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Using cacao butter as seed AND What temperature to add seed

Hi Forum Friends,

I have two tempering questions:

1) Is cacao butter just as effective as chocolate for seed? I have used both and I can't see a difference. But one may be better than another? The cacao butter is at room temp which is approx 74F. I grind it into shavings with a cheese grinder and add about 2% of the total mass.

2) I was reading the instruction manual online for the Revolation V I just ordered (through Clay). I noted that it said to add seed at the high point of the melting cycle, 115 F in my case. This is quite different from how I have been tempering by hand where I add the seed at 95F and then cool to 90F. After reading the instructions, I now wonder if I should add the seed at 115F and then cool to 90F and check for temper?

The way I currently temper is I have a stainless mixing bowl that I cool by having a fan blow on it to cool it. I bring the mixture up to 115F, then place the bowl in front of the fan, and let cool to 95F at which point I add seed and let cool to 90F while stirring. I get a good snap, the bars hold temper. I would like more shine to my chocolate, and I hope to get that with the Rev V.

In thanking you in advance,

Mack

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Above the melting point of the seed, the seed crystals will simply melt.

I have used the smaller chocovision machines, and they first melt the chocolate, and reach a temperature where all of the cocoa butter crystals melt.  At this point they have you add an excess of seed 'behind the baffle', and the machine lets the temperature stop dropping.  The excess remaining seed is not removed until the bowl and melt are just below working temperature.  All this time the bowl is spinning, rubbing a layer of chocolate off of the seed block.

I am sure that this process path causes some of the desired seed crystals to melt, but apparently allows sufficient seed crystals to mix in to the melt for tempering.  Because the bulk chocolate is used as the seed, any fully melted chocolate is simply part of your mix.

I have never tried bulk cocoa butter as a seed in the chocovision, but I expect that it would work just fine.  The biggest issue is that your cocoa butter will change the composition of your chocolate (I presume that you want this, otherwise you wouldn't be using the cocoa butter in the first place), but the method of using an excess and then removing the remainder would mean that you no longer have control over exactly how much cocoa butter gets added.

I have used 'mycryo' for tempering in a chocovision.  In this case I let the machine melt the chocolate, hit the temper button and let the melt cool down, and then add the mycryo after the bowl temperature hits 94F.  This method has worked quite well for me.

-Jon

Hi Jon, thank you for helping me understand how the tempering machine works. I get it that the machine uses the block in the back of the baffle until the temp drops to its target working zone, thus the amount of chocolate used will vary on conditions. So, I will have to use chocolate to seed with, rather than the cacao butter. If I can't control how much butter the temperer uses, I won't have the control I need to keep my recipe intact. 

Thank you again!


As I mentioned, I have used 'mycryo' as seed.  Mycryo is pure powdered cocoa butter.   This has worked quite well for me.

To expand on what I do:  I generally use it in a non-stirred melter, but have used it in my small chocovision.  I just need to ignore/bypass the built in tempering routine.  What I do is let the machine melt the chocolate, then press the 'seed' button without adding anything.  I wait until the temperature has dropped to 94F, and _then_ I add the mycryo seed.  In this way I can control the amount added.  Because it is a powder, _all_ of it goes under the baffle and into the melt. 

Mycryo is recommended for use in 1% levels, but you could add 1% at higher temperature to simply be fully melted, and use 1% as seed.

-Jon

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