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I AM tempering hawaiian CRIOLLO cacao that i winnowed / ground / melanged and ultimately tried tempering ...


the original cacao liquor was runnier than i have experienced with bali or s. american cacao varieties ...  can anyONE with experience in using the different variety of beans interpret why I AM not acheiving the same tempering experience with pure CRIOLLO beans as I AM with a mixture?


is there LESS CACAO BUTTER content in the CRIOLLO variety? 


it would seem that i would have to add a tremendous amount of cacao butter to the cacao solid ( 28% BUTTER / 46% SOLIDS) in order for this to temper...


i have added (17% BUTTER / 53% SOLIDS) already to no avail.


this cacao liquor presents itself as looking milk chocolatey as opposed to the dark chocolatey texture/color I AM used to.


any advise on how to acheive proper temper with this bean variety?


this is also my very first batch with pure turbinado CANE SUGAR (cacao bean/cacao butter/cane sugar <> that is it!) as I AM used to xylitol and maple syrup crystals so if this can make a difference, can anyONE please explain?


in LOVE and LIGHT I AM ... 

Tags: butter, cacao, cane, criollo, hawaiian, sugar, tempering, turbinado

Views: 333

Replies to This Discussion

I am curious why you call the Hawai'ian cocoa "Criollo". I used to live in Hawai'i so have watched the Hawai'ian cocoa scene with great interest and have not seen anything in any quantity that can be called Criollo. (I do know of a couple of trees -- but they are a couple trees that are a part of a group of other trees that are not Criollo so any collection of beans surely wouldn't be.) Most all of the Hawai'ian cocoa comes from trees that were brought over for people's gardens. So while they surely look good in gardens throughout Hawai'i most all are basic Forestero.

I think that criollo is thrown around way too loosely and it causes a lot confusion on the part of the consumer.

aloha art ~ these beans (from these specific treees) were tested (according to the farmer) and ONE can taste the "flowery/fruity" taste that is less "dark" or "heavy" in flavor ...

this "lighter" in color / "fruity" in flavor essence is what I AM working with :)
Ditto on that one, Art. Add to the confusion that there are a lot of predominantly white forasteros kicking around, and you've got kind of a mess.

Given that almost all the cacao here in Hawaii is seed planted anyway, I think any claims of parentage are often suspect at best, misleading at worst. (Aside from the very few trees involved in Schnell's USDA genetic testing, and the even fewer that have been grafted from those mother trees...)
Hi Deedee,

I temper criollo chocolate often, but my beans are from Ecuador so it is sure to be different. There are so many factors that affect tempering (ambient temp, humidity, your chocolate recipe ingredients and quanitities, cocoa beans, etc, etc.) I would not rely on tempering by temperature of your chocolate as the tempering temperatures will vary depending on several factors. Taking the temperature is a good way to learn how to temper and can be used as a guideline for while you are in the tempering process, but you will have better results if you learn to do regular temper checks throughout the tempering process and learn how to identify when you have reached a great temper. When you get there, then you will not need to worry as much about types of beans, ingredients, etc. Good luck!! Tempering is challenging, but worth the effort!
mahalo barbara ~ just when i thought i had the tempering process down smoothly and could count on a good temper! this ONE is a stumper :)

do you have the moment to offer what "regular temper checks" you are reffering to?

in this instance, I AM using a machine (which made all the difference for exact temperature residence when needed) etc. yet, no temper this time and these beans are much more different to work with than what i got used to ... it normally (bali/s.america) is darker/thicker whereas this is lighter / thinner in nature ...
I always check and see how my temper is coming along whether using a tempering machine or not. I take a metal spatula and run a line of chocolate across it and see how it sets. Start checking when you think it is close to temper and keep checking until the chocolate is in temper. Look for a beautiful satiny sheen, no streaks, sets quickly. Then you want to set your machine to hold at that temp. You cannot rely on temperature alone. If you are not able to get your room down to close to 68 degrees then you won't be able to temper it.
I really don't see why Criollo tempering would be any different -- what IS unique is the different crystallization temperatures of the regionally varied cocoa butters, IMO without much regard to genetic makeup. For example, I recently purchased an Ecuador cocoa butter that crystallizes at 77 degrees or lower, whereas my Guatemalan butter crystallizes at 80.

