, 2019
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    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Chocolate is one of the foods that food scientist have spent an extraordinary amount of time studying.

    While the guy in the video makes lovely chocolates, there’s some problems with his claims that heating chocolate to under 35°C tempers chocolate.

    Simply heating chocolate does not temper it.

    Tempering is the destruction of the crystalline structure in the cocoa butter, then the reformation of a new crystalline structure—but one that is made of a specific type of crystal.

    Imagine you have 20 Lego bricks, stacked in rows on top of each other. That represents the solid chocolate bar. You slam the Lego bar on the countertop, causing the individual Lego bricks to scatter. That represents the destruction of the crystalline structure in the cocoa butter when its exposed to heat—it destroys the crystalline structure and the chocolate goes from a solid state to a liquid.

    So you’ve destroyed the Lego bar. All the Lego bricks are scattered on the countertop. Something has to happen in order for those Lego bricks to recombine into a solid piece.

    Same thing with the melted chocolate; the heat only destroys the crystalline structure—now something has to happen for that liquid chocolate to recombine into a solid piece. And that something is the formation of a new crystalline structure.

    To form a new crystalline structure the cocoa butter must cool.

    But, cocoa butter is polymorphic, meaning it is able to form a number of types of crystals. In total cocoa butter forms six different types of crystals: forms I - VI.

    If you leave the chocolate too cool on its own, it will form 5 different crystal forms. The only form it cannot form from a melted state is form VI.

    The different crystals have different characteristics. Of those six forms only one will produce the all of desirable characteristics that we love and desire in chocolate.


    • Forms I - II: these crystals form a very weak structure; chocolate is dull, coarse, and crumbles easily.
    • Form III is firm, but the snap isn’t great, it’s dull, and does not have the velvet mouthfeel we associate with chocolate.
    • Form IV is firm, has a good snap, but is dull, and lacks the velvety mouthfeel we expect from chocolate. It will mold, but it still lacks some of the characteristics that we expect in chocolate.
    • Form V is very firm, shines, has good snap, and the ideal melting temperature of 35°C. This crystaline structure produces the velvety mouthfeel we expecting chocolate. But, this is not a stable crystalline structure. Chocolate in this structure will develop form VI crystals over time.


    Form VI is hard because it is the most stable form of crystalline structure. These crystals do not form from a melted state, rather these crystals formed in solid chocolate that has been sitting for a while. So chocolate that leaves the factory in temper will not stay temper as these VI crystals will form over time. Chocolate that has developed VI crystals will be hard, dull, with some visible fat bloom.

    When we say chocolate is in temper, we are referring to chocolate with a crystalline structure made up of virtually all form V crystals.

    But to create such a structure, all six forms of crystals that may be in that piece of chocolate must first be destroyed.

    Since the different crystal forms are destroyed at different temperatures, chocolate is heated to 44°C-48°C to ensure all of the different crystal forms are destroyed. The exact temperature depends on the type of chocolate and the brands.

    If the man in the video isn’t heating the chocolate above 33°C, he’s may not destroy all of the crystal forms.

    After the crystals are destroyed the chocolate must be cooled down to around 27°C because that is the temperature of which form V crystals form.

    But since form IV crystals also form at that temperature, the chocolate has to be heated back up to 33°C - 34°C to destroy them. Going above 35°C will destroy the V crystalline structure. That’s why the man in the video said the chocolate should not exceed 35°C.

    Chocolate doesn’t have to be in temper to mold. The form IV crystals will mold, create a chocolate that is firm, and has a decent snap. It has some of the characteristics of tempered chocolate, but lacks the shine and the velvety mouthfeel of properly tempered chocolate.

    Since the man uses cocoa butter to create the shine on the chocolate, there’s no way to tell if the chocolate is dull or not.

