Generally speaking chocolate starts to melt from 30 to 32 C, just a little bit lower than your body temperature (that’s why chocolate tastes so good, when you melt it on your tonque!). But the exact melting temperature depends on the content of the chocolate you are melting (or try not to melt!).
Before we go into the scientific explanation of chocolate melting, what you probably want to remember is that white chocolate melts at the lowest temperature, milk chocolate somewhere in the middle, whereas dark chocolate takes the longest to melt.
When I run my chocolate making courses, I get often asked questions about chocolate truffles and working with ganache. So in this chocolate blog post I wanted to look at commonly asked questions and give you the answers with simple solutions.
But first of all, if you don't know how to make delicious chocolate truffles at home you can check out this recipe. Now that you have made your first batch of homemade chocolate truffles we can start with the questions!
Chocolate truffle making tips
How do you keep truffles from melting?
The best way to prevent your chocolate truffles from melting when you are working with them is to wear catering gloves and form your chocolate truffles first with your fingertips and then roll them gently in your palms to finish shaping them into a smooth ball. It’s also useful to chill your chocolate truffle mixture before you work with it (1-2 hrs is fine or overnight if you have the time).
When you finish making your chocolate truffles, chill them for a few hours and then store them in a room temperature (anything around 18 C is ideal).
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Best chocolate tempering machine to buy - Review Guide (2020)
Whether you are just starting with chocolate making or you are thinking of starting your own chocolate business, chocolate tempering is going to be essential part of your chocolate work.
Chocolate tempering is a fairly complex task and one that has to be done correctly otherwise you might end up with bloomed chocolate, which doesn't look very sightly and it also shorterns the final product shelf-life.
My chocolate courses students have been asking me which chocolate tempering machine to buy, which inspired me to review a few tempering machines for you and write up this chocolate tempering guide.
This chocolate tempering machine guide focuses on small scale chocolate making - either at home or small business.
When to consider buying chocolate tempering machine
If you want to just try working with chocolate and make a few chocolate treats for your friends and family once in a while, you probably don't need to buy tempering machine (unless you really fancy having another kitchen gadget). You'll be perfectly fine with chocolate tempering on a marble or using the seeding method.
However if you are thinking of setting up a small chocolate business or you are planning to make a lot of chocolate, tempering machine will significantly cut down the time that you'd otherwise need to use for hand chocolate tempering. It will save you time, that you can dedicate to preparing your moulds, decorating your chocolates or prepare your chocolate fillings.
What to consider when buying chocolate tempering machine
Tempering machine size
This will very much depend on how much space do you have in your kitchen or chocolate workshop. Ideally your tempering machine should be placed on a firm and sturdy hard surface area (kitchen worktop, table or a free standing cupboard). The average size of tempering machine could be anything from 40cm to 60cm both in depth and width. Tempering machines are also fairly heavy and the more chocolate volume you can input the more they will weigh.
Tempering machine volume
The smaller table top tempering machines take about 500 g of chocolate, whilst the large types can take up to 5 kg. The smaller tempering machines are adequate for occassional chocolate work or for a hobby chocolatier, but if you want to start even a small scalle chocolate production, you'll need at least 1-2 kg volume.
Tempering machine price
The cost of table top tempering machine varies from few hundred pounds to several hundred. Chocolate tempering machines are a bit of an investment, so I'd often recommend carry on tempering chocolate by hand, until you reach the point when you need to temper 1- 1.5 kg and then invest in a mid range tempering machine.
This chocolate tempering machine is a great value, considering the specifications. It will temper up to 8 litres of chocolate (which is around 10 kg) in two different compartments. This machine is also fairly compact and simple to set up. Temperature can be set to anything from 1C to 100C.
More importantly, this tempering machine heats up your chocolate with dry heat, which means that there is no additional humidity like with heating up chocolate on a bain marrie.
Two separate container vats
Max. 100°C, continuous heat
Volume Capacity - Maximum of 8 litres - 2x4L
Machine weight (without chocolate) 7,35 kg
Dimensions - 34.5 x 28.2 x 29.4 cm
Each container is 15 cm deep
Led display for temperature control
Benefit of two separate containers for different chocolates
Easy to clean as it's stainless steal and the containers are dishwasher safe
Continous heat (doesn't automatically stop heating when it reaches desired temperature)
This is great starter machine as it's very affordable, compact and holds good amount of chocolate. The machine has two separate containers, which means that you can have milk or dark chocolate melting together at the same time. It's made from stainless steel, which makes it very easy to wash.
