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What is going on with my temper? When my dark chocolate sets up, it has great snap and is shiny yet I have swirls on chocolate as if I heated the chocolate too high and it's the cacao butter separating. I didn't let the temperer get above 112. I also get some spots that look like a popped bubble. It doesn't appear to be bloomed. It will not degrade or turn gray over the ext few weeks but it's not the shiny, perfect temper I'm looking for. Help anyone?

Tags: Temper, bloom, swirls

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Are you using the chocolate to tablet or to enrobe?
Hey Mark,
Often I have a great temper but occasionally this happens to me. It may happen when enrobe a truffle, or a piece of slabbed ganache or make some bark. What do you mean by tablet? As I said, I usually have a nice finish to my tempered chocolate but when this happens I'm perplexed. I certainly have experienced classic bloomed chocolate, dull with no snap. This appears to be in temper except for this film like swirl. any thoughts?
What are the temp/humidity conditions in your room? At least personally, the only time that happens is when humidity is too high, 70% or above.
We keep the room between 65-68 degrees and the humidity at 45%.
How large of a tablet are you molding? The larger bars with heavy grade polycarbonate usually needs some form of fan if you don't have a cooling tunnel/cabinet. It might just take to long to remove all of the heat from the bar. You can also try to let the chocolate crystalize a little more- overtemper, help it set up faster.
If your seeing swirls that are a thin film of cocoa butter (prailines or truffles) chances are that the chocolate it a little out of temper and that the pieces were cooled too fast. Needs more crystalization.

Hope that helps,
Jo
What process are you using to temper the chocolate? Also, can you wipe the bloom off the surface or does it stay if you try to wipe it off?

brian
I have a Hillard Temperer and a Cocovision Delta. I melt the bulk of my chocolate overnight at about95-100. In the AM it goes into the temperer put the temperature up to 112 or so. I grind up some tempered chocolate and add that to the chocolate as I turn town the temp. I go down to 85 and then go back up to 89. I check for temper. If it's not snappy & shiny I add a little more seed and check recheck.
sometimes it looks great, other times this damn oil like swirl.
Bud;

There are two potential problems I can see, given that I don't know what your ambient room temperature is while you're working with the chocolate

1. The problem is most likely uneven chocolate temperature. You're not stirring enough. I've posted this on other blogs. Before molding, stir, stir, stir. If you think you've stirred enough, then stir some more, and you should be fine.
2. Your working temperatures are too high. If you're seeding (it sounds as though you are), heat 65% of your chocolate to at least 115 degrees (112 is borderline too low), stir well, and then begin cooling to 89 degrees. When the melted chocolate hits 95 degrees, add in your 35% 'seed', and stir until all is melted. If it doesn't all melt, then bump up the temperature of your mass to 90 or 91 degrees, just until it's melted.

One other option would be to melt the whole mass to at least 115 (my staff are instructed to go to 120 just to be safe), then cool it to 79, and then reheat it to 90 - all while stirring, stirring, stirring. My staff do this every day, and we have flawlessly tempered dark chocolate.

Oh.... with these temperatures, our ambient room temperature is 64 degrees - a touch on the cool side.

Hope this helps.

Brad.
Brad,

What kind of equipment are you using. Do you use a melter? The reason I ask is because of all the stirring.
Also, do you melt to 120 even for brand new chocolate?
I use a mold'art melter and basicly follow your procedure, the main problem I battle with is the ambient room teperature.

Carol
Carol;

For hand dipping the truffles, my staff use 6 ACMC machines, and then for larger amounts (above 50lbs) we use a series of Savage Bros semi automatic tempering machines. I have also trained all my staff to be able to temper all 9 varieties of our chocolate by hand, using just a double boiler, 8 litre bowl, and a heat gun/blow dryer.

One big thing is to learn the crystalization properties of chocolate. Quite often viscosity of dark chocolate can be controled by temperature. I know of many chocolatiers who, as the day progresses and their working chocolate gets thicker, just add more cocoa butter. Bad move! It thins it out for a short bit, but also mutes the flavour. All they would need to do is increase the working temperature by a couple of degrees, and within minutes the chocolate is thin again.

The same principle applies when working with very "thin" couverture. By controlling the temperature as you are working with it, you can make a very fluid dark chocolate, quite thick. (hence thicker chocolate coating on your confections).

It's all about crystalization.

Brad.
Brad.

Ahh, crystallization. Some days I wish I had paid more attention to high school science with how often I am confronted with it these days.

Where you talk about using cocoa butter and the prob's with it - I tend to use the chocolate that I am working with at a pre-crystallization temperature. Obviously one has to be careful not to destroy the temper but it doesn't change the flavor profile. This is the technique I always use with traditional wheel machines.

brian
Brian;

Here's where your problem may very well lie. Chocolate at a pre-crystalization temperature is WAY too warm, and will for certain be the culprit that causes the streaks/bloom in your final product (which is the result of uneven temperatures, and uneven crystalization).

You can add untempered chocolate to tempered chocolate, but here is how you should do it:

When your working chocolate is running low, or beginning to thicken:
1. In a seperate melter or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate you wish to add, and heat it to 120 degrees.
2. Cool the chocolate to 92 degrees. This can be done very quickly by putting the bowl in a cold water bath and stirring the chocolate away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Slowly add that chocolate to your working chocolate, being sure to STIR, STIR, STIR.
4. Wait 5-10 minutes for the working chocolate to seed the chocolate you've just added, and for the temperature to become consistent.

You should be good to go, with no streaks.

The important thing here is to add the new chocolate to the working chocolate when the temperatures are very close together, and to ensure the new chocolate has never reached a lower temperature where the undesireable types of crystalization occurs.

Hope this helps.

Brad.
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