    Plus he used ruby chocolate. This is a unique chocolate exclusively produced by Barry Callebaut for the trade. Very few people are familiar with this chocolate. Since The manufacturing of the chocolate is protected by international patent laws, no one knows for sure exactly what it is. But the patent they submitted indicates they defat the cacao beans with an acid. Since crystal form and crystalline structure are functions of the fat molecules in cocoa butter, there’s no way to know how that acid process effects the crystal formation and, subsequently, the affect on tempering.

    Chocolate is regulated in just about every country. All countries have a definition as to what legally constitutes chocolate. The EU has classified the ruby chocolate as “coverture chocolate”. However in the United States, the government has yet to classify it. The FDA requested Callebaut provide more clarification so they can make a determination as to whether or not it is chocolate by the legal definition. So what ruby chocolate is and how it tempers is not clear.

    If he had “tempered” dark or milk chocolate, the only way to know if his technique properly tempered is to physically evaluate the chocolate after it rests for some 10 days. It can take up to 14 days for the crystallization process to complete.

    That’s why molded chocolate without a filling is should be made at least a week before it’s needed. Chocolate with filling should be made two or three days in advance, depending on the shelf life of the filling, to gives the chocolate time to form a more complete crystaline structure.

    Given the extraordinary amount of scientific study of chocolate by food scientist at major universities throughout the world, it is highly unlikely that they somehow missed this “simple” method of tempering chocolate.

    Personally I prefer the Bain Marie to microwaving when it comes to tempering. Since microwaves heat from the inside out, there’s issues with hotspots, especially if using chopped chocolate instead of wafers, disks, or callets. With a Bain Marie I can see the chocolate melting, so can decide more accurately went to remove it from the heat. And I can continuously stir it to prevent hotspots.

    Overheated chocolate will seize. And once chocolate seizes there’s no way to fix it. Having seized chocolate in the microwave, I now only use the Bain Marie.

    The microwave doesn’t offer much control over temperature output. And no two microwaves are the same. He microwaves at 400 watts. My microwave doesn’t even indicate watts. I can only choose full power, 75%, 50%, or 25%. It’s impossible to know which of the power levels is equivalent to 400 watts.



    I have notes on temperatures for different types of chocolates from a chocolate class I took a few years ago. If you want me to post them let me know.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 18, 2019
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    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have to admit, that it did seem odd to me that there could be such a simple solution to tempering when there are professionals doing tabling and seeding. Pity, I was hoping to simplify it. :D But I bow to your superior knowledge. I'm getting a thermometer soon so I'm quite happy to do the seeding method over a bain marie. Yes, I'd love to see your notes on different chocolate temperatures. From one video I watched, the guy did tempering for the first time and seemed to be successful with dark, milk and white chocolate. He did side by sides comparison of just melted v tempered, demonstrating the snap and no melting in the hand of the tempered versus the non tempered. And during the video, he put these temperatures up that he used. I don't know how they compare to your notes?

    Tempering.jpg

    A few days ago, I'd read this article about tempering, written by a bio chemist. Part of the article also talks about keeping it below 34c to keep it from losing temper.

    https://acselementsofchocolate.typepad.com/elements_of_chocolate/TEMPERINGCHOCOLATE.html
     
    Lee_C, Apr 18, 2019
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    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    These are my notes on tempering from a chocolate class.


    Tempering Temperatures Chocolate


    Minimum of 1/2 lb chocolate is required for tempering. Best if 1 lb is used. Leftover chocolate may be re-tempered another day—as long as it is free of impurities (e.g., cookie crumbs)


    Seeding method

    SET ASIDE 25% of the chocolate to seed


    MELT


    DARK CHOCOLATE:
    • 114°F/46°C - 118°F/48° C
    • Do Not Exceed 120F/49C

    MILK CHOCOLATE:
    • 105°F/40°C – 113°F/45° C
    • Do Not Exceed 116F/47C

    WHITE CHOCOLATE:
    • 100°F/37°C – 110°F/43° C
    • Do Not Exceed 114F/45C
    NOTE: White chocolate burns easily due to milk


