Experiments: Tempering

An idle thought on a Sunday morning: a tempering machine is little more than a computer-controlled heating element with a great big stirrer in it. The element heats the chocolate up to the point where all the crystals in the cocoa butter melt, while the stirrer agitates the mixture, making the stable crystals form (the ones that make chocolate shiny and have a good snap). As the chocolate is stirred, it cools, until the element kicks in again to bring the chocolate up to a working temperature (around 32ºC). Easy, but expensive - tempering machines start from around £500.

But I have a KitchenAid (well, technically, I have two, but the other is 4,000 miles away. And really really technically, I have half and half, so maybe I only have one KitchenAid after all, but I digress). It does a very good job of stirring. It does lack a heating element, but if I used a hairdryer, I could bring the temperature up to the working one when necessary.

And it works. I seem to be able to temper chocolate without having to stand around and stir vigorously for fifteen minutes. This could be very useful! I still need to experiment a little more - I only tempered 500g of milk chocolate this afternoon, so I need to try dark and white, whilst seeing if I can push the quantities up to 800g-1kg. And then, my pretties, and then, muahahahahaha! *dons the Willy Wonka hat*