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Tempered Chocolate

What is Tempered Chocolate?

Tempering is a method of heating and cooling chocolate in order to use it for coating or dipping.
Proper heating and cooling will align certain crystals in the chocolate to give it a smooth and glossy finish.
Tempered chocolate will have a snap when you break it, and it won't melt in  your hands as easily as
chocolate that has not been tempered properly. Chocolate that you purchase is already hard and tempered,
but once you melt it, it goes out of temper and you must temper it again if you want a nice finish for your

How to Temper Chocolate

Finely chop the desired amount of chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top pan of a
double boiler over medium heat.  The water should be hot, but not boiling.  Stir the chocolate so that it
melts evenly, until the chocolate reaches 118° for dark chocolate, or 108° for milk or white chocolate.

Remove the top pan from the double broiler and place it on a towel or cooling rack. Gradually add the
remaining chocolate to the top pan, stirring each time until melted. Cool to 90°F.

At just below 90°, the chocolate is now in temper and can be used for dipping and coating. It's important to
keep the chocolate around 90° while using it.  If it gets too cold, the chocolate will be too  thick, if
it gets too hot, it will go out of temper and you will need to re-temper it. You need to work quickly with the
chocolate. To keep it at the proper temperature, occasionally  place it over a bowl hot water or
on a heating pad to warm it up.

If you want to achieve a finer temper for use in molding chocolates, after the chocolate reaches 90°
continue to cool it, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 83°.  After it reaches 83°, gradually
warm it back up to 90° and use it to coat chocolate molds.  This further melting and reheating produces  the
"Form V" crystal in chocolate which gives it shine.

Helpful Tips

A good thermometer is essential for chocolate tempering, and preferably  one that is easy to clean.  If you
plan on doing a a lot of chocolate tempering on a regular basis, there are small chocolate tempering
machines that can be purchased.

Always start with a good quality chocolate that has a high cacao content.

Make sure that not even a drop of water gets into the chocolate. This will cause the chocolate to seize up,
and it will not temper.

Be careful when melting chocolate, it burns or scorches easily.

Don't rush the chocolate, the melting and reheating does take some time.

If your chocolate doesn't temper correctly, it can be melted and tempered again as long as the chocolate
has not burned, or been exposed to water.

Creek House Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons (No Gluten)

Yield: 24, 2 oz each

11 fluid ounces egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
13 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
2/3 ounces coconut flour or cornstarch
1/3 ounce vanilla extract
1/4 ounce almond extract
20  ounces unsweetened dried coconut

16 (or more) ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, or semi sweet tempered chocolate

Place egg whites, salt, and sugar in a metal bowl of an electric mixer.
Heat over a medium flame, whisking constantly until lukewarm.  Add in remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly on low,  on
electric mixer.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight before portioning.
Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 conventional.  Line a 12" x 16" half sheet pan (jelly roll pan) with a silicone liner (you can use parchment paper, but the silicone liners work the best).  Use a 2 oz food portioning scooper to form macaroons, pressing firmly into the scooper.   Place about 1/2" apart on the baking sheet. Bake about 25 minute, or until just beginning to turn golden.

Dipping in Chocolate

After baking macaroons, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone liner.
Temper at least 16 ounces of bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate.  Keep warm bowl placed over a bowl of warm
water.  The chocolate should stay between 85 and 90 degrees while dipping.  Work quickly!
Dip one-half of each macaroon in the chocolate, shaking off excessive.
Place each macaroon on the parchment or silicone liner and allow the chocolate to crystallize (setup).

Creek House Chocolate Almond Butter Tiles (No Gluten)

Yield: Approximately 48, 2" square pieces.

11 1/2 ounces almond butter, preferably unsalted
13 1/2 ounces white chocolate*
3 1/2 ounces almonds, toasted, chopped
      26 ounces bittersweet chocolate
      1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Spray 2, 12" x 16" half sheet pans (jelly roll pans) with pan spray and line with parchment paper. 

Mix almonds and salt together.
Temper the white chocolate, then mix in the almond butter and about 1/3 of the almonds. Spread onto one of the half sheet pans. Refrigerate until set up, it doesn't need to be completely firm, just firm enough to remove from the pan.
Temper the bittersweet chocolate.
Spread 13 ounces of bittersweet chocolate on the bottom of the second half sheet pan. Keep the other 13 ounces of chocolate warm over a bowl of warm water. 
Remove the white chocolate and almond butter mixture from it's pan, along with the parchment paper, and place top side down over the bittersweet chocolate. Remove the parchment paper from the the white chocolate mixture.
Spread the remaining dark chocolate over white chocolate.  Immediately sprinkle with remaining almonds.
Transfer everything to flat surface to harden slightly (a few minutes) then trim all edges neatly. Cut into 48 pieces. 
If you let the mixture harden too long you won't be able cut it into neat pieces, if this happens, just break it up into
irregular pieces.

* For the very best flavor, use a high quality white chocolate that does not contain milk powder, or added vegetable oils.

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