    COOLING


    DARK CHOCOLATE
    • 84°F/28°C

    MILK CHOCOLATE
    • 81°F/27°C

    WHITE CHOCOLATE
    • 79°F/26°C


    WORKING TEMPERATURE

    NOTE:
    • working temp required to destroy IV crystals
    • keeps chocolate fluid
    • heating pad on low and covered
    • DO NOT EXCEED MAX TEMP FOR THE TYPE OF CHOCOLATE


    NOTE: Valrhona is different from other brands

    VALRHONA DARK CHOCOLATE
    • 89°F-90°F/32°C

    VALRHONA MILK CHOCOLATE
    • 86°F-87°F/30°C

    VALRHONA WHITE CHOCOLATE:
    • 82°F-83°F/28°C


    Working Temperature most other brands of chocolate


    DARK CHOCOLATE
    • 88°F/31° C

    MILK CHOCOLATE
    • 84 – 86° F (29 – 30° C)

    WHITE CHOCOLATE
    • 84 – 86° F (29 – 30° C)

    NOTE: Do not reheat tempered chocolate above 90° (30° C) or let it fall more than a degree or two below the working temperature.


    ======================

    TROUBLESHOOTING


    How to distinguish fat bloom from sugar sugar bloom:


    Rub with fingertip:
    • Fat bloom rubs off easily; chocolate surface feels smooth
    • Sugar bloom does not rub off easily; chocolate surface feels and looks grainy


    Fat bloom: white/grayish film on surface.
    • Occurs naturally as chocolate sits.
    • caused by lipids moving through “pores” in crystalline structure.
    • Certain conditions will accelerate fat bloom
    • Chocolate not properly tempered
    • Chocolate storage too warm
    • 64°F/18°C optimal temp to store chocolate to prevent bloom
    • Fat/oil based fillings
    • Fat/oils in praline and nut fillings will migrate into the chocolate; cause bloom within hours
    • To prevent bloom, add 5% cocoa butter to filling
    • Heat filling to 73°F/23°C to pre-crystallize; prevents fats in filling from migrating into chocolate
    • Replace some of cream in fillings with water (i.e., water truffles using orange water or rose water)
    • Bloom does not compromise the safety/quality; perfectly safe to eat. Just looks unappetizing
    • Fat bloom can be gently wiped off

    Sugar bloom: rough grainy surface

    • Sugar bloom is caused when the added sugar crystallizes.
    • moisture from humid environment dissolves sugar; moisture evaporates, then sugar re-crystallizes.
    • Condensation from cold storage (refrigerator)
    • To prevent sugar bloom:
    • Molds must be completely dry
    • Storage must be in low humidity and air tight container
    • Acclimate chocolate in packaging for 2 - 3 hrs when moving from cold storage to room temperature
    • Sugar bloom compromises the quality; loss of velvety texture
    • Sugar bloom cannot be fixed, so prevention is a must


    ============


    Production Notes:


    Crystaline structure continues to develop up to 14 days.


    Make chocolates decorations at least one week in advance to allow the chocolate to come to full temper.


    Chocolates with fillings 3 - 4 days in advance; depends on how perishable filling is


    Dipped cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Biscotti up to 3 weeks depending on fat content in dough


    V form crystals: form just below 95°F/35°C depends on brand; working temperature should never exceed 95°F/35°C
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 19, 2019
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    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Shirley O. Corriher is a well known chemist and cookbook author. She was my introduction to the food science when I bought her book, CookWise in ‘97.


    When Dr. Paul Dimick says its just a matter of keeping chocolate under 94°F he is referring to chocolate that is in temper.


    “...you never lose all of these prized crystals and your melted chocolate is already tempered.”​


    “If you have kept the chocolate below 92° F during all of this, it is still tempered and ready for use.”​


    Keep in mind pastry chefs and chocolatiers buy high end chocolate in bulk, so a lot of money is invested in chocolates. They purchase from food service suppliers that take care to store the chocolate at the appropriate humidity and temperature. The stock also moves through the supply chain very quickly since no one can afford to sit on their inventory. So the chocolate purchased through the food service suppliers will be fresh and in temper.


