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Tempering Chocolate for Cake Recipes

Many people want to know; "How do you handle your chocolate when it looses it's temper, and why do you want to?"

Chocolate that has lost its sheen or looks as if it has gotten moldy is a good example of chocolate that has lost it's temper. The cocoa butter rises to the surface and "blooms", making it unappealing and unattractive.
When you buy chocolate, like a candy bar, the chocolate's been tempered and it should be nice and shiny and snap when you break it. If you leave your candy bar in a warm car and later open it up, often it'll become white and gray. The heat caused your chocolate to lose it's temper. When you buy chocolate for baking, it should arrive well-tempered. But once you chop it up and melt it, the beta crystals change, the chocolate loses its temper, and you'll need to re-temper it again if you plan to use it as a coating.

It does not need to be tempered to use in most recipes.

You can get around tempering by dipping chocolates in melted, untempered chocolate and storing them in the refrigerator. Just remove them from the refrigerator a few minutes prior to serving them.

There's many different methods for tempering chocolate. Some are really complicated, and some are really messy, especially for home cooks.

Here's a quick method of tempering your chocolate.
All you need is an accurate chocolate thermometer.

Tempering Chocolate

1. Step one, melt your chocolate in a clean glass bowl, set in a pan of simmering water,
to the temperature of about 115° F.

2. Step two is to let it cool down to the low 80°s F. At this point you can drop in a good-sized chunk of solid (and tempered) chocolate, this will provide some good beta crystals for 'seeding' the melted chocolate. While cooling the chocolate, stir frequently.
Movement is needed for good crystallization or tempering.

3. Step three is bringing the chocolate up to the perfect temperature, where the beta crystals form. This occurs in most dark chocolates between 88° and 91° F.
(Check with manufacturer if unsure about your particular chocolate.)

4. At this point you can remove the chunk of 'seed' chocolate, and your chocolate is perfectly tempered and dip-worthy.

Don't let it get above 91° F or you'll have to begin the process all over again.
If it drops below the temperatures, rewarm it gently to bring it back up.

 



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Tempering Chocolate for Cake Recipes

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The original origins of cakes started back over 2000 years ago. The exact date is unknown because it undetermined what ingredients would make up a real cake.

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