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I cannot shout HELP!! loud enough. Can my thermometer be wrong? I am waiting for a infra red one, but until I have to use what I have.

I am tempering Valrhona. Whilst seeding I try to let the temperature go down to 28C, but I cannot do it as the thermometer says it is still 31C, but the seed does not want to melt any more and the chocolate is very thick and starting to clump on the sides. What am I doing wrong or is it the thermometer? I have to say the weather is not ideal as it is raining, so humidity is a problem. I try and keep the temperature at 20C, but as it is the same room I have to melt the chocolate with a bain marie causing moisture.


Another question, can the humidity give me trouble with my ganache? It is way to soft even though I follow the recipes to the letter as I have been doing all the time with no problem.


Any help will be appreciated.

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Thanks Debra, I think it is my nervousness that is making things worse. I am under pressure to "perform!" and no time to really practice.

I do the paper test and it seems fine, my dipped truffles are sort of OK, but the molds not. I think I wish the paper test right when it is not really. It dries OK, but the snap takes a while. I will try and add the lip test. Up to now I have not had the confidence to do it. Not trusting myself that I will be able to tell if it is right.

I'm off to temper another batch for my molds for Saturday. I'll try the lip test as well and I will let you know how it goes. It is a bit difficult to teach yourself with only the internet as your source.

Horrible to try and get a business going on less than a shoe string. Hardly money for the chocolate. This is actually one of my problems. I cannot afford to buy another bag of chocolate to use as seed and now I am probably skimping on the seed!

Thanks again.


Use the double boiler technique.  When I have to do demos using a stage kitchen and have a lack of time I get one bowl that is big and I get ice and water in it.  Then I get my warm melted chocolate and temper in over the bowl of ice. If it is too cool either use a heat gun (or hair dryer) or the microwave to bring the temp up.  So  you wouldn't need the seed for that.

OK, so I just want to make sure. Even if I start with chocolate that is not in temper I can still use this method? That would really help me a lot because I sit here with LOTS of chocolate that is out of temper because of my failed attempts at tempering. The plain chocolate is getting better but the milk chocolate is still giving me problems.

Thanks so much for your willingness to help. I hope one day I will know enough myself to be able to help others as well.

thats correct. you don't need to use any tempered chocolate.  milk chocolate must be a bit lower in temp and tends to be more finicky.
Thanks Debra, this week it is me and tempering without seed!
Good Luck.  If I get a chance I might try to do a quick video using a blackberry to show the process.  I am a very busy soccer mom. So when I am not doing production I am the road to soccer stuff.
Thanks, and yes, that is what moms are there for.

Debra thought I will just come back and thank you. I new about the double boiler technique, but I have never had the guts to try it until you prompted me. Thank you so much. On my first attempt my molds came out just fine. Not perfection yet, but definitely usable which is a relieve as I do not have a lot of time. I tempered some milk chocolate even though I knew it is more difficult but I wanted to get them out of the way. Now I can move on to the fun of the dark chocolate.

Thanks again


OK, so now I still have problems. I am tempering the Valrohna Manjari, Guanaja and Jivara Lactee without any problem. T

he Equatoriale Noire as well as the Lactee I just cannot get in temper no matter what I do. I have been tempering all morning using the tempering guidelines as on the package without any luck. Is there something special about the Equatoriale that makes it more difficult to temper?

I have tried the seed method as well as the cold water method without any success.

Sometimes chocolate just won't temper.  I will have problems tempering if the amount of chocolate is small.  So, if I have maybe 1 cup of liquid chocolate, it is hard to temper.  You need to have enough chocolate to work with.

Thanks Debra, maybe that is the mistake I am making. I try and temper just enough because of the HUGE amount of untempered chocolate cluttering everywhere, even the bedrooms!

So, I will see what happens if I try 1 kilo at a time. I still have quite a bit of tempering to do for this weekend. Some of the bad results I have heated a little with the hair dryer and sprinkled some grated chocolate on them. At the moment they look fine so I will see what happens during the night.

I am getting desperate here so I really appreciate your help. I feel a little sorry for myself and feel as if there is too much pressure on me to learn tempering while I have to produce for the markets.


Sorry, but one more thing. I sit with chocolate that must have overheated and my battles with the thermometer. It tastes fine and feels smooth in the mouth, but it has very little hard pieces that looks like caramelized milk.

Will it be possible to temper it? I'm even thinking of caramelizing it in the oven as I see a recipe from Valrhona for white chocolate. I was thinking I can them mold it and sell it as some kind of caramelized chocolate, or something. I cannot afford to lose it, so I am trying to think of a way to use it as the taste is still perfect.


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