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I have a good friend who has a lovely cookie business called "Two Tarts" here in Portland. Amazing.wonderful cookies. We are in a small business-owner's group together and she was asking about using a tempering machine to make lemon curd. She thought it might pencil out because she has to pay to get someone to sit and stir it for the whole process, which is long. She wondered if a tempering machine (a bowl type that is continuously stirring) might work. It makes sense to me that it might- I forgot to ask about the temperature she needs. Have any of you used a tempering machine for something other than chocolate?

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I think a Thermomix is what she needs. It heats and stirs continuously. I make curd in mine - no real babysitting required. Just dump everything in, set temp, time and speed - Bob's your uncle.

Don't think a tempering machine would reach the temperatures you need for curd.

Feel free to PM me if she wants more info on the Thermomix.
Tempering machines are not designed to reach the temperatures required for lemon curd.

The Thermomix is an interesting option - and it appears that there is a large support community for it. It is only sold direct (though you may be able to find used ones on eBay) and the cost is not insubstantial - at least $1700 new.

One drawback is the size of the container - two liters - so if you need to make lots of anything this may not be for you. However it does appear to be a very versatile machine that would have many uses in a pastry/chocolate kitchen (you could use it to make ganaches, for example, heating the cream and melting the chocolate at the same time to the exact same temp).

A much larger alternative is the Pastochef from Carpigiani. Much more expensive but much higher capacity and designed from the outset for use in pastry kitchens. And - which may be another issue, is NSF approved.
The temperature is the issue I thought might be the problem. I emailed her your feedback! Thanks.

Hi Clay, I just had a thermomix demo at my place . I am a budding chocolatier and though the lady at the demo said TMX tempers chocolate and and there seem to be some videos online by callebaut- but they look slightly vague- and the temper tests were just not quite right( i wonder how its possible to maintain temperature when the lowest temperature is 37 degrees) . Have you tried TMX for tempering chocolate . Also for a pastry kitchen making primarily- cakes, cookies, chocolates ( with ganaches etc and use of Nuts ) do your recommend a kitchen aid or TMX or any other machine ?? Thanks 


To temper in the thermomix - mix at 37 C until the chocolate is mostly melted (ie still have some unmelted chocolate in the bowl) then turn off the heat and spin at about speed 7 until the unmelted chocolate is incorporated.  You should be at a proper temperature when you are done.  It takes a bit of fiddling to figure the times for certain amounts of chocolate.

I don't often use the TMX to temper however - because other ways work so much better (but not as fast).  The real beauty of the TMX is in making ganaches.  About 5 minutes and you've got ganache ready to go.

Thanks so much Kerry that really helps :)

Has anyone tried the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soupmaker for making ganache?  Since it is $200 or less, it could be a low cost alternative to the Thermomix.

DeRhonda - unless the "stir" speed is very low on the Cuisinart machine (and I did not see it in the video), I don't see how it can work ... well.

I use an immersion blender for ganaches with great results and they cost $50 or less. Just make sure to get one that has infinitely variable speed control, not just set speeds.

DeRhonda, I took a look at the Cuisinart Blend and Cook - good find!  I think it can be a cheap replacement for the Thermomix - for some applications anyways - at least for making ganache if that's what you're after.  I'm sure the stir speed will be slow enough.  When I use the Thermomix for emulsifing ganache, I use it at approx. speed 4 or 5 which is quite high.  At the Callebaut Academy, they taught to emulsify ganache at 7ish.  That gives too many air bubbles I found.  If you try it out, please report back with your findings. 

For any chocolate makers out there, it might serve as a reasonably priced conche if the temp. can be controlled somewhat accurately.

Lana: You say:

"For any chocolate makers out there, it might serve as a reasonably priced conche if the temp. can be controlled somewhat accurately."

Do you think you can reasonably run this for 8-24 hours or longer without stopping?

Good point.  What I was thinking was as a supplement to the Santha/Ultra which do a degree of the conching.  I put a particularly acidic chocolate into the Thermomix at 150F for approx. 1 and half hours - and what a difference!  It smoothed it out nicely.  I did leave the feeding lid off so the acids could vent, and I did use the butterfly attachment which aerates.  Now whether or not the Cuisinart could handle that - I don't know.  I'd certainly give it a try if I owned one and monitor the motor to see how hot it's getting.  The Thermomix is nicely vented so no issues with it.  Now maybe the Cuisinart could be modified like the Santha/Ultra's with extra venting :)

The simpler way to fix this would be to add a fan w/heater to blow into the Santha/Ultra. A device with a thermostat and variable fan speed would be very easy to make and use and not require moving chocolate back and forth between two devices.


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