In our final article of this chocolate making series, we focus on the tempering stage. At this point our chocolate has been roasted, winnowed, refined, and conched. We are ready to transform tanks of melted chocolate into shiny bars and drops for everyone to enjoy.
Step 5 - Tempering
Once we have achieved our desired texture and flavor, the chocolate is ready to be tempered and molded into chocolate bars or drops. What is tempering anyway?
Tempering is the careful manipulation of temperature and structure in the cocoa butter to form shelf-stable crystals within the chocolate. Cocoa butter is the natural fat derived from cocoa beans and can form into six different crystal shapes. Chocolate makers are mainly concerned with the creation of the Form V crystals. We create these crystals by lowering and increasing the temperature while gradually mixing the chocolate. Then, we pour the chocolate into molds to cool.
If the chocolate is tempered properly, the result is a shiny chocolate bar that makes a nice snap when you break it apart. When you sample the chocolate, the melt of the chocolate bar should be even throughout the tasting experience.
Remember to store chocolate in a cool, dry, and dark place to maintain its temper over time. Chocolate stored improperly can result in a whitish discoloration on the surface called blooming. Don’t worry, this chocolate is perfectly safe to eat and still delicious.
Bloomed chocolate ganache shells. Photo by Nicolas Botomisy.
At Parré Chocolat, we monitor every step in our chocolate making process to provide our customers with a delicious, pure chocolate. We use only high-quality cocoa beans, sugar, and a little cocoa butter, so you can enjoy a delightful chocolate!