The Bread Doctor

artisan bakery in Torrington, Wyoming
September 4, 2014

Don’t Lose Your Temper

Chocolate is like love or any other relationship.  If you want it to work out….don’t lose your temper.  We all understand what that means with our loved ones, but it has just as much importance when working with chocolate.  I have spent the last few days learning how to respect the tempering process of chocolate.  One has to be patient to decorate, fill and seal the molds, and I have to work very diligently to make sure that the chocolate is in perfect temper.  This is the moment when all of the fats in the chocolate are ready to crystallize all at once and create that beautiful shine that you see on a piece of good chocolate.  Proper temper creates strength to the chocolate, that perfect snap when you bite through the outside of the chocolate and the lustrous shine.  It is quite a chemistry project.  The chocolate has to be heated up until all the fats are liquid, then cooled down until the cocoa butter is crystallized and then heated up enough just to work it, but not re-melting the cocoa butter.  If chocolate is worked too warm, then you get those awful white streaks and a powdery coating that we have all seen on candy that has sat in a warm place too long, and then been cooled.  It is edible, just not attractive.

We had a great day making tasty fillings and creating beautiful chocolates.  I am grateful that my teacher is encouraging me to be creative with the molds and go beyond just filling them.  I am becoming more confident handling the chocolate, because it used to scare me a bit.  One of my tasks today was also to make praline with almonds and pecans.

This praline was then ground up pretty fine and mixed with chocolate to make the following candy bars that we really did wrap in foil wrappers:)  Like I said, suddenly she comes out with the most beautiful things to make the presentation amazing.

Praline Crunch candy bars

The other new thing today was making chocolate crème centers, which are very soft.  They are a mixture of chocolate, cream and butter with flavoring.  We had a great time creating the design on the mold and filling them.  I am very proud of the flavors that we created for the fillings. They are quite tasty and dynamic.  I am always disappointed when the chocolate is beautiful, but you bite into it and the filling has no real flavor.

Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate crème centers

Rum Dark Chocolate crème center

We also made an additional filling for pistachio white chocolate truffles that we will dip tomorrow.  I have more technique to master for hand-dipping the truffles.  Every day is a great day, and I am much more comfortable with the process and excited to bring this knowledge back to the bakery.