Written by Roar Elias
If you have not heard about a chocolate tempering machine yet, then you are about to find out. You already most probably know about chocolate tempering by now. This is the process which may seem a little bit of a challenge at first, but once you get through it, you find that your garnishes, decorations and moulds give a totally different texture at first glance. The difference is like night and day and this is just from using accurate temperatures when you are melting down the chocolate, cooling it down at a certain points and then heating it up again. The chocolate begins to shine a lot more with an instant smooth texture.
However, if you are finding that this is getting too much too handle, especially if you are doing this on a regular basis or perhaps you have gone into the catering business and found that chocolate tempering is something that is not worth your time, then perhaps it is worth looking into a chocolate tempering machine.
Not only does tempering take a couple more minutes than plain melting, but it can be a stressful occupation. Say for example, you are happily getting your temperature to just the right point before you take it off to cool down again and just at that point your three-year old comes into the kitchen with an emergency or you get an important call on your phone which you have been waiting for a long time. These are things that need your attention and you know chocolate tempering is not something that you can put on hold.
A chocolate tempering machine will make life a lot simpler because it just sits there on your countertop, just like any other appliance in the kitchen. Obviously the size will differ depending on the quantities you are working in and what your needs are. People in certain industries will have to invest in massive machines, but this is an essential part of what makes them operate effectively and efficiently.
So, basically we have a heating pan or an electronic device, which will heat chocolate to a specific temperature. After that it cools it and then reheats it slightly. The temperature that is used causes the right crystals to develop, just like manual chocolate tempering.
The beauty of the chocolate tempering machine is that you can keep the chocolate heated in this melted stage for hours so there is a lot less fuss then there is where you do this by hand. It's computer controlled so it's really easy peasy to handle and I promise you, you will really be wondering, "Hey, I did nothing, no stress and I already have a fantastic batch of tempered chocolate!"
People are definitely skilful and there is no doubt they manual labor is not something that we would totally right off, but if you compare it to what a computer can do, then what would you honestly choose. Take, for example a calculator. Would you really want to do additions on your fingers all day? Surely you are going to slip up somewhere along the way. If you are tempering chocolate the manual way, there is no way you won't be successful at it, but it is far more out of one. You have to maintain the correct temperatures at all times because even a slight variation will spoil the batch. It needs to be taken off the heat and put back on at certain points, not forgetting to avoid drop water that may splash in from a leaking roof!
Once you have made chocolate candies or decorations with a chocolate tempering machine like this, you will definitely appreciate it. You will even find it worthwhile paying about $350 for it. Considering people pay a lot of money for top of the range coffee machines and ice-cream machines, if you think about it, you will find that it's really not such a lot of money.
So, if you start shopping around for one of these magic machines, just take note that there are a couple of features to look out for. This is why you are going to see a difference in price range so don't turn the other way just yet. First of all, the size is something to take note of and this, like we said before, depends on what your needs are. A machine that accommodates about 3kg of chocolate should be fine for the home enthusiast, but if you are thinking of starting a catering business from home or something similar then you could go for a machine that can handle up to 10kg of chocolate. The largest machine will handle a massive 20kg of chocolate for the serious chocolate industries.
The next thing to look out for is the type of machine. They don't all work the same. It's not a case of pushing a couple of buttons, and bob's your uncle. Some machines are completely automatic which is the popular choice for the home user. They are easier to handle because the machine will do all of the work. They will stir continuously and this is basically the difference between automatic and commercial machines. Pastry chefs and chocolatiers will use commercial machines which allow you to stir every so often. This means that you will be able to prolong the time that the chocolate stays in temper. It just means that if you have an automatic machine you will have to heat the chocolate up again, but it is not nearly as painful as doing this the manual way.
For chocolatiers, a chocolate tempering machine is something that you will see as part of their furniture, but they will usually have more than one in their presence. They will usually start off with just one and then add a couple more as the need grows. Very often they will use one for dark chocolate, one for milk chocolate and one for white chocolate. Remember, that just because your equipment is being upgraded, doesn't mean you can sacrifice the quality of your chocolate. Chocolate from cocoa powder that spells quality is what you should be aiming for.
Most chocolate tempering machines use one of three different methods for tempering. Some people prefer a water bath, which is sealed off from the top section so no accidents can take place. You wouldn't want a 20kg batch of chocolate going to waste now! Then there is the dry chocolate tempering system. Of course, you can also opt for both. Temperature control is regulated automatically or manually. The stainless steel material that they are constructed out of ensures they are not going to fall apart in a few months and you will then have to resort to manual labor again. If you are making a lot of chocolate from scratch methods then this is the answer.
If you have made up you're mind that this is for you, then follow .
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