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I hope I am not yelled yet (again). I know a lot of you guys have experience with chocolate, but I am a complete newbie and I am still trying to find my way around the business of homemade chocolate.

I spent 4 hours to complete 2 molds and it feels like a very long time to work on it. The ganache part was simple and fast, but tempering took forever.

I do think my lack of experience is making my process a little disorganized, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on how to better make chocolate at home without spending all night long on it (unless, of course, I am working on several batches)?

If I cannot invest in a tempering machine at the moment, is there something else I could do to expedite things? I am not looking for shortcuts that will compromise the quality of the chocolate, but pointers that I could test.

Thank you

Andre Costa
Chocolatier-to-be

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Since you posted in the "Micro-Batch "Homebrew" Chocolate" forum, I assume you're talking about making chocolate from bean to bar; however, you then talk about making a ganache so now I'm leaning toward thinking that you started with couverture and are having tempering problems.

Could you provide more details about what you're doing and problems you've encountered - then we can be better able to help you out.
Hi John.

I am not talking about making chocolate from bean to bar. Sorry if I posted in the wrong place.
I am actually not having problems with tempering. My main issue is the time it took me to create two batches of molded chocolate.

I temper by hand, which is probably the reason why it took me so long to finish two molds, but I was wondering what processes other people follow to expedite working with chocolate from home - I want to start selling my chocolate in the near future, so I will invest in a tempering machine, but in the meantime, I cannot afford to spend 4 hours a night creating 2 molds.

Thank you, John.
Ok. I don't have as much time as I'd like to reply but here's the quick version.

First of all, you don't absolutely have to have a temperer but that depends on the quantities you intend to make. Why not start out with a good melter, like the Mol d'art ones. Even if you decide to get a temperer later, the melter will still have a place in your chocolate kitchen.

Secondly, you will want to organize your work by function. For example, take one day to just make shells. (This is something you can do ahead of time and if stored properly, they will be ready when you need them for a long time.) The next day, ganaches. Fill those trays and set aside to cure overnight. Then seal and unmold all of those chocolates. Let the packaging commence! ;-)

Personally, I find it very inefficient to do all of these tasks in a single day since there's a certain amount of overhead involved for each phase - you want to maximize your work to get the most bang for the buck so to speak.

Don't get discouraged - learning to temper efficiently will take time. But it's time well spent and you'll learn tricks about how to recover from problems that you might not learn if you rely solely on a temperer to fix it.
John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this process to me.
It is extremely helpful.

Thanks again.

Andre Costa
Chocolatier-to-be
"Personally, I find it very inefficient to do all of these tasks in a single day since there's a certain amount of overhead involved for each phase - you want to maximize your work to get the most bang for the buck so to speak."

Excellent advice, that also makes managing marginal costs more efficient and higher assurance.

Rob
Hi Andre,
I second John's advice - it takes time to learn to temper and create chocolates efficiently. Like anything - just keep doing it and you'll improve. I have 2 learning aids to recommend that I found invaluable at the beginning of my journey.
The first is Peter Greweling's book - Chocolates and Confections.
The second is the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) video series called Captivating Confections. Here you can SEE the different ways to temper and the processes involved to mold, pipe, dip, etc. Very helpful if you don't have someone you can learn from in person.
Hi Lana.

I guess I am a very lucky guy, because Peter Greweling's Chocolates and Confections was the very first book I bought! I am reading it slowly as it is very technical, but I am learning a lot. Thanks for confirming my choice!
I will check the CIA website for the videos - maybe YouTube?? I will look it up.

Thanks again,

Andre Costa
Chocolatier-to-be
This is how I temper.

Put choc in glass bowl and melt choc in microwave until no solid remains - do this at intervals with stirring or you'll burn the choc.

Put glass bowl with choc in it into a bigger bowl with cold water in it - this cools the choc down as you constantly stir it - I use ice in the water most times - not much otherwise it cools too quickly.

When the choc gets to a 'toothpaste' consistency, put the bowl with choc in it back in the microwave and heat it to just fluid again. Do not overheat the choc otherwise you'll destroy the temper.

Mould away.

If the choc starts to get thicker again, give it a blast in the microwave for a few seconds but not too much.

Make sure you cool your moulded chocolates to get a nice shine ie in the fridge for 5 mins - depends where you live and the ambient temp.

I typically to 1-3 kg at a time and it never takes more than an hour - I make choc bean to bar and am just making bars, I am not making filled choc or anything but the tempering method should be fine for you.
Thank you, Tom.
I should give your method a try and see what the results are.
Well, I have to say that if you're starting with solid couverture that is already in temper (I understand, Tom, that you are not), it's unnecessary to cool the chocolate and then reheat. Simply use the seed method, which is documented, like, everywhere. If you add the right amount of seed, you end up at the working temperature with no need for an ice water bath.

(Also, if you're using a microwave oven, I recommend using it on the lowest setting for relatively short bursts, to prevent scorching.)

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