It heats the chocolate by slowly heating water container which sits underneath the chocolate containers. Whilst this cuts cost of this tempering machine by half from other models, it also means that you need to be more careful when taking the chocolate containers from the machine.
2 separate containers with 1.6 litres capacity each (about 2 kg)
Measurements - 22 cm wide, 44cm deep, 17cm tall
Each container is 13 cm deep
Weight (without chocolate) 5kg
Perfect for a start up business on a budget or home chocolate enthusiast
Gradual heating of the chocolate by heating the water compartment underneath
Easy to clean (stainless steal)
Automatically stops heating when the container/chocolate reaches desired temperature
Water heated machine (be careful when taking the containers off the base as they might have water dripping)
Analogue temperature setting, which could be sometimes incorrect (double check with a digital thermometer)
This tempering machine is a good value for money, as it has 3 different compartments, which can be used for white, milk and dark chocolate or use to keep your colouring cocoa butter warm. It is still fairly compact, considering that it has 3 different compartments. This machine will save you money and space as you don't need to buy separate tempering machines (if you need to temper white, milk or dark chocolate at the same time).
Temperature range 0-80 C
Capacity 12 kg in total (about 4 kg each container)
Measurements: 66 cm deep, 36 cm wide, 18 cm tall
3 separate compartments for white, milk and dark chocolate
Each tempering machine comes with a detailed user guide, so here are just a few tips on how to use tempering machine correctly.
Most tempering machines have been designed for 'seeding' method of tempering chocolate. This means that you add chocolate to your chocolate machine, let the chocolate melt slowly and when it's fully melted, you add about 1/3 of the original chocolate volume in new chocolate calets. You need to lover the heating temperature at this point, depending on what chocolate you are working with. Let the new, unmelted chocolate to crystalise the rest of the chocolate and when fully melted, you are ready to start your chocolate work.
The seeded method does take a longer time, than tempering on a marble, but this give you the time to prepare the chocolate moulds, fillings or pack your chocolates whilst your new chocolate machine tempers your next batch of chocolate.
A long time ago, here is where my chocolate business started: with making Christmas chocolate truffles to give as little token presents to my friends and family.
This Easy Christmas Chocolate Truffles Recipe is a basic recipe that can be easily changed depending on what chocolate truffle flavour you fancy. Give them away packed in a cellophane bags with pretty Christmas ribbons and make sure you keep some for yourself! They are that good!
People often ask me when they come to my chocolate workshops, whether we will be making chocolate from scratch. This depends on the course, but we usually start with the chocolate making from chocolate coverture. There is still a lot of involved when you get to that stage – careful melting, machine chocolate tempering, flavouring and moulding.
So in most cases, we don’t start with making chocolate from the real beginning, but if you fancied making chocolate at home, here is how to do it!
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegan diets and it's also gluten free and dairy free (if you don't use powdered milk to make milk chocolate, or use coconut milk powder instead).
I've always been interested in traditional confectionery - pretty much all of my life I was on a quest for the perfect sweets, chocolates or bonbons. And I was always fascinated about the process of sweet's making and it was partly the reason why I founded Cocoa & Heartfew years back. All those demonstrations at seaside sweet's shops of how to make a stick of rock got me thinking, that perhaps I could have a go myself. And I did - successfully - made several batches of boiled sweets and now you can have a go too, following my step by step boiled sweets recipe tutorial.
As you might know, I've always been fascinated by traditional sweets. Probably because our house is victorian I wanted to dive a little deeper into the history of victorian sweets.
In Victorian times, everything seems possible! It was the time for great inventions, connecting the whole countries with new amazing technology (called the steam railways!) and also time for everything proper!
This recipe is very popular at Christmas, but I tend to make it any time I want something slightly different than just traditional chocolate truffles. The addition of cake crumbs in this rum truffle recipe is just genius, and it makes these ever so slightly addictive.
You can easily swap a normal sponge cake for a gluten-free one to create truffles suitable for people with gluten sensitivity. You can also use a chocolate cake instead of Madeira cake for extra chocolate taste.