Chapter 22 Chocolate and chocolate work.
* After reading this chapter, you should be able to describe the processes involved in making chocolate and the impact the process has on the flavor and working properties of chocolate.
* temper white, milk, and dark chocolate. make a chocolate ganache.
* make an assortment of chocolates and chocolate decorations.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
Chocolate is made from the cacao bean, which comes from the pod of the Theobroma cacao (Theobroma translates as "food of the gods"). The global history of chocolate dates to 200 BCE. By 600 CE, the Maya had established cacao plantations in the Yucatan. In their culture, cacao beans were used among the elite as currency, for beverages, and as digestive aids.
In 1502, Christopher Columbus was introduced to cacao but dismissed its importance. Instead, Cortez is typically credited with bringing the popular cocoa beverage process to Spain in 1520. Coe and Coe dispute this attribution because there is no mention of cacao or a cocoa-related product in the plunder lists of Cortez's conquered goods. It was not until 1585 that the first official commerce between Vera-cruz and Spain brought cocoa to Europe (Coe and Coe,1996, p.133).
After cocoa was introduced to Europe, only the wealthy and ruling classes enjoyed cocoa beverages for more than 100 years. These beverages were rich and frothy but became grainy if their temperature was too cool due to the high concentration of fat in the bean. To solve this problem, a press was invented to de-fat the cocoa, turning the drink into a smoother, less fatty beverage. A byproduct of this press was cocoa butter, a hard fat in the cocoa bean. Confectioners were asked if there was a use for cocoa butter in candy production. As a result of this effort to prevent waste, the first eating chocolate was produced in 1847. By the late 19th century, cacao plantations were established and producing large quantities of cocoa for export.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BEAN
Theobroma cacao is native to northern areas of South America and Central America, but cacao trees are now grown in many regions of the world between 20[degrees] north and 20[degrees] south. Areas that are well suited to cacao production have high average temperatures, high rainfall, low wind, and rich, deep soil. The trees, which grow up to 30 feet (9 m) high, are native to rainforests where they thrive under the shade-bearing canopy and larger trees. Plantations have adapted to these natural environments by "inter-cropping" coconut, banana, and mango trees to provide shade.
Depending on the variety, cacao trees begin to produce pods after 2 or 3 years of initial growth, but they can take up to 6 years to produce a full yield. The pods, which can contain 30 to 45 beans (technically cotyledons), take about 6 months to develop and vary considerably in color, shape, and size. The cacao bean, also known as the cotyledon, is approximately 54 percent cocoa butter and 46 percent cocoa solids.
To produce higher yields, resistance to disease and particular flavor profiles, three types of cacao have been developed by interbreeding. They are Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario.
Criollo is prized for its mild, yet deep chocolate flavor. However, these trees do not have high yields. Criollos grow commonly in Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Colombia, Madagascar, and the Comoros. The yield from Criollos represents about 10 percent of the worldwide cacao harvest.
The Forastero has a well-rounded chocolate flavor, and the trees produce high yields of beans. Forastero is commonly grown in the West African countries of the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, and in the Americas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. At 70 percent of the total harvest, the Forastero variety supplies the largest quantity of beans worldwide.
The Trinitario is a hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero and can be seen as a compromise between the two. It has higher and more consistent yields than the Criollo and more flavor than Forastero. Trinitario commonly grows in the Criollo's native regions, such as Central and South America. Trinitario makes up the final 20 percent of worldwide cacao yield.
The development of cacao evolved as cultivation spread, higher yields were in demand, and the disease and infestation became more of a problem to growers. Flavor and working properties of cocoa depend on the type of bean as well as the local soil and climate. Terroir is the term used to describe the chocolate properties that are developed through the region in which the cacao was grown and can include rainfall, soil conditions, and more. Beans grown closer to the equator will have a harder fat, which is more desirable.
