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Hello!  I use chocolate at work to make chocolate bark.  I believe it is from 72% belgian chocolate callets.  I use the double boiler method, get the temp of the chocolate up to 118F, remove from heat, seed, stir, once temp is at 90F, I add the other ingredients to the bowl of chocolate I want in the bark such as crushed nuts, pretzels, what have you.  Then I pour the chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet, top with more crushed nuts or various room temperature dry toppings, and let it set.  Once it is set, I break it into pieces, most around the size of my palm, and we store it in a refridgerated case set at 60F.  Usually, within 1-2 weeks, there is bloom.  It is not as bad as it was before we tempered at all, but it is still so annoying!  Anyone see where I am going wrong?

Tags: technique, temper, temperature, tempering

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1) are you sure you have an accurate thermometer?

2) the temperature of your inclusions should be about the same temperature as your tempered chocolate when you add them

3) does your chocolate get 'wet' after you take it out from the fridge?  if so, you've go sugar bloom, and i'd simply not put it in the fridge.

4) what's the temperature of the room you're storing it in?  does it ever get direct sunlight?

1. Positive about the accurate thermometer.  I calibrate it often, as I use it to teach co-workers how to calibrate a thermometer.

2. The inclusions (I like this word) are always room temperature.  I put in inclusions that sometimes are already covered in chocolate into my bark, so I couldn't get them warm prior to putting them in.

3. not sure what you mean about it getting 'wet'?  Do you mean is the chocolate sweating?  Generally, it is not but I have seen some of the inclusions (such as chocolate covered almonds) sweat after being in our refrigerated case for a week or two.  What is sugar bloom?  Is that different from regular bloom?  I thought bloom occurred because of the fat in chocolate rising to the surface.

4.  the bark, once made, usually sits at room temperature.  It is in a massive grocery store, so it is not in a room, just the open air of the bakery department (area), behind the counter.  There is no sunlight touching it, but it does get stored and displayed in a refridgerated case held at 60F.  There are lights in the case, but we display lots of chocolate truffles in there are well and they never bloom.

I'm thinking the bloom I am experiencing may be a result of me not adding cocoa butter to the chocolate, me adding the inclusions when the chocolate is at 90, and then the chocolate gets too cold from all the inclusions I put in, and once I spread it on the baking sheet it may just get too cold too fast, or the refridgeration in the case is somehow causing it.  I'm a complete newbie in tempering chocolate, so these are all guesses.  I just don't see why the chocolate I make is blooming but the chocolate that we get from vendors that is exposed to the same conditions does not bloom.  What do you all think?

ok, so we can probably rule out 1&2 (assuming you've got accurate calibrations and 'room temperature' is < 85F).  

3 - wet - yes, similar to sweating.  often times when you bring something (even chocolate) out of a fridge, the temperature difference between the refrigerated item and the environment is enough to trigger hitting a dew point, resulting in condensation on the item.  When that happenson chocolate, the moisture dissolves a little bit of sugar, an when it evaporates, the sugar is redeposited behind, looking like bloom. it is, in fact, bloom, but it's different than fat bloom, and is called sugar bloom.

i would be very surprised if what you were seeing was the result of not adding additional cocoa butter.

well all the chocolate and inclusions start out at room temp.  it only goes into the refrigerated display case after the bark in its entirety has set, because .  we do open the doors of the refrigerated case to get truffles out for customers, but it does not explain why only my bark would have condensation and the rest of the truffles are fine.  but good to know i don't need to add extra cocoa butter:)

I don't quite understand about the cocoa butter. Does it help to add some when using inclusions?

 

Probably not.  I'm a novice at this.  It was a guess on my part.

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