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Why...Oh Why....Am I Having Such Difficulty Tempering My Valrhona Feves?

Hello All.....LONG time chocolatier here, just now, at age 40, getting around to FINALLY opening my long dreamt artisan chocolates company, DERRY CHURCH, in Hershey PA, of all places (I'm from there) ....anyways, wondering if anyone has any technical knowledge/experience with tempering Valrhona feves by hand? We have not bought our tempering machines yet, and I need to figure out HOW this Valrhona chocolate tempers....VERY tricky stuff, for sure......this is the first time I have ever worked with a professional couverture of this caliber, and I have ALOT of problems getting it to temper up for my molds, or my palets, without blooming out on me! ....If anyone can help me, please contact me, and/or give me a way to contact you.......any help from some of you old pros would be highly and humbly appreciated! ~Eric

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Hi Eric, Have you tried to use the seed method? What temperature are you melting to? How are you cooling the chocolate after you've poured into the moulds? I've used several of Valrhona's chocolate feves and hand tempered over the last 2 years without a problem. -Mark
Hi Mark,

thanks for answering.....I THINK I may have finally figured it out, (just after I posted!) ....I THINK maybe I was over-warming my molds a bit. I've been a pastry chef for over 20 years, and now a professional chocolatier, and I have always used the seeding method, with great success, with every other chocolate I've ever I figured why would the Valrhona be any different??? ......BUT, when I bought a bunch of it a couple days ago, and I read the directions on the back of the Feves bag, it states that you must melt the chocolate for 12 hours to properly melt out the cocoa butter crystal.....WHAT??? WHY 12 HOURS??? .....never heard of that before, so was taken aback a bit on that.
So, I did actually put the Feves in a melter we have, and melted it for the 12 hour period, but I was having a heck of a time getting into proper temper, and it bloomed out on me 3 times now. BUT THEN, when I stopped warming my mold as much, this last time it finally came out. Also, I am noticing that these Feves take ALOT MORE agitation, seed chocolate, and time to get into proper this just because of the high cocoa butter content......TRICKY TRICKY stuff!

Sorry such a book, thanks again! ~ERIC
Try taking up your melt temp no matter how you are going to temper it. You don't need to wait "12 hours" if you do this.
Thankyou so much, Brian....I have been attempting to do just that actually! I had considered that perhaps this Valrhona just needs to be warmed to the recommended 136f, rather than the usual this because of the high cocoa butter, do you think? ....VERY fussy stuff, this Valrhona.....tastes great, but seems to be a completely different animal, compared to the Callebaut I am used to. you happen to know if this Valrhona Feves requires considerably more "residence time" in temper, and more agitation to be in proper temper.....if so, how much more time & agitation does it require than normal couverture? .....I've been giving it extra seed, PLUS about an extra 15 minutes of agitation....does that sound right to you?

I use Valrhona most of the time. The reason they suggest 12 hours is to ensure that all types of crystals get totally melted out. This is not really necessary though. I use the temperatures on the bag and it is beautiful and easy to work with. I find Callebaut too thick compared to Valrhona. Perhaps the specific kind you are using? Perhaps it got moisture in it? How was it stored, and where did you get it from...
Thankyou for responding Ilana, I actually figured it out, I think.....I was over-warming my molds a bit, and it was causing some surface bloom. I love the sheen and the flavor elements of this Valrhona, but I find it takes a bit higher skill level to get it tempered and keep it there, when you are doing it by hand! ....nice chocolates though
Calleabaut comes in different 'viscosities' in temper. They prefix their product numbers with the temp code. For example D815 vs C815 or L815. All of these are 55% semi sweets but have different thciknesses in temper. To my knowledge , only Callebaut gives you the option of varied in temper characteristics for th same formulation. Check with your supplier which ones they stock or can order for you.
Valrhona tempers the same as other brands that I've used. Like lior said, I wouldn't melt it for 12 hours.
I have tried a lot of different melting and tempering methods and the one that works the best for me is really simple. I put the amount of chocolate I will use the next day in silicone cake pans in the oven, turn the light on overnight and in the morning I have perfectly melted chocolate that I simply stir a bit to cool (as my oven light gets the chocolate to 91 degrees) and I am good to go. I am careful not to take more out of the oven at a time than I can use before I would have to remelt it and when it does get too cool, I pop that pan back in the oven and work with another one for a bit.


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