About to give up!
Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques
First, you should check the temperature ranges for tempering your different chocolates-these can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I know, for example, Barry Callebaut prints them on their bars of courverture. Dark is usually more like a 90-92F range, milk and 86-88, and milk 83-86ish. Second, dont add seed until its nearly down to the range of temper (proper crystallization). That is, add your seed for dark around 95 or lower-it works fastest if you add small pieces that will completely melt, preferably shavings of tempered chocolate-or you can add a chunk, give it more time, and then fish out whats not melted once youre ready to go to work and its tempered. You dont need to go through the whole temperature curve for tempering if you are seeding, that may be part of your problem. When initially melting the chocolate however, make sure the temperature is up there at 110 or so, that guarantees all crystals, good and bad, are melted out. When you have added your seed, give it at least 15 minutes or more, check it on the back of a spoon. It should set up in no more than 2-3 minutes in a 62-68F degree environment, which is optimal for chocolate work. You should observe it closely, the chocolate should look uniform, with no spotting, blotches or streaks. If it sets up quickly but still has any of these characteristics, the chocolate is either not completely tempered yet (crystallization is not homogenous throughout your batch), or you have some bad crystals, or both. Give it more time and movement, and check again. If the spotting, blotchiness, or streaks dont go away, start over from 110F again. Hope this is useful. Best of luck,Jeff