Precision Control Help! Cocoa Butter To Reduce Chocolate Viscosity...

JesNES
@jesnes
02/28/17 06:24:01PM
2 posts

Hello fellow chocolatiers! This is my first post here at this amazing website (which I've used to garner information from delving into prior forum posts a great many a time). Seeing as I had a somewhat specific question for which I couldn't find an adequate answer, I've decided to ask you, the experts, directly!

Here's the deal: My buddy and I, we like to hand-dip pretzels into chocolate which is tempered using a Chocovision Tempering Unit. We track data on the pretzels in order to learn about how time and type of chocolate can affect the coating that is applied to the pretzel itself.

When using a pretty high grade Dark Chocolate (from Germany), the chocolate tends to be of low thickness; viscosity, creating a coating on each pretzel of about 2.00 grams (with fluctuation from human-error in the hand-dipping process, of course.) This tends to work out fine, as we generally can finish our batch in a reasonable time before the chocolate thickens to the point of creating too gaudy of a coating.

We are currently now working on a Milk Chocolate coating from the great land of Norway (Freia, if you've heard of or tried it). Regardless of brand, we knew that Milk Chocolate would be a bit more difficult to work with due to its more viscous nature. After dipping and collecting the results, the average coating fell into the territory of around 3.11 grams; a more than 50 percent increase.

We have heard that adding cocoa butter to a batch will decrease its viscosity without too much hindrance to flavor or appearance (which we've also heard it can be a boon to...in that it can help temper the chocolate possibly!) So...

Questions!

1) We are fairly satisfied with the Dark Chocolate's viscosity, which again, yields an average coating on each pretzel of about 2.00 grams. With the Milk Chocolate's average coating of 3.11 grams, and an average batch size of 900 grams of chocolate, how much cocoa butter would you recommend adding to the Milk Chocolate to lower its viscosity to equal to that of the Dark Chocolate (recalling that the Milk Chocolate seems to be 50 percent more viscous, if the amount of coating were the judge.)

2) Is there a particular brand or type of cocoa butter one should purchase if its sole use was for lowering the viscosity of specifically Milk Chocolate?

Thank all of you in advance for any and all advice that you can provide; It is very much appreciated! May I also wish you a great day // night, whichever may apply!

-JesNES


updated by @jesnes: 02/28/17 06:29:33PM
Peter3
@peter3
03/01/17 07:39:29PM
86 posts

The whole matter of viscosity control of tempered chocolate is very complex and many pages could be written on the subject.

You could try a much simpler approach.

If you are happy with the temper of the milk chocolate keep the tempering machine settings.

You can use a disposable plastic knife (something with repeatable shape and weight) and dip it in the tempered dark chocolate (use 10 pieces to get good average), measure and record weights.

Add 1% of cocoa butter (by weight) to your milk chocolate, temper and dip the plastic knives, measure, record compare.

Keep increasing the cocoa butter by 1% until you get the same weights.

You can scrape the chocolate from plastic knives, melt and reuse.

I would guess 1-3% should do the trick.

You may need to drop your cooling temperature set point on the tempering machine if your temper is getting worse. 

JesNES
@jesnes
03/02/17 12:37:53AM
2 posts

@peter3: Thank you for the reply and sound advice! That's actual a great basis for a starting experiment to test and calibrate the chocolate viscosity without too much wasted product (if any at all!)

By 1 percent Cocoa Butter, I assume you mean to add an amount of Cocoa Butter equal to the entire batch of chocolate, seed and all? For instance:

900 grams chocolate (including seed) + 9 grams of cocoa butter?

The tip regarding the lowering of the set point is very useful and will be tried if the state of the tempered Milk Chocolate begins to lose its luster with the addition of Cocoa Butter.

Peter3
@peter3
03/02/17 05:02:09PM
86 posts

JesNES:

By 1 percent Cocoa Butter, I assume you mean to add an amount of Cocoa Butter equal to the entire batch of chocolate, seed and all? For instance:

900 grams chocolate (including seed) + 9 grams of cocoa butter?

The tip regarding the lowering of the set point is very useful and will be tried if the state of the tempered Milk Chocolate begins to lose its luster with the addition of Cocoa Butter.

Correct on 900g + 9g of cocoa butter as approximation of 1%.

If you find the change of viscosity too much you may need to go to 0.5%.

You need to add the cocoa butter to hot chocolate and mix for 10-15 minutes.

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