The major cacao-producing areas of the world include West Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America (see Figure 22-1). Production levels are largely influenced by the economy, the political stability of the region, and local infestations and diseases. The chocolate industry is one of the last industries in the modern world to rely heavily on slave labor. In the Ivory Coast, where approximately 70 percent of the world's chocolate is produced, child slave labor continues to be a major problem. In response to this concern, boutique chocolate companies that promote fair trade and organic chocolate often deal directly with the farmer or farmer-owned co-ops to ensure that a larger portion of the money will reach the farm.
From the soil the cacao grows in to the type of pile the beans ferment in (heap or bin), cacao preparation is as integral a step in the chocolate-making process as bean processing. Knowing when to harvest and how long to ferment and dry the beans takes experience and knowledge. For cacao beans to be transformed into chocolate, they must be harvested, fermented, dried, and packaged, steps that sound simple yet involve exact measures and critical quality control points.
The harvest season lasts for several months. Pods are harvested by machete as they ripen, and only mature pods are removed from the tree. Growers and field workers determine the optimum harvest time. After the pods are harvested, they are opened, and the beans are removed from most of the white, fibrous pulp. At this point in the process, the beans contain approximately 65 percent moisture content. (See Figures 22-2 and 22-3.)
[FIGURE 22-1 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 22-2 OMITTED]
Cacao becomes cocoa when the fermentation process is initiated. Proper fermentation is essential for proper flavor development of the bean, which is alive up until this point. Fermentation, which is typically carried out by the cacao farmer, kills beans within 2 to 3 days.
The two main fermentation techniques are heap and box. Heap fermentation, in which beans are mounded into 55 lb (25 kg) to 5,500 lb (2,500 kg) piles and covered with banana leaves, is typically more popular in Africa (Figure 22-4). Heap fermentation lasts for 5 to 6 days, with the beans typically agitated once or twice. Box fermentation is more popular in Asia and is known to produce more acidity because of increased airflow and production of ethanoic acids (Figure 22-5). Bins designed to generate airflow hold up to 2 tons of beans; however, lower bins with less volume are known to produce better flavors. The beans are transferred to a new bin every day, a process that encourages even fermentation because of easy access to oxygen.
[FIGURE 22-3 OMITTED]
Compared to bread, where yeast breaks down sugars to create alcohol and carbon dioxide, cotyledon fermentation is not a true fermentation. Instead, all fermentation happens on the outside of the bean from microorganisms native to the cacao. Enzymes break down the bean's energy reserve and create sugars and acids. On the outside of the bean, pulp sugars that are fermented by yeast form acids and ethanol. Bacteria activated by the ethanol break it down into acetic acid and lactic acid, which can penetrate the shell and affect the flavor of the bean. The bacteria are "refreshed" from oxygen exposure, increasing the rate of fermentation and flavor profiles. After the beans are fermented, they are washed to remove any remaining pulp and then dried.
After fermentation is over, the beans are dried to lower the moisture content to 7 to 8 percent, which is required for shipping and further processing. If the beans are too moist, they can easily mold, and the cocoa flavor would be sacrificed. If the beans are too dry, with less than 6 percent moisture content, the beans can break easily. Beans grown in remote areas with little access to electricity or advanced drying systems frequently become too dry.
[FIGURE 22-4 OMITTED]
[FIGURE 22-5 OMITTED]
The drying process varies largely by region. For example, in some regions, beans are dried in thin layers spread out on large trays. In others, cocoa beans are dried on mats on the ground, which can create a problem if bacteria like Salmonella or viruses attach to the bean. Mechanized drying is common in wet climates like Asia, or in areas with a larger volume in a concentrated area. The mechanized drying process is designed to mimic the effects of sun drying with a low, gentle heat that minimizes acidity in the bean.