Once chocolate is close to reaching the correct (low) temperature, several visual and tactile clues manifest themselves. Particularly, a rapid thickening of the chocolate, and if you're using a tempering machine with a rotating bowl, the formation of "waves" or striations in the chocolate. This is a much better indicator than just temperature. It's a matter of experimenting -- a lot -- until you gain experience with each particular chocolate.
mahalo cheebs for this reference point ... it is good to KNOW that there IS a difference in region (as i could tell with mine) and mahalo again for the visual and tactile clues as this really helps ( I AM trying again as i read/write this :)! love love love ...
Just a thought here, Deedee,

As you might see from my earlier posts, I am a maverick and don't go by the rules. I have had poor results tempering when using date sugar, brown sugar and sugar in the raw. No good tempering with organic crystal sugar from Florida (Florida Crystals).

I have had good success with a tempering machine if the batch was made with xylitol . 20% and small extra cocoa butter; mint oil does not seem to cause a problem. Mint leaves are a problem in my tempering.

My conclusion: too much water in the un-refined sugar. White sugar may work ok. Xylitol does work ok.

If using some other sugars, and if I were doing it again, I would dry the sugar and then pulverize it (in a food processor or such machine) before adding to the mass. On a very small scale, one could use an oven and place sugar on cookie sheets to dry.

Just my take on your issues.

It's all an experiment when you swerve away from standard procedures (as I often do, to my embarrassment.) You're pushing the envelope here with alternative sugars, IMO. I'd like to hear if you succeed and how you did it. I don't think chocolate manufacturers could help you, they don't do creative stuff like you are trying.

(Mr. Winecandy)
frank dear ~

so i noticed that i could not get the temp down to 80-82 degrees (hot here now about 84 degrees outside/in) ... it had started to thicken up like cheebs said to take notice of (as it did not thicken last night) ... so then i covered it with a tight lid and put it in the fridge for 10 minutes to get an 80ish degree range and noticed that as these crystals were forming, they were forming gluey glumpy like and the temperature was uneven throughout the bowl.

i then mixed it and put it back in the temperer and in only a minute it was reading 90 degrees which was not true evenly throughout the liquid.

i have taken photos to post for future reference for others who choose to learn by this as i have never had so much complication tempering as i have this time using WHOLESOME SWEETENERS ORGANIC TURBINADO RAW CANE SUGAR.

this matches your experience and i truely appreciate your sharing ....

side note about xylitol usage since you have experience also ... my raw chocolate (from bean to tempering under (about) 120 degrees) made with xylitol has offered AMazing results from perfect gloss/snap and no bloom. the taste INITIALLY is incredible and the chocolate flavor is really "clean" tasting (whatever that means :)

HOWEVER, i notice that since i ONLY use cacao beans/nibs, cacao butter and xylitol (unless I AM adding chinese or ayurvedic herbs/fresh vanilla beans etc) this chocolate tends to "change" over a period of two weeks > no shelf life. do you have this experience?

i have also had two people report that even though they LOVE the taste, they feel bloated after from the xylitol as they eat chocolate with no issue yet have had no success using any/all xylitol products. i notice this myself to some degree (yikes BEcause i just LOVE using a LOW GLYCEMIC sugar)!

so there are changes in final product (not quite traditional bloom but some relative of this phenomena > i.e. looks like it has been rolling around in a container bumping into other chocolates / sort of beat up kind of look :)

i posted photos of: melanging beans and cane sugar <> first tempering attempt (melt in minute after out of mold) <> lumpy second tempering attempt :)

ahhhhhhhhhhh such ALOHA in chocolate alchemy > the art of LOVE / KNOWLEDGE+WISDOM / PATIENCE and OHANA (you!) mahalo!
final update on finished chocolate …

with the temper looking seized as it was thick and lumpy, the batch was put into a flat casserole pan and put into the fridge as it had (has) an excellent taste and reminded me of traditional fudge EXCEPT that it was RAW (uncooked like traditional fudge) and tasted milk chocolaty even though it is VEGAN.

when the “fudge” was checked the next day, it was discovered to be tempered!!! so even though it was not a “proper” temper it stayed tempered unrefrigerated and tasted like a hardened fudge which is incredible!

i happened to drop some ORGANIC sumatra chunked/grounded coffee bean on part of it and WOW! AMazing taste combination… so happy ending to a stormy venture and so RAW CANE SUGAR just may BE the answer to RAW VEGAN fudge (as it does seem to be more moist than that which i've worked with so far and with the additional help of using the criollo bean as it is sure light/less bitter in taste > milky in likeness :) best news ever …
I agree with Frank, it sounds like there was moisture in your chocolate and you created a ganache of sorts which doesn't need to be tempered as chocolate does but does need a little agitation when it gets cold to crystalise uniformly.


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