I forgot to mention the truffles and bars were perfect as well...just the bark for some reason...
What did you put in the bark? Was what you added to the bark cold or room temperature when you added it? How thick is the bark? Did the temperature cool evenly? This would be based on how thick the bark is as well as the room temperature. Anything you add should be room temperature and you need to cool the bark as evenly as possible.
I put some dried cranberries, everything room temp. the bark itself was 1/4 inch thick. Everything was cooled at room temp, maybe that is the problem although the bark that did work out was done the same way. Maybe I will try refrigerating it for a minute or two to set it? What do you think?
Thanks for your help Andrea. For something so simple it's really frustrating me.....
I am not sure what tempering machine you are using but what you are describing is chocolate going out of temper after either cooling too much or sitting still for too long. Try taking a measurement of your tempered chocolates temperature in 30 min intervals after it has been tempered and you will most likely see what i mean.
Oi! va voy!
If it was that simple to just melt an already tempered bar more people would be making chocolate. When you get a shipment of chocolate (whether you buy from any of the producers i.e. Guittard, you still have to temper the chocolate. Bars typically weigh 10 lbs.
You need to melt the bar to around 120F. Then you need to add a few lumps of the tempered chocolate from the remaining bar or new bar. At that point turn the temp down to 82F. At this point you need to mix the batch until it reaches around 82F. Remove the lumps and turn up the temp to around 90F. Keep mixing until you reach 90F. At that point you can begin using the chocolate. HOWEVER, you need to maintain that temperature throughout the process otherwise it will go out of temper.
Now,there is a lot of trial and error in making chocolate. You need to practice until you get it right.
Best of luck,
No disrespect Linda & Victor, I've been making chocolate for years and temper chocolate everyday. That's not the issue. the chocolate is tempered as I mentioned I made bars and dipped some truffles with the same chocolate without issue, they were all perfect.
I narrowed it down I think to two things, I need to cool the bark quicker and or my X3210 is outta wack but doesn't makes sense since the other products where fine. Appreciate the feedback either way. I had a new holey baffle that I am not used to which may have been part of it. Smaller items where ok but larger barks maybe less forgiving?
I will soon find out as I am using my regular baffle this time around.....tempering now.
I'm voting for cooling the bark quicker. The latent heat of crystallization produces a whole lot of heat and that can throw large areas of chocolate out of temper. I've had it happen.
That appears to be exactly what it was, cooling it quicker did the trick. I did a test and tried it several ways because I guess I am a geek that way? I just had to know....thank you all for your suggestions. I am blessed to be a part of a group like this that is so supportive. Not that I am preaching just happy it's finally figured out. Time for a beer to celebrate! Cheers!
You could also try going a bit thinner on the bark as well. A 1/4-inch is fairly thick. I think that was your problem and the reason a quicker cool down worked - the overall mass (i.e thermal mass of the chocolate) was affecting things. Of course refrigeration has it's own problems... condensation leading to sugar bloom.... Sounds like you are on your way to resolving this issue. Probably a combo of different things will lead to an effective long-term solution for you. Andrea
You know the funny thing about chocolate is that so much of it is based on science. Not my strongest point in school but love the complexity of it all. I guess age does change things, and I ain't gettin any younger, yet!
thanks again all!
Understanding (at least some of) the science definitely can definitely be helpful with chocolate work. It is absolutely a combination of art and science when working with chocolate. Knowing at least some of the science can help you troubleshoot problems from tempering to shelf life. It can also be helpful for recipe development. No need to go back to school for another degree - an broad understanding of theory can usually suffice!
Echoing Kerry's sentiment - crystallization gives off heat and that heat needs to be removed or it will take the chocolate back out of temper. So we need to create heat exchange and this can be faster (colder enviornment) or air movement might do the trick.
Also, keep in mind, it might be the temperer. Even though other things came out "perfect". Depending on when they were in the run, the temper might be on or off.