Storage and Shipping
The dried beans are stored in breathable jute sacks in 1321b (60 kg) quantities. After they are packed, the beans must be stored away from off odors and condensable surfaces because they can absorb odor and humidity that can lower the quality of the cocoa. During transportation, the hulls of cargo ships can condensate, making proper ventilation and placement away from the walls essential. While excess humidity can cause mold to grow on the beans, a lack of humidity can cause them to dry out.
PROCESSING THE BEAN INTO CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, AND COCOA POWDER
The goal of the initial processing of the bean is to make chocolate liquor or cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The process involves five steps that transform the bean from a solid to a liquid, including cleaning, roasting, winnowing, grinding, and pressing. To produce quality chocolate, each of these processes needs to be carried out to exact specifications.
There are two options for the manufacturing of cocoa bases. They can either be produced in the country of origin or in the country of processing. Because of the fragility of the bean, processing in the country of origin is best. Chocolate manufacturers do not always consider this approach beneficial because they do not have control over the process.
The first priority of cleaning is to remove foreign materials. Because beans may be dried close to the ground, they may contain foreign contaminates ranging from pebbles to pieces of metal. Removing these contaminates is essential to maintaining integrity over the chocolate and ensuring that there is no damage to machinery. Various techniques are used for this purpose, including agitators that cause denser materials to sink and beans to rise, blowing air that causes lighter pieces of debris to be blown away from the beans, and magnetic devices that attract metals.
Roasting is a critical step in the flavor and color development of cocoa products. It is carried out by applying varying degrees of heat [from 284[degrees]F (140[degrees]C) to 302[degrees]F (150[degrees]C)] and constant motion to the cotyledons, a process that alters the flavor precursors and chemicals associated with chocolate flavor. The process of roasting removes astringent and bitter elements from the cocoa and lowers its acidic properties, which is essential in obtaining a cleaner chocolate flavor. During the roasting process, the water content of the bean is reduced to about 3 percent.
There is not one prescribed way to roast cocoa. Depending on origin and size of the cotyledons, different temperatures and temperature combinations can be used to achieve multiple characteristics in a single cacao variety. Different roasting durations also develop different flavor profiles. In addition, beans can be roasted whole, in pieces (nibs), or in liquor form after the shells are removed. Whichever form is chosen, all the cocoa being roasted must be of uniform size. If mixed sizes are roasted in the same batch, the smaller pieces will burn and the larger ones will be underroasted.
High heat also kills bacteria such as Salmonella and any enzymes that have survived the fermentation process. Roasting is such a critical control point that beans are considered to be wholesome only after it is complete. Roasting is typically carried out in a controlled environment that is closed off from the rest of chocolate production to ensure no cross contamination.
Winnowing is the process of separating the shell and germ from the bean before grinding to ensure chocolate purity. Several techniques are used for the winnowing process, in which nibs or bean pieces are separated out early in the process to prevent further breakage and the remaining whole beans are projected at high speeds against plates that cause them to crack. The shells are then separated through vibration that causes the nibs to sink and the shells to rise to the surface. Whole cotyledon pieces are easier to separate and generate less waste. If pieces of the nib are attached to shells, they are usually thrown away. After the nib has been extracted from the shell and the germ has been removed, the next step is to grind the cocoa.
Grinding is the phase of production when the cocoa is transformed from a solid state to one that has liquid-like flow properties when warm and solid properties at room temperature (chocolate liquor). A two-step process is used to make the cocoa particles small enough for further processing into chocolate, and to extract the fat from the cells of the bean so it can coat all of the solid, nonfat particles. The friction created during this two-stage process generates enough heat to melt the cocoa butter within the chocolate liquor. It reduces the nibs by 100 times from an initial size of about one half of a centimeter to about 25 to 30 microns.
Two stages of processing are needed for the production of chocolate liquor. First, an impact mill is used to break up the nibs into smaller pieces by hitting them with hammers against screens. The force of the blow heats the cocoa butter, and it falls through the sieve along with any solids. This is repeated until all of the nibs have passed through the screen. The next step is to further reduce the size of the cocoa paste using a disc mill or ball mill that further refine the paste and reduce the particle size by grinding the cocoa down to a very small size. Once this stage is complete, the end result is chocolate liquor.
