Support an IndieGogo campaign - US$149 chocolate melter?

White Chocolate Lover
@white-chocolate-lover
02/15/15 06:33:32PM
1 posts

Hello ChocolateLife Community, 

I discovered this project on Indiegogo. The goal is to create an inexpensive induction cooktop with temperature control so that it can also be used for sous vide cooking.

And maybe other applications as well - including some in the chocolate world.

I have requested (on the product's forum) a multi-step program that will allow you to increase, decrease and reheat the chocolate, and one of the engineers responded and said it was a great idea and said they'd like to hear more from the chocolate community. I obviously have an interest in seeing this product made - I want to keep the costs of my future chocolate business investment to a minimum as it's so expensive to get started in this industry. Beyond that, I have no relations whatsoever to the company.

We have until March 9th to tell the engineers what they should add to the product. They want to hear from the chocolate community.

Please add your feedback that will help bring us a product to market that we can use, especially for us beginners just starting out.

 


updated by @white-chocolate-lover: 04/09/15 06:09:05AM
mda@umgdirectresponse.com
@michael-arnovitz
02/22/15 03:43:50AM
59 posts

I like the design and direction of what they are making. Considering the price, this could be a very cool little induction plate. That having been said, I see several significant problems in regard to using this to temper chocolate:

1) I just don't think that the necessary temperature accuracy and control is going to be there. And yes I know that they put up a video about this, but all they showed was that in a large pot of water the temperature was eventually fairly stable. There's a reason real sous vide units use circulators. And sous vide cooking is significantly more forgiving in this regard than tempering chocolate. 
2) Even if the temperature control problem is solved, I still think that direct heat (even using induction heating) is likely to scorch the chocolate. I saw a little back and forth on the comments page about setting up multi-temp programs, but what I didn't see was any discussion about the ability to carefully control the output power. And this is going to be key, because if you're using one of these to temper chocolate the heat is going to need to be applied in a very gentle fashion, or your chocolate is going to be ruined before you even get to the tempering stage.
3) Finally, all batch tempering units include some method of circulating/stirring the chocolate, which allows for even distribution of temperature as well as proper crystal formation. There's nothing like that happening here, which means a LOT of manual stirring once you finish the first melt cycle. In order to make this unit functional in a production setting, you're going to need to rig up some type of continuous stirring mechanism.

Bottom line: for standard cooking, and especially for sous vide cooking, this looks like a great little induction plate. But for tempering chocolate? Probably not…

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