Zed's Repertoire

My Personal Collection of Recipes

Chocolate

Firstly, if you want a fantastic dessert product that uses chocolate, use a fantastic chocolate.
If your aim was to produce an OK product then use an OK chocolate, but who in their right frame of mind would want to produce an OK product when they can produce a fabulous product or outstanding one?
Secondly, there is only one kind of real chocolate, that which contains cocoa butter. Most people when they think of chocolate think of two different varieties; compound chocolate and couverture. Couverture is REAL chocolate which contains cocoa butter. Compound chocolate on the other hand is pretend chocolate which contains vegetable oil rather than cocoa butter. I can guarantee you that my household will not contain any compound chocolate, and for the purpose of the recipes in this book, compound chocolate should be avoided at all costs.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, with the right ingredients.
Only use Couverture chocolate!
Having gotten all of that out of the way, let’s move on to the different type of couverture chocolate.
Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter (32-39%). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor.
The total "percentage" cited on many brands of chocolate is based on some combination of cocoa butter in relation to cocoa solids (cacao). In order to be properly labeled as "couverture", the product must contain not less than 35% total dry cocoa solids, including not less than 31% cocoa butter and not less than 2.5% of dry non-fat cocoa solids; Couverture is used by professionals for dipping, coating, molding and garnishing.
Some brands of couverture chocolate are packaged tempered, and others are packaged untempered. Subsequent tempering may or may not be required, depending on the usage and the desired characteristics of the final product.
Couverture chocolate should not be substituted when semi-sweet, bittersweet, or unsweetened chocolate is called for in a recipe, as the increased cocoa butter content and the sugar content may alter the finished product.
Tempering Chocolate
Tempering is a method of heating and cooling chocolate in order to prepare it for use in coating or dipping.
Good tempering gives your chocolate a smooth and glossy finish. Properly tempered chocolate will have a crisp snap to it and won’t melt on your fingers or in your hands as easily as poorly tempered chocolate.
Properly tempered chocolate is also ideal for molded candies because the candies will release out of the molds more readily and have more of a chance to retain a glossy finish.

Tempering Chocolate

Tempering is a method of heating and cooling chocolate in order to prepare it for use in coating or dipping. Good tempering gives your chocolate a smooth and glossy finish. Properly tempered chocolate will have a crisp snap to it and won’t melt on your fingers or in your hands as easily as poorly tempered chocolate. Properly tempered chocolate is also ideal for molded candies because the candies will release out of the molds more readily and have more of a chance to retain a glossy finish.
Notes:
  • Do not heat above 130°F as chocolate burns at very low temperatures, especially milk chocolate.
  • Chocolate is very sensitive to heat and moisture.
  • Be sure no liquid, steam, or moisture gets into the chocolate, this will cause clumping, blooming or seizing.
  • Try to stir the chocolate with plastic rather than metal or wood.
Method #1: (Easy Method)

  1. Chop or grate the chocolate to be used.
  2. Place 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (not boiling).
  3. Heat the chocolate to 110-115 F stirring constantly.
  4. Place the top pan on a towel and cool to 95-100 F.
  5. Add the remaining chocolate to the top pan and stir until melted.
  6. The chocolate is now tempered and ready to be used.
Method #2: (Preferred Method)

  1. Chop or grate the chocolate to be used.
  2. Place 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water (not boiling).
  3. Heat the chocolate to 115°F stirring constantly.
  4. Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the remaining 1/3 chocolate. Place on a towel and cool to 84°F while stirring.
  5. Place the chocolate back over the heat for 5-10 seconds while stirring to raise the temperature to 88°F.
The chocolate is now tempered and ready to be used.