It is possible to overgrind chocolate liquor. If all of the fat is pressed out of the cells, the cells begin to break down and are then coated with fat. This has an undesirable thickening effect on the chocolate. After the chocolate liquor has been made it can be sold as is, processed into cocoa butter and cocoa powder, or processed to make chocolate.
PRESSING CHOCOLATE LIQUOR
Hydraulic presses are used to press cocoa butter from chocolate liquor. Because no more than half of the cocoa butter is pressed out of the liquor, the remaining solids form a compressed cocoa cake that is later milled into cocoa powder. Cakes can contain 8 to 24 percent fat, depending on pressure.
Cocoa butter, the natural hard fat found in the cacao, exists within the cotyledon at about 55 percent of the total weight. Although it occurs naturally in the shell, it is of a lesser quality and is infrequently used. Cocoa butter has a unique melting property in that it can be solid at room temperature and yet melt at body temperature.
Due to these unique melting properties, cocoa butter has many applications in various industries, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. In chocolate making, cocoa butter is added to chocolate liquor to improve viscosity and mouthfeel. It is also used in other confectionary and pastry making because of its setting properties.
Cocoa powder is milled from the cocoa cake left over after the cocoa butter has been pressed out of the chocolate liquor. The classic fat ranges of cocoa powder include 20 to 22 percent, 10 to 12 percent, and 8 percent. Cocoa powder is used in a wide range of baking, pastry, and beverage applications.
Dutched Cocoa Powder Dutched cocoa powder is made from processing chocolate liquor or cocoa beans that have been treated with an alkali, usually potassium carbonate. This process was invented in the Netherlands in the 19th century by Conrad van Houten as a way to make cocoa powder less likely to clump or sink to the bottom when combined with liquids. The addition of an alkali to the cocoa powder intensifies the color and makes the flavor mellower, yet stronger.
CHOCOLATE COUVERTURE PRODUCTION
After the base chocolate liquor has been made, it can be further processed into chocolate couverture. In French, couverture means "coating," and couverture grade chocolate refers to chocolate that contains only cocoa butter as fat. To make the couverture, the chocolate liquor, sugar, extra cocoa butter, and any other additional ingredients such as milk powder, vanilla bean, and lecithin are combined and milled to a particle size of at least 30 microns.
The initial process of combining and milling ingredients is carried out in succession in two machines called the two roll and five roll refiner mills. These mills utilize increasing pressure of cylindrical rollers to decrease the particle size of the chocolate. The purpose of these processes is to coat all the solid particles with fat and to reach a particle size between 15 and 25 microns to ensure smooth taste. A particle size larger than 30 microns is noticeable to the palate and a particle size smaller than 15 microns makes a pasty chocolate that sticks to the mouth.
The conche was invented to further refine chocolate in late 19th-century Switzerland by Rudi Lindt. Although modern processes using roller refiners are efficient enough to reach the desired 15 to 25 micron particle size, the refinement process was not so exact 100 years ago. The conche was and still is a required step in the chocolate-making process to achieve the finer textures of quality chocolate. Today conching is done to improve flavor and viscosity and flow properties.
During the conching process, milk chocolate is heated to between 140[degrees]F (60[degrees]C) and 185[degrees]F (85[degrees]C) and dark chocolate is heated to 140[degrees]F (60[degrees]C). This rise in temperature, in conjunction with constant agitation, reduces the water content of the chocolate from approximately 4 percent to about 0.5 percent (Lenotre, 2000, p. 21). It is thought that through the evaporation of water content, any remaining volatile acids produced during fermentation are released through vents on the top of the conche (Beckett, 2000, p. 57). The action of the chocolate pressed against the side of tank repeatedly further coats the solid particles and creates chocolate with more fluid properties. As the mixing continues, additional cocoa butter and lecithin are added to adjust viscosity. The conching of the chocolate, depending on the equipment, can take anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days. It is a common misconception that longer conching creates better flavor, but the opposite is actually the case.
