For some reason I am getting a little bit better results. I think it is because I am not looking at books as much and trying to listen to the chocolate. I have two questions and I wonder if anyone can help me out.
1- when I am bringing my chocolate down to 81 or so, if I am seeing lumps or thickening starting to happen, does that mean the temp I am trying to achieve is too low for the chocolate I am trying to temper? Should I try to hit 82 or 83 instead? Should I hit it with the hair dryer?
2- I have attached a pic of a consistent problem I have not been able to effect. There is a blob shape in the middle of each bar that has the nicest sheen, then outside of the blob shape, the sheen is still okay but less shiny. There is the same shape left on the molds. It must be where the chocolate first comes into contact with the mold or something. I have tried warming the mold, doing the whole operation under a warm lamp, and nothing seems to help. any thoughts?
Post by itsallaroundyou on Nov 18, 2010 15:49:58 GMT -5
that mark is a release mark (or force mark). It should wipe off with a cotton ball. I spent months trying to figure out how to get rid of it (i think i had the same mold as you do), and I've only been able to minimize it.
any mold with a flat featureless area is liable to get one. As far as I can tell its caused by cooling at an "inappropriate" rate. Seems like all the bars i've seen them on are cooled in a cooling cabinet (1 temp) vs a cooling tunnel (gradual temp changes).
If you watch the bars from underneath as they cool, you will see the bar slowly release from the sides and corners until there is just a spot in the middle of the flat area, that is where the release mark will be. I suspect that if you could cool the bars at exactly the perfect rate from the top and bottom, you would not get this problem.
Even the pro's get it (pro meaning artisan bean to bar companies) and if its ok for the chocolate makers I admire, its ok for me
"If it wasn't for venetian blinds it'd be curtains for us all"
I haven't done solid bars before, so I'm guessing a bit based on experience of show-pieces. By the looks of your mark, the outside if cooling at the correct rate, but it's taking too long to cool the interior of the mould, which means the chocolate isn't releasing correctly. Try putting it in the fridge to cool. I do this for some of the large solid discs I do or large Easter eggs and it works well when you have a large area of chocolate you need to cool.
Thanks for the responses. I will play with the cooling process and hope to minimize the release splotch.
Any advice regarding question number 1? It just happened to me again. Lumpy chocolate at my low temp of 81. I am now heating back up to 120 and will then bring it back down to 82 this time. Does this seem like the right thing to do? Is my low too low? Is that why I am clumping up? Is it necessary for me to start the whole batch over if it turns a little clumpy, or should I do emergency hair drying and try to revive the tempering operation?
My guess is the chocolate is over-crystallising and you need to hit it with some heat to melt it a little. Be careful to do it only a little: if it is over-crystallisation, it means your chocolate is becoming "over tempered" and you need to melt some of the tempered chocolate so that it becomes fluid again. However, if you melt too much of the tempered chocolate, you can knock your chocolate out of temper. You want just enough heat to get it easily stirrable, then give it a good stir and it should be back in the zone.
Post by reelchemist on Nov 22, 2010 21:37:00 GMT -5
I just read this and your previous tempering problem post. I was having the same troubles for quite a while and eventually tracked down the problem to the initial melting of the chocolate in the tempering process. I just wasn't getting the chocolate hot enough in the first place. That might be something to try, I don't know what your initial temp you melt the choc at is but go hotter, it won't hurt the chocolate you only need to go a few degrees hotter than you usually would. Once I figured that out no more problems, no bloom, no chocolate sticking to the mould and no release marks. Hope it works for you.
Oh, I do the turbo tempering method, use polycarbonate moulds and chuck the poured moulds into the fridge for 10-15 minutes then take them out.