For the last two weeks we have been focusing on all things chocolate. Needless to say chocolate is very tempermental (pun intended).
Below are things that have surprised me, frustrated me, challenged me, & frankly surprised me from my experiences over the last 2 weeks. My overall sense of the course is that chocolate can be very mean to you. It can, and will “react” to how you are feeling. All your patience is required to get the chocolate tempered perfectly.
– I learned that the Beta 5 crystals are the “good” (stable) crystals that need to be formed in order for the chocolate to be properly tempered.
– To temper chocolate, I used a couple of methods; the Tablage method, & the seeding/inoculation method. I like the Tablage method the best. In this method, a marble slab is used. Pour out 2/3 of chocolate on to the marble, & spread out the chocolate on the marble, then quickly scrape the chocolate towards your other utensil (usually an offset spatula, or straight spatula) once “back together” spread chocolate out again, and repeat till chocolate becomes thick, & pasty. Transfer chocolate back to bowl, & stir till lumps are gone, Taking tests of the chocolate every so often is crucial to be ableto “read” the chocolate.
It surprised me that chocolate can be such a stinker sometimes. Once you fix your chocolate so that it is back to being well tempered, you notice that there are lumps. You place the bowl over a Bain Marie to melt the lumps, and discover that too many good crystals have melted, and your chocolate is back to being ill tempered. I know better now how to keep chocolate in temper so that it doesn’t create fat blooms, or sugar blooms.
I would like to know more about how to flavour, & infuse chocolate.
(Note: Due to technical difficulties, not all the pictures of the chocolates I made were able to be posted)