For a chocolate to be of the best quality it must have a high percentage of cocoa butter, a creamy hard fat, because of which chocolate needs tempering. It is a process that not too many can perform it correctly, this is why the chocolate can taste so different from one producer to another. Let’s see how to rightly do the chocolate tempering.
Cocoa butter has various fat crystals with various setting points that start going on their own (if they are allowed to) when the melting process begins. If this happens, then the chocolate will be contained out of large crystals to result in ‘fat blooms’; at the surface of the chocolate. AT this point, the tempering process should step in. Tempering term comes from the Latin word ‘temperare’ meaning to mix correctly. This is what should happen to the chocolate, but only to the one that contains cocoa butter.
When being sold on the market, chocolate is previously tempered, but it is in the process of crystals melting and setting that the things can go wrong. Whenever you reach for a re-melting you should know that the tempering process has to take place again. The patisserie chefs know how to best do this process: they pour the melted chocolate into a marble slab and with a scraper they run the chocolate around till it is setting and after that they put it back inside the bowl for re-warming it at a gentle temperature.
Knowing the temperature of melting is the best way to ensure of a compact melting and leveled crystal setting. Putting a drop of chocolate on the lower lip you can ‘read’ the temperature. Other bakers when using it for cake’s coating, they invest in an electrically functioning bain-marie which is worth the investing to eliminate the guesswork of a chocolate tempering process.
For the non-professionals, the ideal way to have a correct tempering is to use first of all the chocolate nibs or simply proceed into cutting it in small pieces. Put these ones in a bowl that is placed over a not too hot water of a saucepan. Remove the heating source and make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water otherwise the chocolate will stuffed. Stir the chocolate until you reach the right temperature.
Another method of chocolate tempering is using the microwave but you should use small amounts of chocolate one at a time. The microwave will be set at 800 W setting the timer for 20 seconds. After that, remove the chocolate and have it stirred gently. To check if this one is perfectly tempered have a piece of it poured on a baking paper and this one should be set in a couple of minutes presenting a shiny surface.