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I am wondering if anyone out there can give me some advice on tempering raw chocolate.  Is there a 'best' way to do this?  WHich items can I use with the greatest success?

 

Raw cacao butter, cacao powder, cacao paste?

 

Sweeteners would likely be raw agave and/or raw coconut nectar.  I could use some raw cane sugar if needed.  Also not opposed to using coconut sugar, although not raw it is highly nutritious.

 

I would also be using some raw sunflower lecithin, vanilla beans and/or extract.  possibly some carob powder. 

 

I've read lots of posts on this site and they have helped but not completely answered my questions to where I feel confident.

 

Any help would be appreciated.  I currently make and sell raw refrigerated chocolate and its great but want to also produce something that is shelf stable.

 

Jennifer

The Great Un-Baked!

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Hi Jennifer,

 

Did you read the previous discussion we had on this topic?

Thanks for replying.  I did read this and it gave lots of great advice.  I think I just need to experiment some more.  I dont see anyone using chocolate paste/liquor.  The raw bar that I have is hard so I thought if I added some more cacao butter to it and a bit of agave, vanilla, lecithin it might work however it has a very strong flavor I have had a hard time overcoming.

 

I will try a few things and post my results.

Chocolate
tempering is one of the last steps taken to process and prepare
chocolate candy. In this process, the cocoa butter molecules within the
chocolate are stabilized through a process of heating and cooling that
allows the chocolate to harden properly and ensures a shiny finish
.
As mentioned in the other post David links to, you won't be able to temper if you use any sweeteners like agave syrup that contain significant amounts of water, and coconut oil will also cause problems since it melts at a much lower temperature than cocoa butter. Coconut sugar would be your best bet as a sweetener for still being able to temper. There is agave powder but it is mostly inulin, which is an indigestible sugar that your gut flora love, producing a lot of gas. I don't think anyone would want gassy chocolate!

Yeah, I know what you mean by trying to temper stuff with Agave.  I know its possible as there are others doing it.  Maybe they dont use large amounts??  I am concerned that if I use coconut sugar it wont break down enough in the chocolate as temperature cant reach too high.  There is a raw coconut sugar new on the market by coconut Secret but it is wetter than the others.  HHHHmmmmm....

 

I have some raw cane sugar that I can make into a powder and try.  It seems to work good in some of my recipes.  Maybe a combination of Agave liquid, Agave powder, Coconut sugar.  I am going to work with this and post my results.  Thanks everyone!

People who are making tempered "raw" chocolate are probably using agave powder not syrup. The temp is driven up during conching to about 115-120 depending on your machine and the temp controls you have on it, so I don't believe this is high enough to drive off the amount of water in agave syrup.

 

What do you mean the coconut sugar wouldn't "break down" due to temperature? You don't want the sugar to melt during processing, but rather be ground very fine. You can do this before adding it to chocolate by grinding it to powdered sugar consistency in a coffee grinder or a high-powered blender.

 

I prefer to call "raw" chocolate unroasted chocolate instead since the magic temp for raw is 115° F which is almost always exceeded in cacao fermentation unless someone is very explicitly controlling the temp as they discuss at places like Big Tree farm. There is no certification for raw so any manufacturer can slap the raw label on any product they want without running afoul of the law. There has been some problems certifying that raw cocoa powder is actually not processed above 115° in the last year. 

 

 

-Nat

____________________

Nat Bletter, PhD

Chocolate R&D

 

Madre Chocolate

http://madrechocolate.com

 

I’ve been able to temper raw chocolate with up to 20 % (in weight) of agave syrup. I don’t have the exact values at hand (re: temperature, proportions, etc.) but it is totally possible. And it might be hard to believe but the result does have snap. However from my experience, with agave, you will end up with a chocolate that can bloom quite easily. You might also observe a change in texture over time, maybe after a few weeks with the chocolate becoming slightly grainy.
Because of that i’d recommend using coconut sugar rather than agave syrup.
Also regarding raw food and temperature we had this interesting discussion last year.

HI David,

I will go over that discussion you talked about.  I experimented a little yesterday with tempering the cocoa products that go into my original chocolate recipe.  Then I added it to my other ingredients such as cashew butter etc...  It actually created a product that was able to withstand being out of the fridge!  I was so excited.

 

What I want to do is create a new tempered chocolate coating to replace the untempered one I was using before.  Thats what I will work on tomorrow after I make all the fillings.  I want to use this tempered chocolate to create a bar that doesn't need refrigeration.  It also must taste great, something that I haven't come across much with the raw bars I have tried.

 

What I'm curious about is do you use the whole bean and grind it up, the nibs, cacao paste bar, or just cacao butter and cacao powder?  Or a combination?  I've had a tough time coming up with an un-bitter chocolate using the nibs and paste bar.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

I"m wondering if I could use coconut sugar AND liquid Agave.  I need to find out the ratio of sugar to chocolate.  Its confusing as the books that I have read on cooked chocolate says to use bittersweet, semi sweet etc...  THe sugar is already in the bar and its just melted and tempered.  I dont have that luxury with raw chocolate as I'm not aware of any bar that can be melted down that is already raw.  Besides I do too much chocolate to make it economical for me to buy one already made even if there was one.  I want to make my own.

 

Thanks for your help.  I will be a success soon.  People are counting on me :)

I used cacao paste and cacao butter. I also did it with cacao nibs grinded in the concher. Results were similar in terms of tempering.

But again the less agave syrup or moist sweetener the less trouble (technically).

Plus, there has been controverses about the raw agave syrup. It seems difficult to produce in a raw state because it has to be heated to become a syrup by evaporation. The darker it is the more processed it probably is. Also the benefits of fructose over glucose on health has been disputed.

Thanks Nat,

Great info from everyone on this post.

Coconut sugar: I am going to use the un-raw stuff and powder it in my vita mix.  Yesterday that worked great.  Its not raw but very nutritious.  The other stuff I was talking about was "raw" coconut sugar from Coconut Secrets, its wetter so had a difficult time powdering it.   Maybe I will use Agave and coconut sugar.  I like to mix my sweeteners in other recipes.  I think it makes for a great product.  BAck to chocolate>>>

I've heard some people talk about conching but I dont know much about that.  I dont have any machines.  I am using a double boiler method. I feel so "green" here next to all you experts.

 

I'll let you all know how it turns out.  thx

Jennifer 

Ok, I tried tempering again the other day.  I used Cacao butter 3oz, Cacao Paste 3/4oz, 1/4 oz coconut Nectar (liquid/raw) 1 1/2 oz coconut sugar, powdered, 1/4tsp van extract, 1/2 oz cacao powder. 

It was just ok.  I think it actually tempered though as it had a nice snap to it.  It was still a little soft when I rubbed my finger over the final product.  THe taste was so so and the texture also so so.  I left it out on the counter and the kids ate it so it must not have been that bad.

When I was melting over double boiler there were what appeared to be unmelted fragments on the bottom of bowl.  Upon closer inspection (taste) it was one of the sugars.  Must have been the coconut sugar wasn't powdered enough i'm assuming.

 

Taste is not creamy enough.  I"ve had much better raw chocolate...and much worse!  Still working on it...  I have sunflower lecithin on order and want to try a few drops of it also.  I think it needed more sweetener.

 

Coconut oil melting temperature is 24°C. Butter melts at about 33.5 °C. Cocoa butter has a melting point of around 36 °C.

 

Would conching help drive out water, impove granularity and general consistancy. I've been sampling some of the raw bars available in Australia recently and their texture, taste and temper generally leaves a lot to be desired. After reading about tempering temperatures it should be possible to produce a raw tempered bar though.

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