Help with Tempering!

04/04/16 01:30:19PM
7 posts

Hello! I am a new confectioner (chef turned pastry chef), learning as I go. I am working on a line of artisanal tablets/candy bars, using LorAnn or essential oils to flavor chocolate, and I am still experiencing bloom. I added approx 2 grams of coconut oil to the 5# dark couverture chocolate as it was melting. I am using an automatic tempering machine, (Chocovision Rev V) adding the warmed oils to tempered chocolate, and letting set overnight/days. The ambient temperature in the room is around 69*F but can get as warm as 74*. Is the temperature the problem? Any help is appreciated! 

updated by @jujucabra: 12/16/16 09:05:10AM
Clay Gordon
04/04/16 01:36:26PM
1,680 posts


And please tell us more about how you are using the Chocovision and why (and when) you are adding coconut oil (a likely source of the problem) as well as the essential oils.

clay -

updated by @clay: 04/04/16 01:37:45PM
04/04/16 02:19:58PM
7 posts

Photos below. Full disclosure - these are to be cannabis edibles. (It's legal here in Oregon now).  I am planning to add cannabis oil to the tempered chocolate, and we have found that it is best absorbed when activated and added (diluted) in coconut oil. Each of my recipes need to contain *some* coconut oil - I try to add the minimal amount in each instance. I thought that 1gm per 5# would not affect the outcome, but it seems it might be a problem. These chocolates do not currently contain cannabis, just coconut and flavoring oils. 

The coconut oil was added to the chocolate callets during the melt cycle, behind the baffle. My hypothesis was that it would emulsify during the temper process. The entire batch contained coconut oil, and it all bloomed. 

The chocolate that was flavored was ladled into a dry, warm bowl while in temper, and a few drops of each flavoring oil (LorAnn for 2, peppermint essential oil) was added in and stirred with a rubber spat. I warmed the oils in a water bath before adding them in.

As you can see from the pictures, I still had some shine and release from the moulds. The tablets with marshmallow, nuts, and toffee did not have any flavorings, just coconut oil. 

bloomtest0401.jpg  •  3.9MB

bloomtest2.jpg  •  4.4MB

bloomtest3.jpg  •  3.5MB

Clay Gordon
04/05/16 12:18:08PM
1,680 posts

There is no water in chocolate, so no emulsification is going on.

What could be happening is bad mixing, so I would try a couple of experiments.

  1. Don't add any coconut oil to the chocolate as it's melting. (You are using seed chocolate during the cool-down phase, right?) Take some chocolate out and mix in the flavored oils. Do you still get the blooming?
  2. Same as 1) but instead of adding the flavoring oil add the coconut oil and stir.
  3. Same as 1) but mix the flavoring oil into the coconut oil and mix that into the tempered chocolate.

You want to make sure that you do a good job of mixing everything together so you don't get streaking, which is different from blooming.

I don't know if that will solve your problem - but we will know if the problem is that the coconut oil you're adding during the melting phase is what's getting in the way of proper tempering. 

clay -
04/05/16 08:36:36PM
16 posts

A few thoughts:

1. Why take the chocolate out of the machine to mix the oils? (In order to create smaller flavored batches?) It may be that the choc is falling out of temper when put in the bowl. Also, Lorann oils are alcohol based... I believe. So in addition to being kind of cheap nasty oils (no offense), they are alcohol based, which choc does not like. You need an oil based flavoring oil. Either make your own or source one. 

2. Why do you need to add coconut oil? Cannabis is fat soluble and will join with the cocoa butter in the choc - assuming you're using couverture.

3. Ambient temp should be about 70 degrees with an optimal humidity of 50. 

4. Make sure your molds are near to temp as choc as possible. And, finally cooling the choc in a fridge for a sec or with a fan can help the set up. Finally, perhaps you have dirty molds? Though, based on the pics, looks like temp bloom to me as oppossed to sugar bloom. 

Good luck!

04/13/16 07:27:25PM
7 posts

Thanks for the feedback, everybody!

Since my first query, I've adjusted my methods a bit.  I am making small batches (6-8 oz) at a time to test flavors, because I did not have a large amount of chocolate to use until today. Thankfully I've finally set my wholesale account up, and am ready to go. I am now using guittard organic chocolate wafers. Today's experiments are with a 66% cacao. 

I put each bowl (with micro doses of flavor oils) over warm water, so that the chocolate would not fall out of temper, and made sure to warm my tools for each batch as well. I mixed as well as possible... I did see just a little bit of streaking in some of the batches, but no bloom so far! I let them set in a room which was cooler than mine. The milk I made yesterday, one of the moulds did have some bloom, so I've got to go back and re-mould one variety. I did not add any additional fats, as my extraction team has told me that I shouldn't need to activate my cannabis oils before adding to the chocolate, hooray for one less step.

One of my issues was the baffle for the Chocovision Rev V... the temp I was receiving from the machine was 2-4 degrees off of what both digital & analog thermometers read. I am using the "holey" baffle and it seems to be better. The tempering machine company is sending me a replacement baffle.

Today I started out with a floor model air conditioner, which I have positioned in front of the speed rack where I am now able to set my chocolates. This makes a huge difference in the ambient temp of the room already... from 75* yesterday to a balmy 69. Also the fan is blowing the cool air right over the moulds.

I think some of my problem was also in relation to my moulds being a little bit dirty. I have since bought several soft paintbrushes and am double-washing them with Dawn dish detergent. 

What dish detergent/soap do yous guys prefer?

Again, thank you for the feedback and troubleshooting help. 

Daniel Poncelet
04/14/16 02:08:15PM
1 posts

Looks like your chocolate is not properly crystallized plus no adequate cooling. Do you put your molds in the cooler? That is important to complete the crystallization. 

Clay Gordon
04/14/16 02:13:19PM
1,680 posts


What dish detergent/soap do you guys prefer?

I know people who think highly of PBW - professional brewers wash - from Five Star Chemicals.

clay -
Riadh Falvo
12/16/16 08:17:28AM
4 posts

I think this may be along the same lines as your query  @jujucabra . I didn't add coconut oil (or cannabis) however I did add some peppermint oil. The chocolate I'm using is a dark 65%. I've used botanical oils before though not often. I'm at home today experimenting with marble, spatulas, and bain marie, and that's about it. I learned how to temper sans thermometer and I agitated the living hell out of my chocolate, so any ideas? My tests are not streaky, but not a brilliant shine either and of course a much smaller surface area.

My thoughts are it's just the essential oil. It still has snap, is clean on the other (mould) side, but the back... *photo attached. How many times is too many times to temper. I've redone them 3 times now. 

Thank you for ideas in advance. Maybe I'm out of temper practice... Try, try again.

streaky chocolate.jpg