does anyone have any experience of tempering raw chocolate?

Cheryl Brighty
@cheryl-brighty
06/28/13 06:52:04AM
3 posts

i am new to raw chocolate but have worked a lot with couverture. The raw chocolate I have been asked to make includes cocoa mass, cocoa butter, agave and coconut oil. Has anyone had any experience of tempering such a blend bearing in mind that 'raw' usually limits your temperature range. i am also unsure how the coconut oil may interfere with the cocoa butter crystallisation. i won't know the exact recipe until I decide whether to accept the job.


updated by @cheryl-brighty: 04/09/15 10:23:08AM
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
06/28/13 04:18:09PM
527 posts

Aside from the fact that "raw chocolate" is a 99.99% misleading load of crap, there's a very good chance that both the agave and coconut oil will prevent it from tempering.

I think if you REALLY dig into the source of your cocoa mass and cocoa butter you will find that they are processed at very high temperatures - WAY beyond the threshold acceptable for calling it raw.

RawChocolateLife
@rawchocolatelife
02/14/16 07:09:18PM
25 posts

I am doing raw chocolate and have been for a while using cacao paste, cacao butter, coconut oil, and honey as a sweetener. I've been having a lot of troubles with it. Some batches turn out amazing and some look like the pic here. I am trying this next batch without coconut oil to see if that changes things. I'd rather stick with using honey as a sweetener but am also looking into different types of emulsifiers to add that may help with making sure a liquid sweetener will work properly. I am also using a tempering machine so the temperatures are pretty consistent. This was posted a while ago so if you have any tips since you posted this please feel free to share with me, thanks

Peter3
@peter3
02/14/16 11:20:09PM
86 posts

RawChocolateLife: I am doing raw chocolate and have been for a while using cacao paste, cacao butter, coconut oil, and honey as a sweetener. I've been having a lot of troubles with it. Some batches turn out amazing and some look like the pic here. I am trying this next batch without coconut oil to see if that changes things. I'd rather stick with using honey as a sweetener but am also looking into different types of emulsifiers to add that may help with making sure a liquid sweetener will work properly. I am also using a tempering machine so the temperatures are pretty consistent. This was posted a while ago so if you have any tips since you posted this please feel free to share with me, thanks

I would strongly suggest looking at recipe.

Adding honey as a sweetener introduces a lot of water into the product and coconut oil will seriously impact tempering process.

RawChocolateLife
@rawchocolatelife
02/15/16 12:37:57PM
25 posts

Yeah, I fear I'll have to eliminate those ingredients, Any idea if adding an emulsifier would help me keep honey as a sweetener? The coconut oil i'm willing to eliminate, it makes the chocolate softer which is nice but if it interferes with tempering it can be eliminated.

Our recipe was developed before we started tempering our chocolate and kept it refrigerated instead so it worked great then but with tempering it has given problems

Peter3
@peter3
02/15/16 10:37:42PM
86 posts

Emulsifier will not help in your situation.

1. Honey contains about 17% water, every 10% of honey in your recipe brings in 1.7% water content. Water content in chocolate generally should be below 0.3% total.

2. Coconut oil is not compatibile with cocoa butter and any additions will create difficulties in tempering or make it impossible.

I'm afraid that we may be talking a very different language and the same words may have very different meanings.

As Brad pointed out earlier in this thread may people would consider "raw chocolate" somewhere in the "misleading customer" category as usually the ingredients used are not raw and product produced is not what a "reasonable jury" would consider chocolate. This means that if this thread continues there may be some strong opinions on what you are trying to do. Proceed at your own risk.

Could you please describe what are you trying to achieve, how are you making your chocolate and what are you planning to do with it?

RawChocolateLife
@rawchocolatelife
02/17/16 08:53:26PM
25 posts

Thanks for the info, very appreciated. I have found that my extra dark flavor which is 90% cacao and 10% honey tends to have the best luck while my other flavors are around 15% honey and I have lots of problems. I'm guessing the 90% may be under the threshold of moisture which is why it works better. I did the last batch without coconut oil but still used the honey and I had problems again but remelted and retempered and lowered the temperature of the room I was working in and had better luck. I'm going to try a batch without the honey and use cane sugar and see if that completely solves the problem. My packaging is labelled as using honey though and I still have a lot of packaging to go through so may have to make a sticker to go over the ingredient list.

