Baking enthusiasts will know that the key to the perfect chocolate-covered treats requires a process called tempering.
Tempering is the method of heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize it and is what gives it a smooth and glossy finish. It also prevents the ingredient from quickly melting onto your fingertips. On a more scientific level, it’s the process of crystallizing the numerous glycerides of fatty acids in the chocolate’s cocoa butter.
When untempered chocolate melts the fatty acids crystals separate, and when cooled, the different kinds of fatty acids solidify at different temperatures. Tempering forces the fatty acids from the cocoa butter to crystallize into one stable form. This is why tempered chocolate doesn’t melt as fast — the now-tightly bonded fatty acids require a higher temperature to be pulled apart.
Needless to say, tempering is key to making confections like chocolate-dipped strawberries or ice cream cones. So when dessert shops need to temper large quantities fast, they turn to equipment like Bakon USA’s semi-automatic chocolate tempering machine.
The machine works in just a few surprisingly simple steps. In the video demonstration, the cook hits the start button and tosses dozens of dark chocolate nibs into the machine. He sets the melting temperature to 45 degrees Celcius and closes the lid. Once the chocolate has melted, he starts the wheel which mixes and stabilizes the chocolate while cooling it to 32 degrees Celcius.
Next, he adds the “seeds,” which are pre-tempered chocolate nibs that help the new batch crystallize. The fatty acid crystals from the tempered nibs attract the loose crystals from the new chocolate, which triggers the crystallization process.
Once this step is complete, the chocolate is now tempered and ready to use. The cook allows the machine to drip the chocolate into a mold for future use.
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If you enjoyed this, you might like to watch this machine make dozens of chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bars at once.
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