This is a question I often get asked by my students at my Chocolate Courses. It’s a fair question. Tempering chocolate is quite complicated process, and it can be very frustrating if you think you’ve tempered your chocolate enough and you end up with a bloomed chocolate bars. Don’t worry; I’ve been there too!
So, why melting your chocolate is simply not enough?
If you just melt your chocolate without tempering it properly, you’ll end up with a chocolate that will bloom (you’ll get white streaks and lines running across your chocolate, when it finally sets). It will also take a long time to set and it will melt very quickly when you touch it. It’s not going to make a ‘snap’ when you break your chocolate bar and it will even taste slightly grainy. Saying that it’s perfectly safe to eat chocolate that hasn’t been tempered properly, but the look is not great, and the texture won’t be probably as smooth as if you temper your chocolate well.
In the long dark winter evenings many of us will reach for a cup of hot chocolate or cocoa to make us feel better. At least temporarily. But, do you know what? If you drink good quality, low fat, unsweetened dark chocolate, you just might be doing yourself more than just a flavour favour.
Is hot chocolate good for you? Well, chocolate was first originally drunk rather than eaten. The Mayans and later the Aztecs civilisations of Central & South America used chocolate as a bitter frothy drink, flavoured with chilis. In modern day Spain, it is served thick and dark as a dipped accompaniment to churros – a doughnut type based spiral shaped sugar laden sweet, often eaten at breakfast.
Cocoa tree was literary unknown to the Europe and Western World until about 16 century, when Spanish conquestors started to explore the New World (America).
In 18 century, Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus, named cocoa tree ‘Theobroma’, meaning the ‘food of the gods’. This was because the Aztecs referred themselves to the tree as the tree which fruits are worthy food for the gods. The full botanical name is ‘Theobroma cacao’.
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).