What is tempering and why should you do it?
We got Edd Kimber ( winner of the first series of The Great British Bake Off in 2010) to tell us what it does: “It’s a process that makes chocolate set properly, so that it’s smooth and shiny with a firm texture. If chocolate is just melted and cooled it can set with white streaks and will melt very easily, needing to be stored in the fridge.”
DID YOU KNOW
- Milk Chocolate – melts at a lower temperature than dark chocolate. Slightly softer with less snap
- Dark Chocolate – the go to chocolate for tempering. Stable and easier to temper. Nice snap
- White Chocolate – Very low melting point and scorches easily.
- Avoid chocolate chips because they are made with less cocoa butter than a bar of chocolate, so they don’t melt as easily.
- You can re-temper chocolate up to twice, more if you let it harden and store at room temperature.
How to make the world’s most original Easter egg
Approximately 80 million chocolate Easter eggs are sold annually in the UK, so it’s no secret that we all love a bit of chocolate from time to time – and who doesn’t love the idea of making a beautiful egg hatched from an original idea?
Making your own Easter egg is surprisingly easy and doesn’t require expensive gadgetry or a diploma in catering. All you need is a SuperFast Thermapen digital thermometer to ensure that the chocolate melts and sets to the correct temperature. The process, called ‘tempering’, ensures that chocolate sets properly, giving it a smooth and glossy appearance and a firm texture, whereas chocolate that has been simply melted and cooled may be lumpy, streaky, or prone to melting.
The SuperFast Thermapen digital thermometer is used by top chefs and chocolatiers. The patented 360° self-rotating display allows left or right handed use and the instrument gives an accurate temperature reading in just three seconds.
With the help of Melt Chocolates, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to tempering chocolate to perfection:
- Bring a saucepan with a couple inches of water to a simmer over a medium low heat.
- Place a bowl onto the pan, making sure its base doesn’t touch the water.
- Place 3/4 of your finely chopped chocolate into the bowl. Stirring regularly, melt the chocolate until your Thermapen reads between 45/48°C for milk and white chocolate or 53/55°C for dark chocolate.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate.
- Stir vigorously, breaking the chocolate down with the spatula until all the chocolate has melted and your Thermapen reads between 27/28°C for milk and white chocolate or 28/29°C for dark chocolate.
- Place the bowl back on the heat and, whilst stirring, reheat it to 29/30°C for milk and white chocolate or 31/32°C for dark chocolate.
- Test the chocolate to check it is tempered correctly by drizzling a small amount on a palette knife. It should set hard within 5 minutes and be shiny and glossy.
The Superfast Thermapen has quickly become a kitchen essential for many-well known chefs, and can be used to perfect dishes of all varieties, from tempered chocolate to jam, barbecued meats and sugar craft. The Thermapen is competitively priced from £51.60 each inclusive of VAT, and available in a variety of colours direct from www.thermapen.co.uk