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Hi friends,
I just got my first tempering machine- a Chocovision X3210 (the 10lb one). I want to use it to make my barks, which involve adding different ingredients (nuts, pretzels, etc) to the tempered chocolate. Recently I've had some issues with this- the chocolate will be perfectly tempered, I'll throw in the ingredients, stir, pour out onto sheets, and spread, and then when it sets it gets streaky and bloomed. It doesn't happen every time, but it happens enough. I started to add the ingredients at the end of the tempering process but before the chocolate is totally tempered and that seems to work better. But my question is, how can I do this with a tempering machine? I don't want to put anything but chocolate into the machine, of course. Should I warm up the ingredients slightly so they're not at room temp? Should I take the chocolate out of the machine a few degrees shy of being tempered? Any help would be appreciated!

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I have this problem sometimes when the ingredients I am adding to the choc are too cold, I would warm the ingredients you are adding slightly like you say.

Definitely warm your ingredients.  Also, make sure that your chocolate IS in temper.  I would have it at the high end of the temp. scale - but definitely in temper.  If you're doing a large slab of bark at a time, your streaks are most likely due to improper cooling rather than the chocolate not being in temper to start with.  I have success with having a fan blowing on the cooling slab for a good 20 minutes.  Also, you want to make sure that you're not making your barks too thick. 

If I were you, I would temper your chocolate in your tempering machine to the high end of the temp. range then scale out the amount of chocolate you need into a pan, add your warmed ingredients, stir, slab and turn on the fan! 

Good luck! 

So, I have a question related to this, what do you do with the bark after it has bloomed? You do you re-temper it with all the ingredients in it or do you use it for sampling (which I have seen at some shops I visited while doing research for opening my shop) I have some bark that bloomed and I don't know what to do with it. I can't bring myself to sample it because of the look of it and I don't know if it will work trying to temper it manually. Any ideas or thoughts?
It depends on a few things- if there's only a small amount that bloomed, I will usually chop it up and use it as samples. I don't think people can tell when it's chopped into pieces, and it doesn't really affect the flavor. If it's a large amount, I will melt it down and re-temper (by hand, not in the machine). This doesn't work for everything- for example, dried fruit can burn during the melting process. But for most of my barks, it's been fine.
Oh yes, you can re-temper chocolate with inclusions.
In the machine? or only by hand?

I don't use a tempering machine.  I use Mol d'Art melters.  I don't imagine doing it in the tempering machine would work out so well!  But I don't know enough about them to say for sure.  I'm just thinking that there would be inclusion 'jams' going on.

I sometimes use the oven to melt out chocolate.  My oven goes as low as 100F so it's great for melting chocolate overnight.  If you don't have that option on your oven, just use your oven light and put your chocolate pan quite close to the light.  Your chocolate should be melted if you leave it in overnight.  Then just temper by hand using seed.  You'll be pouring it out as soon as it's tempered so no issues of keeping it in temper.

You can make chocolate caramels, nuts, fruit and all. Also make a ganache filling.

Do you temper the chocolate before you make the ganache? I've learned that ganache needs to be made with tempered chocolate to get the proper consistency.


Christopher, this thread is about chocolate bark (solid chocolate), not ganache, hence the talk about tempering.  That being said, a ganache that is in temper has a better mouthfeel and better shelf life.  There are several ways you can do this - start with tempered chocolate and add it to warm, not hot, cream; table the ganache once it's made; or when using callets and hot cream, make sure your cream is at a temp. so as to not melt out all of the beta crystals.  I'm sure there are other methods too if you do some research.
Take the bloomed bark, warm it back up to melt out the chocolate, sieve it to get out the inclusions, and use the chocolate you've collected.  Just watch for any needed changes in temper if you get enough oils from nuts or other sources.

Have you tried making your bark thin and sprinkling the inclusions onto it?  Like mendiants, very large mendiants.


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