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Hi All-

I am hoping for some help in regards to chocolate tempering. I am having some serious issues and trying not to go mad. I have read so much conflicting information in various books that I have become very lost. I am having the most difficulty with molded chocolates, I find I have
almost no problems with dipping, ever! It's just the molding that's
hard. I would be grateful for any expert advice!

I have two Hilliards Little dippers, one old and one new. The instructions say melt at 100, temper dark at 88 and milk at 86. Is it really that simple and I am just making it hard on
myself?

I have switched chocolate brands three times and an currently using Felchlin 42% milk and 65% dark. I received these parameters from the Felchlin website:

65%- Melting temp:118.4-122       Precrystallization
temp:82.4-84.2        Processing temp: 89.6-91.4
42%- Melting temp:118.4-122       Precrystallization
temp:78.8-82.4        Processing temp: 86-89.6

With such a temp range how am I to know what is the best for molding?
Often in my tests the chocolate is either too think, or too thin. Which I am guessing
means I have over seeded it.

What would the ratio be for melted choc- to seed chocolate? The too think/too think issue seems to be my biggest problem. My only conclusion is that this is due to improper portions of seeded chocolate.

I have read that when seeding and especially when using the little dipper and tempered chocolate that you do not have to do three stages. That you can melt the dark to 122 and then seed it down to around 90 for temper and 105 to 86 for milk. Is this true? This is similar to the hilliard instructions but with different temps.

I have tried to temper all these different ways; the hilliard instructions, the felchlin parameters(using the three step process) and the above temps. Either way does not seem to work out too well for me.I need to know which way is the correct way so I can narrow down my problems. What's the best way? The correct temps?

Other questions I have in regards to this:
-What's ideal room temp for molding?

-In addition to this I am always having a tough time with air bubbles. Do lots of pros use vibrating tables? Should I invest in one of these?

Should I be heating up the molds or not? I worry using the blow dryer that it creates an uneven placement of heat. Is it necessary that I purchase a laser thermometer to monitor temp of the molds?

Thanks in advance for your time and any suggestions you have!
Sarah

Tags: dipper, felchlin, hilliards, little, tempering

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Replies to This Discussion

From my experience, I would first invest in the infrared laser gun. It takes the guess work out of it. I have had a Hilliard 80# for 30 years. The night before I need it, I fill up the bowl with chocolate, set the temp for 115, cover and let it melt. When I go in the morning, remove lid, set temp to desired temp--86-90 depending on your chocolate. Turn the spinning on. Load up the back of the bowl with fresh (well tempered) solid chocolate (either callets or broken pieces). In about 15 minutes, you are ready to go. The solid chocolate seeds the melted chocolate and it all cools down. I ALWAYS test the temper on a piece of parchment or a knife. Much easier to catch bad tempering at this stage than after you have filled your molds. I don't heat my molds and my room is between 65-70. Each brand of chocolate will have it's best temperatures and you just have to play until you figure them out. I don't use a vibrating table, but I rap the molds hard on the table to force the bubbles up.
I'm wondering if you are having problems with molding and not dipping, because you are dumping the excess from the molds back into the melter. This would cause a lot of crystallization in the chocolate. Good luck.
Thanks Ruth, I am so excited to get advice from you! I have your book "Candy Making", my very first book on chocolates and confections. I was looking to get a hold of you a few weeks ago and didn't even think to look on here. I just recently wrote on my blog about making cherry cordials and used a recipe from your book. I had wanted to ask permission but wasn't sure how. I did give you credit in numerous places and added links to purchase you're book on Amazon. You can see the post here: Confessions of a Chocolatier I hope you approve. I did visit your chocolat website and was pleased with your beautiful molded chocolates! Thanks again.

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