    But for the home cooks buying st the local grocery store, a lot of variables come into play that affect the temper of the chocolate. We don’t know how long ago it shipped from the manufacture; how long it was stored in a warehouse before it was shipped to the retail store; The conditions in which it was stored; how long it’s been on the shelf. And we may purchase chocolate, put it in the pantry and then not use it for a few months.


    So we can’t assume the chocolate is in temper. We have to examine the chocolate to determine if it’s showing any signs of fat bloom and/or VI crystals formation. All chocolate that is tempered will eventually form VI crystals because V crystals are not very stable.


    The pic below is a chocolate wafer from a factory sealed package that I just opened. The manufacture, Guittard, also supplies the trade. But this chocolate came from a retail grocery store. This chocolate was part of a large purchase I made around Christmas. So this chocolate has been sitting in my pantry for a while.


    As you can see there’s visible signs of bloom. So I checked to see how hard the chocolate is, as well as how quickly it melts in my mouth.


    I sampled fours disc from the bag. Two had a nice snap and were velvety in mouthfeel. The disc in the photo and another one were hard and slow to melt in my mouth. So the slight bloom, hard chocolate, and slow melt tells me some of the chocolate in this bag is no longer in full temper. So I must heat it to 118°F to ensure I destroy all the crystalline structure and do a full temper.


    It’s important to always assess your chocolate to determine the state it’s in before you begin tempering. And if you are not sure if your chocolate is in full temper before starting, then you should go through the full tempering process.


    When you’re just learning about chocolate, it’s always good to go through the whole tempering process. The first time I attempted to temper chocolate at home it took me forever to temper 1 pound of chocolate. Oh, and talk about a mess. I’m a very neat orderly baker, but I’m telling you I had chocolate everywhere.


    But i’ve done it enough that the process is now pretty fast and very neat and orderly. I still don’t have the confidence to try other brands of chocolate—I stick with the Guittard because it has never failed me. And I still get nervous when I temper chocolate. I don’t think that will ever change. Two things that always make me nervous: tempering chocolate and steaming tamales.

    Guittard chocolate disc from factory sealed bag I just opened.
    BF9B09EE-8105-4C4F-B7D3-8801E0106B8E.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 19, 2019
    #14
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  15. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Oh yes, definite bloom on that disc.

    Once again though, thank you norcalbaker, very detailed and educational as usual! Much appreciated. You explain things very well.

    I'll go by your melting/cooling/working temperatures rather than the ones I linked. They're close but I trust yours more.

    A couple of points for you.


    "NOTE: Do not let it fall more than a degree or two below the working temperature."

    What is the reason for that? Is it because once it drops more than a degree or two from a working temperature of say 30c, eg, it's cooled to 26 or 27c, it's not possible to warm it back to 30c and still keep it in temper? And therefore by not being able to do that, the chocolate will have to be used quickly before it sets hard?

    Second point. About not making the assumption that the chocolate is actually in temper, due to various storage conditions. Yes, that makes perfect sense.

    In the case of the man in the video claiming chocolate can be tempered by simply melting it under 35c, I'm a little confused here so bear with me!

    You initially said it can't be done, but later with the Dr Dimick quote, it seems you accepted it can be done just as long as the chocolate is known to be in temper in the first place.

    And so maybe the man in my video had checked his Callebaut chocolate to see if there is any bloom, didn't find any, is confident his chocolate is in temper, and just melted it below 35c to keep it in temper?

    However, because of what you detailed about the various things that can affect temper, and for those reasons it's best to do the full tempering process, then it's certainly misleading of him to tell people this is an easy way to temper without also informing them of the conditions you correctly described that could effectively void his easy tempering method.