As far as the issues with raw, I realize that technically the fermentation process almost always goes over the proper temperatures however I do find a distinct difference in raw vs roasted chocolate. For one raw chocolate is highly stimulating and gives you a euphoric feeling due to the theobromine, serotonin, anandamide, and PEA. There is debate over theobromine and whether its good or bad.  It is a stimulant so I'd categorize it the same as caffeine and say it's ok in moderation. I have tried tons of the raw chocolate bars on the market and most of them don't give me those same feelings so I'm guessing the ones that don't are using cacao that has gone over the temperatures that have destroyed some of these properties but I'm not sure. I used to be all about raw however after reading much I'm indifferent about it.  I'd say its definitely not the healthy food that it's claimed to be however I'd say it's definitely not any worse than regular chocolate. I never get the euphoric feeling from a regular chocolate bar either.

With using honey I was trying to create something that was a little better than whats available as I do believe honey is a healthier sweetener in moderation than most others out there. My bars are dark with the highest percentage of honey being 15% and I also add hemp to my bars as an added bonus.  It's rare to find chocolate sweetened with honey and now I realize why.  I found one company based in the US that does and I sent them an email asking about how they get away with it.  They haven't replied yet but hopefully they don't feel threatened as I'm in Canada and offer no competition to them and just want to know how they get a nice temper on their product.

Again, thanks for the info.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
02/18/16 03:35:48AM
527 posts

You say in your post above that you are using cocoa paste.  Does it taste like chocolate?  If so it isn't even remotely raw, and you shouldn't market it as such whether you're using honey or not.

JUST LIKE COFFEE BEANS DON'T TASTE LIKE COFFEE UNTIL THEY ARE ROASTED, COCOA BEANS DON'T TASTE LIKE CHOCOLATE UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN ROASTED.  PERIOD.  PEOPLE LIE.  CHEMISTRY DOESN'T.

Furthermore, 99.9% of the cocoa paste you buy today goes well over the threshold for "raw" during the grinding and refining process (I have personally ground 10's of thousands of lbs of cocoa beans into cocoa paste.  I know what I'm talking about)

Given that cocoa beans don't taste like chocolate until they are roasted, and cocoa beans aren't called chocolate beans, and the trees aren't called chocolate trees, there is no such thing as "Raw Chocolate".  There is however, such a product as sweetened cocoa paste - exactly like you are making.

...but it's not chocolate, or anything close.

The Mast Brothers piss Clay off, and Raw Chocolate makers piss me off.  Why?  Both lie.

Brad

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/18/16 11:37:57AM
1,680 posts

All -

I do not want this post to get into a discussion on the flavor/health benefits/merits (or lack thereof) or validity of raw chocolate - there are other threads that cover those issues. 

Lets stick to the topic: tempering, and how the addition of honey affects tempering. That is a question that applies to all chocolates, not just "raw" chocolates.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
02/18/16 01:16:46PM
527 posts

Ok Clay.  Then the answer is very simple:

Honey is essentially a liquified sugar which contains 17-20% water by weight - enough to make it fluid, but not enough to allow pathogen growth (the well known golden 80% rule in the confectionary industry)

Water interferes with the crystalization of cocoa butter, causing it to thicken drastically, or sieze altogether. 

Chocolate is a finely balanced SUSPENSION of solid particulate in a fat (COCOA BUTTER) that exhibits certain, controllable behaviours.  Adding another type of fat, or a liquid to the chocolate - even in small amounts - inevitably messes with the ability of the fat to behave in the manner needed.

ergo, honey plus cocoa paste/chocolate = "ganache" and ganache cannot be tempered like a chocolate bar.

That's one of the (several) reasons manufacturers don't use honey to sweeten chocolate.

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/20/16 01:35:18PM
1,680 posts

Brad -

Just a quick note. Chocolat Naive produces a tempered chocolate bar that has honey in it. And they temper it in a continuous tempering machine. And it was not easy to figure it out how to do it. But - it's not impossible. 




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

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