Level: Novice

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Recently, I've been making honey chocolates (1 c cocoa powder, 1 c coconut oil, and 1/3 c honey) to remarkable success. However, my main issue is that the chocolate get soft (Though not melted) at room temperature, and it can get quite messy when someone picks it up to eat if it's not straight out of the freezer. I know tempering can raise the melting point of chocolate, but I noticed on one of your articles that coconut oil doesn't temper well. Do you have any advice on raising the melting point of this chocolate to avoid the mess?

I’m really glad you like what you made. That is what it is all about after all. 

What you are making though I don’t consider chocolate.  It is a cocoa confection of some ilk.  I am not being snobbish.  I merely want to set up a definition so we can talk about things.  When I say chocolate I’m referring to modern refined chocolate.  Here at Chocolate Alchemy the intent is from bean (or nib) to bar.  But it is still a shades of grey kind of thing though.

I consider all these chocolate:

  • Refined chocolate with nibs and sugar refined to <20 um.
  • Refined chocolate but left coarse (think Mexican style chocolate)
  • Refine cocoa powder with cocoa butter and sugar (I didn't say good chocolate)

I don’t consider these chocolate but instead some type of chocolate creation.

  • Cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar mixed without refining.
  • Cocoa powder, another oil, and any sweetener (dry or liquid) (refined or not)
  • Refined liquor with a liquid sweetener that seizes

And that last one makes me realize that my definition of chocolate has two parts.  It must be refined to some degree and you must be able to temper it. 

With that addition, these would also be chocolate IF you temper it with silk.

  • Refined liquor with honey
  • Refined Cocoa powder, cocoa butter and honey (or other liquid sweetener)

What you have was not refined and due to the extra coconut oil and lack of cocoa butter it can’t be tempered.

“If I use 1% silk will that temper it?”

Unfortunately not.  When we talk about tempering, we are referring to a very specific process.  Technically you are not tempering the chocolate.  You are tempering the cocoa butter in the chocolate and the crystal matrix is putting up with a bunch of impurities (the cocoa solids and sugar).  So if you add silk to something without cocoa butter (disclaimer – I should really say enough cocoa butter since cocoa powder has a 10-15% cocoa butter) then it can’t temper because you can’t temper what isn’t there.  Not all oils temper.  In fact very few temper or form crystals. 

So a mixture of cocoa powder, coconut oil and honey falls apart on the chocolate definition on numerous counts. 

  • It isn’t refined. 
  • It does not have cocoa butter that can temper.  
  • It has so much coconut oil that it won’t temper even if you added cocoa butter.

To get this to temper you would need to replace virtually all the coconut oil with cocoa butter (at least 90%) and temper it with silk (since it has honey).  It still won’t be chocolate (it isn’t refined) but if you like it, that is what counts.  And it is worth noting, with the addition of honey this is a one time tempering only.  You won’t be able to melt this and have it behave.  As soon as it melt and gets stirred the water in the honey will cause it to seize and it is game over.  It goes from being tempered chocolate to no longer chocolate.