Ask the Alchemist #175


Level: Alchemist

Reading time: 7 min

So I have the revolution X chocovision tempering machine.

I am noticing at our apartment temperature being an average of 74F our chocolate does not hold nearly as well as others. I have a bar from fruition, rogue, dandelion, etc etc all at about the same 70% ratio and they seem to hold their temper so much better. Some don't use any cacao butter while others I can tell by texture use quite a bit.

I use these big blobs or "brains" I call them for seeds, I use them over and over but they are all white and flake apart when I put pressure on them... Is it because they aren’t in perfect temper why the resulting chocolate isn't coming out and holding that glossy black temper for a long time?

I just notice it gets a slight white film on it after a few weeks and the texture gets a tad funky..

Just so you know I am also using the temper 1 setting, so seed out at 90F and molding at 88.7F and then in the fridge to harden.

Should I be using the temper 2 setting where it drops it down and then back up to 88.7? Since the quality of my seed is pretty shit? Just figured I would ask. I am going to experiment as I just read through your illustration of tempering (great job by the way, the best most clear description I have seen yet)

If I just let the chocolate sit at room temperature it comes out really streaky and white 

I figured 74F is just too warm, but based on your illustration it seems the temper might be off?

 

OK, tempering troubleshooting it is today.

For those not sure what is going on here, the method here is a mixture of a way I found works under certain conditions and using a tempering machine with seed.  You can read the whole method here. http://chocolatealchemy.com/illustrated-tempering/

It entails using freshly crystallized chocolate as seed for tempering.  Go read it.  I won’t bore you here repeat it all.

Your issue appears to be that you have combined  methods and are storing and using  old bloomed chocolate instead of the freshly solidified chocolate that I call for.  That is clear, aside from you saying it of course, is because it is white and crumbly.  Forget “not perfect temper”.  These are fully bloomed and devoid of any temper.  Just because you call it seed does not seed it make.

The key to making my method work is that the seed portion that you use must be relatively fresh.  In this state, there is a lot of Type V crystals.  When you put this into your melted chocolate at 90-95 F, all the other types melt and you are left with a substantial quantity of Type V that acts as real seed and you get a good strong temper.

In old bloomed chocolate the amount of Type V has gone down significantly.  As bloomed chocolate ages, there is solid state conversion.  Type V converts to both IV and VI under certain conditions and this most likely is what is causing your issue.  Those blob/brains are your indicator that your have Type VI.  The Type VI melts at even a higher temperature than Type V, so there is no way to get rid of it without destroying your remaining Type V also.

I can’t really speak for your tempering machine’s settings as I don’t know them.  Regardless, going down to 80 and back up won’t fix your issue if you are using Type VI contaminated seed unless you go all the way up to 100 f and then back down, which negates the whole reason for seed.

My recommendation then is to toss your crumbly not-seed chocolate and start fresh.  And after that, instead of using this current method, there is no reason not to just reserve a bar of well tempered chocolate as your new seed.

Comment