The New Bakers Dozen
Humidity and the effects on tempering

The The Bakers Dozen: Humidity and the effects on tempering
By danno on Saturday, April 07, 2001 - 02:39 pm: Edit

the past couple of days i have had a hell of a time tempering chocolate.. out of nowhere it did get warm and humid and that is the only thing I can think of that is giving me a hard time. the way i was taught that after tempering and the choc is at the proper temp to test it on the tip of the knife anf if it doesnt set within a few minutes then start over, if anyone can shed some insight on the subject i would appreciate it.

By Yankee on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 01:18 pm: Edit

What type of chocolate (cocoa %) are you using?

Try going with a lower % product. I use a mix of 51% and 65%, and it seems to hold up pretty well against a bank of steam ovens. There are also no real industry standards for cocoa % rating, each brand kind of does it's own thing. So, you might try playing around with different brands.

A plastic spoon will also give you a better read than a metal one, since the metal is usually much colder than room temp. The end of some folded over baking papaer will also work.

I also keep my product in cold area (a direct shot from a big a/c vent) before I finish them. Having them a few degrees cooler than room temp will help them set a bit faster.

Best of luck.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 05:03 pm: Edit

I alway push people to forget tempering. It's not practical or logical for pastry chefs. Unless your making chocolate objects to sell on shelfs or you just want practice tempering I personally believe your wasting your time.

Put that time into your dessert not the garnish stuck into it.

What confectionary today isn't using a tempering machine?

Just my two cents....

By Panini (Panini) on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 08:29 pm: Edit

Are you saying one does not have to temper? or don't use chocolate at all. Alot of people put to much into tempering. It should become a part of the days activities. Over analyzing, machines, spending lots of time, to me, translates to
" afraid of chocolate" or not understanding chocolate.
To me there are only two types of chocolate, the ingredient or the finished product.
Just my one cent.

By danno on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 10:02 pm: Edit

thanks for the info Yankee. I used 2 different brands the first was schokinag ( I think I spelled that right) the second was van leer both between 55 and 60 % cocoa butter. the van leer product was very good . It has a deep robust flavor. think they are owned by Callebaut. I made 3 or 4 hundres candies last week and had no problems and this week Its like Im retarded.I just would like to know the dynamics involved here. how humidity can have that much of and effect on the tempering process,

By danno on Sunday, April 08, 2001 - 10:15 pm: Edit

I can understand where your comming from deboard , but for me its not in my nature to let something like this beat me. just like so many other aspects in our field I like to understand what is actually going om with the tangibles and the intangibles. hell anybody can open up a box or bag and just add water. but not me.

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 07:41 am: Edit

I use chocolate garnishes all the time. I always have them on hand.

I'm fairly efficient at tempering, I have years of practice tempering. But every now and then, I'll have a failure too. And which pastry chef hasen't? Only a lier!

When you talk to the person who frustrated tempering, 9 times out of 10 it's for and item that doesn't even require tempering. A garnish that they could have made using the cooler and knocked it out in minutes instead of wasting days making a $1.50 chocolate rabbit.

The work has to equal the reward. Although "learning how to temper" is another thing and I do believe everyone should take the time to learn how.

But on a daily basis pastry chefs don't need to temper when they can short cut the process very successfully with using the cooler to set their chocolate.

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 08:00 am: Edit

Danno shortcuts are a MUST and a LARGE part of the knowledge required in being a pastry chef. Everyday we make the judgements of where to spend our time with the wisest and best results.

Shortcuts come after you have all the basic knowledge down pat! Yes, definately learn how to temper! I wouldn't respect your abilities if you didn't know how to temper with a 95% or above success rate. But I'll call everyone a lier to their face if they tell me they can temper with 100% percent success everytime!

Then, move on, every confectionary I've been in had a tempering machine. Meaning even they know when to move on and spend their time wisely.

Unforunately none of the pastry kitchens I've been in did own a tempering machine. Instead, use the cooler to set your chocolate, it's cheaper and you already have one.

I doubt humidity had anything to do with your's always over heating, proceedure or mixing that's your culprit.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 01:45 pm: Edit

Ok, now I'm really confused. DeBord what do you mean, use the cooler to set your chocolate. I have not heard of this. Just tell me what I'm missing. I love to short cut, please explain your proceedure.
Humidity really only should affect you during the process and storage.

By d. on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 04:23 pm: Edit

True, I would rather spend the time on the dessert rather than on the chocolate garnish. Tempering does have its rewards and setbacks, and we should all have the know how even if we don't do it everyday.I've given up tempering in our kitchen because the temperature is so inconsistent and the kitchen runs very warm when the hot side is on. I just melt my chocolate and let it set in the cooler, or sometimes use a small portion of Callebaut coating chocolate mixed in with my regular chocolate to help set it faster.

By chady2k on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 05:09 pm: Edit

Anyone use a few drops of vanilla while working with chocolate? You can then put the tempered chocolate in a piping bag and it seems to me that you can work it for a longer period of time before it goes off. I have very little knowledge in the chocolate department but this seems to work for me for garnishes etc..

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 06:07 pm: Edit

d.. Your cooler set chocolate is less tempermentalsp? than tempered. Why would you not just bowl temper before the cooler.
I don't know, I guess I'm really lost on all this.
If you needed a bowl,cup,etc. you would just use choco.,set in in the coolear until you use it? or set it in the cooler and remove and sit until use?