    Oh one other point I just remembered. Why is it not possible to temper less than half a pound of chocolate?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
    Lee_C, Apr 20, 2019
    #15
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  16. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the working temperature... correct dropping below the temperature will risk losing the temper. IV crystals can form at 27°C - 30°C. So you don’t want to drop back into that temperature zone while working with the chocolate. Also working temperature keeps the chocolate as fluid as possible while working with it.


    The guy in video claims chocolate can be tempered by simply heating chocolate below a certain temperature. This is blatantly not true. Tempering is heating and cooling. There’s not a single mention of cooling. Or the importance of stirring. Chocolate needs to be agitated to distribute the crystals evenly through the. That why the masters table chocolate and the rest of us stir it.


    Shirley O. Corriher’s article makes no such claims as her article fully explains heating, cooling, stirring—that’s tempering. A chocolatier who works with chocolate everyday may not heat TEMPERED chocolate to the highest point in the temperature range, but they must still cool and agitate it.

    In the article it says to heat the chocolate, stirring constantly until 2/3 is melted, not heating over 91°F/31°C. It then states you must continue to “patiently” stir. What you’re doing is a combination cooling, agitating, and “seeding.” The unmelted chocolate essentially acts as the seeding chocolate. Here’s her instructions for heating tempered chocolate below 95°F/35°C per Dr. Paul Dimick:

    “Your goal is to barely melt the chocolate. All of these crystals have a range over which they melt and chocolate melts at 89° to 90° F even though all the beta crystals do not melt until above 94° F. You can keep the chocolate over a very low heat source and, with constant stirring, melt 2/3 of it. Then, remove it from the heat and patiently continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted. For dark chocolate, ideally you want to end up with a temperature of 89° to 91° F (87° to 89° F for milk or white chocolate). If you have kept the chocolate below 92° F during all of this, it is still tempered and ready for use.”​


    Remember the crystalline structure is the crystal formation in cocoa butter AND full tempering is not complete for days after the chocolate is tempered.

    The reason it takes nearly 2 weeks for chocolate to come to full temper is the process we call tempering only creates 2% - 4% crystallization of the cocoa butter.

    Agitation (stirring or tabling) evenly distributes that small percentage of form V crystals through the chocolate to encourage even formation of the crystalline structure as the chocolate continues to temper over the next 10 to 14 days.

    Shirley O. Corriher’s article explains the entire process of heating, cooling, agitating required in tempering. Tempering chocolate is complex and takes time. The guy in the video insists that a simple way to get around the complexities of chocolate is to heat it below a certain temperature. His method completely ignores all the other process that must happen to temper chocolate.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 20, 2019
    #16
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  17. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Thanks norcalbaker, all understood. Today I've got a bag of pretzels which I'm going to dip in chocolate. I won't worry too much about the tempering because they'll be eaten too quickly. :D
     
    Lee_C, Apr 21, 2019
    #17
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  18. Lee_C

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    There’s an Italian company that make gluten free chocolate covered pretzels. I have no shame in admitting that I eat the whole bag in two days:p enjoy your pretzels.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Apr 21, 2019
    #18
  19. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Haha. I don't blame you one bit! I used to buy Flipz chocolate pretzels and easily demolish a bag in one sitting. :D
     
    Lee_C, Apr 21, 2019
    #19
  20. Lee_C

    Lee_C Well-Known Member

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    Did some pretzels today. :)

    Tastes as good as anything shop bought. And I redid the florentines. I took my dear mother's advice who said they were too big and a bit hard to bite into. I thought they were fine but was happy to improve them.

    Used honey instead of golden syrup (plus less of it), less flour, and I added some double cream. Made them much smaller, thinner and more delicate and lacy, they were too chunky before. And I used a muffin tray to give a more uniform circular shape. And I used milk chocolate this time. Overall, much better! :cool:

    20190424_142247.jpg 20190424_142447.jpg 20190424_140907.jpg
     
    Lee_C, Apr 24, 2019
    #20
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