PMAT Live! Episode 15: An Even Temper

tempered chocolate box

This was my final chocolate project in pastry school. Inside are a bunch of chocolates we made. My partner and I decided that cherry and almond flavoring would be nice, so some of our chocolates ended up tasting like a mixture of Jergen's lotion and Robitussin. Nice.

Tempering chocolate is one of those tasks that feels intimidating.  Even to me.  I rarely do it; as a matter of fact, I haven’t done it since I worked at my first restaurant.  But, I opened my Big Yap a couple of months ago and said that I’d do a video on tempering.  And I’ve been putting it off ever since.

After 1/6 of a year, I was starting to feel Sweaty and Guilty, so I told my friend @maninthekitch (who makes very good cooking videos, so go see) that Monday was the day.  So, Monday was the day, and I made my video.

And guess what, you needn’t fear tempering.  You don’t have to own a Large Slab of Marble.  You don’t need to be a chef.  You don’t even have to use your tempered chocolate to make some crazy chocolate show piece.  All you need is a good, accurate thermometer, a spatula and some elbow grease.

This technique is not the classic tempering technique. Not even like the classic seeding technique wherein One melts the chocolate, brings the temperature down and then back up to a working temperature.  This is heat, cool, use.  And it works.  You’ll get a nice sheen on the chocolate, a good snap, a lovely mouthfeel.  Just be sure to stir the chocolate vigorously to make sure all the seed crystals are evenly dispersed, or you won’t end up with An Even Temper.

In the video, you’ll see that the wee doo-dads I made were kinda messy.  I absolutely could’ve tempered some more chocolate and started over, making Pretty for the camera, but I let it stand, because I wanted you to see that, even if what you make isn’t Perfect, the technique still works, and the technique is more important than the aesthetics.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and that you feel a little less intimidated by tempering than perhaps you used to.

Thanks, and have a great day!

By the way, I wholeheartedly recommend the Thermapen as an accurate, easy-to-use, easy-to-read thermometer. I use mine for everything from cooking sugar to taking the internal temperature of bread or even roasts. Oh, and it’s also great for tempering chocolate.


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Comments

  1. says

    Must say that lotion & Robitussin-flavored chocolates fall a wee bit short of appealing, but that chocolate box is divine! Thanks for the tempering tutorial! The few times I’ve *tempered* chocolate, I did took a shortcut to the shortcut – I used the microwave! 8-)

    If you get a chance, can you also show us how you make the little piping tips? I usually buy disposable pastry bags but would love to just make them from parchment or wax papers. Thanks! 8-)

    • says

      Of course I can do that–how to make a piping bag coming up in the near-ish future:)

      And I’ve used the microwave before, too, in the past. I’ve decided I don’t want to put food in it anymore, so we only use it to sanitize our sponges! :lol:

  2. Suzanne says

    I love All of your videos and, I am really excited about doing the chocolate tempering that is in the video!I just want to say that your “Chocolate box” is sooooo beautiful !Wow!Talk about creativity…you definitely are creative,without a doubt.I wanted to go right into the kitchen immediately and try and make it my self as well as, eat some of the chocolate.Mmmmmm..
    If you had that “chocolate box “in a recipe book,I would purchase the book without any hesitation.Thanks for sharing your techniques too, and please keep your blog going.Thanks so much…
    .

    • says

      Thank you so much for the lovely comments, Suzanne! I’m glad you enjoy the videos; I enjoy making them. :)

      The nice thing about that chocolate box is that, once you have your chocolate in temper, it’s a simple matter of pouring the flat parts onto parchment, cutting them out before they’re completely hardened and then gluing them together with more tempered chocolate. It truly is a “chocolate box!”

      And thanks for the encouragement about the blog–I hope to keep it going for a long, long time!

  3. Thouston_123 says

    Your final chocolate project picture at the top is elegant and beautiful. Love it! How long did you work on this masterpiece?

    • says

       Thank you! It probably took a couple of hours to make the roses/leaves from molding chocolate, another hour or so to temper/pour the top&bottom of the box, maybe 30 min or so to pipe decoration on top and do the lattice. So, overall around 2-3 hours. Inside were all the truffles&filled chocolates that we had made throughout the chocolate class, so that counts for another few hours, as well.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] It was at this point that we realized that we had made some pretty good chocolate! The next step was to figure out what we wanted to do with it. Jenni was hopeful that it would temper so she tried to do that for a while. We were encouraged by the fact that our foul smelling test batch had tempered, but this one just didn’t want to behave. Curious about tempering? Jenni has a great video on her site that will tell you all about it. Check it out: An Even Temper [...]

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