By danno on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 08:05 pm: Edit

for all you that use the cooler to set your couverture and what do you do about the condensation that collects on the surface after you bring the finished peice out to room temp. and if your using the cooler to set the couverture I have been under the impression that after comming to room temp you will still get bloom.

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:07 pm: Edit

Panini you melt your chocolate (still with care not to over heat, since it will bloom if your totally careless). I melt my chocolate as if I'm tempering but you don't have to be as careful. As soon as your done making your item you put it in the cooler to harden. You have to really mess up for it to bloom this way.

Haven't you ever dipped cold truffles or strawberries? The choc. sets instantly and it's rare for it to bloom.

I wrap ala carte desserts (individually made) in bands of chocolate acetate when their frozen and hold them in the freezer until I need them. When I do defrost them there is condensation but that does dissapear overnight. Even coming from a defrosting state I won't have any more condensation on them then if I had made the item earilier in the day and held it in the cooler. You have to defrost slowly, you can't just pull it out of the freezer and put it on a plate to defrost.

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 09, 2001 - 10:25 pm: Edit

I make my garnishes (etc) then wrap them well in plastic or put them into tightly sealed containers to store them in my cooler. When I take them out to use it's extremely rare for them to sweat. You have to really have a really big temp. change into a hot room. I make items that sit on a buffet for hours and see no harm. No I wouldn't do this for items that would sit out for days, then you have to temper correctly...but even the whole day is fine.

"after coming to temp. you still will still get bloom"...if it's going to bloom, you'll see it in the cooler, too. The cooler just gives you a (much)bigger error margin, you still have to pay attention to melting.

I can't hold tempered chocolate anywhere in my club. I can't keep purchased chocolate coffee beans overnight on my shelf without them blooming. With-out the cooler I'd never be able to use chocolate garnishes.

By mikebel on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 03:54 am: Edit

i havent worked in a place where they had the ideal temps for tempering.So what you do is learn all these little tricks to help you get by.1st of all here in australia it can get warm e.g 40.c combine that with the main kitchen crowd always deciding to do there stocks at the same time u want to do some chocolate. we do the same as w.debord by melting chocolate spreading it on to a slighty warm metal tray then fridge it we use this chocolate for fans and cigarettes and store it refrigerated no problems most of the time, on real humid days we get a little condensation but not to bad, when it comes to choc boxes and choc that has to sit out we drop the choc temp right down untill almost set then quickly run it into the restaurant(only when there no customers, nice and cool air conditioning) untill it is set then wrap it up and keep in a cool a place as possible
if we want to do dark and white dark cigarettes we use a large marble and chill it down no problems there either.

By chefkramer on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 11:47 am: Edit

Humidity and the temp surrounding you will definately have a direct impact on you chocolate result when tempering , as this process of slowly cooling is very difficult to understand, an the "high shine" will only result in this procedere. This is only necessary when real chocolate as you described it is used.
If you add glasing chocolate to you callebaut it will not necesarily need to be terperaed as this contains non cocao fats , and will still somehow shine .
True when you cover chilled objects non temperated chocolate will shine, but only due to the effect of getting wet on the outside.
When you want to have chocolates, keep them at roomtemp and shining you must temerate your couverture and have object at roomtemperature, at least thats what they are doing in swizerland.
hen piped for finedeco objects its automatic temerated through the small exit if pipe , so you need only keep the temp of chocolate moderate and it will work..

By chefkramer on Thursday, April 26, 2001 - 12:23 pm: Edit

if you want to find out more about chocolate ....try this

for a small temperature machine anybody can afford

till next time

By danno on Friday, April 27, 2001 - 08:18 am: Edit

thanks chefkramer, but Im not sure of the product you mentioned "glasing". eventually I was able to get the choc tempered. origionally I was taking the chocolate up t about 115 then cooling part of it down then combining the 2 parts, for some reason beyond me that wasnt working. then I tried only taking it up to about 96 and cooling part of it an a marble till it got thick then combined the 2 and this seemed top work out a lot better

By W.DeBord on Saturday, April 28, 2001 - 07:09 am: Edit

Add the seeding/second part while the first part is warm, to temper.

Thats what cools it down and tempers it.

You wrote your adding the chocolate after the first part cools down. Your too late, your not tempering if you letting your first part of melted choc. cool down before adding the rest(seeding)...instead your starting over each time your adding new choc..(the chocolate is still waiting for you to temper).

When your using the slab, then, your tempering because your taking your warm choc. and cooling it quickly (which is what your seeding was suposed to do).

By chefkramer on Monday, April 30, 2001 - 04:39 pm: Edit

well what i call "glasing" is anything looking like chocolate, having non cocao additives to it besides sugar ....especially other fats or make chocolate cheaper the cocaobutter that is paid very much for is substituted with coconutfat or soyaoil.
only when kokaobutter alone is used, you must temper.
for the second question you answered yourself already , as 115 is definately too warm, to bring down the whole amount to the right temp , depending on the amount you are cooling.
nice to hear that your result have improoved.
why dont you try to coll the whole amount under constant stirring, as your procedere is often ending in failure,same with me.
cool until your lip feels the chocolatetemperature as "cool" .When working with it and it get thick warm it little bit.

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