TEMPERING AND MOLDING
After chocolate has been conched, it must be tempered before molding. Tempering allows the chocolate to set quickly and creates a firm, crisp texture and shiny finish. Untempered chocolate takes a long time to set and has a dull finish with white streaks. In general, the better the tempering, the easier it is to mold chocolate. Although molding is often thought of in terms of commercial chocolate manufacturing, it is equally important for the confectioner or pastry chef.
Tempering refers to the process of precrystallizing a portion of the cocoa butter within the chocolate so that it can later crystallize the remainder of the fats and set the chocolate. Careful control over crystallization is accomplished by moving the chocolate, changing the temperature, and introducing precrystallized fat crystals into the chocolate. Commercial tempering involves a heating and cooling process that is designed to precrystallize a portion of the cocoa butter so that it can properly set in the mold. After the chocolate is tempered, it can be used immediately for molding. After the molds are filled, they are cooled, and the chocolate is later extracted, wrapped, and shipped. Figure 22-6 is a flowchart of chocolate production from cacao bean to bars. The tempering process will be covered in depth later in this chapter.
[FIGURE 22-6 OMITTED]
STANDARDS OF IDENTITY: CHOCOLATE
A vast number of products are made from cocoa. To prevent adulteration and maintain certain standards, many countries have Standards of Identity for Chocolate. These standards dictate ingredients and the levels at which they must be present to be used in chocolate-related products. (See Figure 22-7.)
UNDERSTANDING CHOCOLATE PERCENTAGES
Chocolates are often referred to with percentages that tell the consumer the amount of cocoa ingredients in the chocolate in relation to other ingredients. Cocoa ingredients include chocolate liquor, which is roughly 54 percent cocoa butter and 46 percent cocoa solids.
For example, a dark chocolate bar is made from 100 parts that include cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and lecithin. A 70 percent chocolate contains 70 parts of cocoa product and about 29 parts of sugar. The remaining part is combined and contains flavoring such as vanilla and lecithin.
Figure 22-7 Chart of Standards of Identity for US and Canadian Chocolate Products US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulation-April 1, 2003 Chocolate Semi-Sweet Sweet Liquor Chocolate Chocolate Cocoa butter Min. 50% -- -- Max. 60% Chocolate liquor 100% Min. 35% Min. 15% Milk solids -- <12% <12% Milk fat -- -- -- Sugar -- -- -- Emulsifiers -- Max. 1% Max. 1% Antioxidants No No No Whey Products No No No Milk White Chocolate Chocolate Cocoa butter -- Min. 20% Chocolate liquor Min. 10% -- Milk solids Min. 12% Min. 14% Milk fat Min. 3.39% Min. 3.5% Sugar -- Max. 55% Emulsifiers Max. 1% Max. 1.5% Antioxidants No Yes Whey Products No Max. 5% Health & Welfare Canada: Food and Drug Regulations-June 11, 1997 Chocolate Semi-Sweet Sweet Liquor Chocolate Chocolate Cocoa butter Min. 50% Min. 18% Min. 18% Total cocoa solids 100% Min. 35% Min. 30% Fat-free cocoa solids -- Min. 14% Min. 12% Milk solids -- <5% <12% Milk fat -- -- -- Sugar -- -- -- Emulsifiers Max. 1.5% Max. 1.5% Antioxidants Yes Yes Yes (through (through (through fats) fats) fats) Whey products No No No Milk White Chocolate Chocolate Cocoa butter Min. 15% Min. 20% Total cocoa solids Min. 25% -- Fat-free cocoa solids Min. 2.5% -- Milk solids Min. 12% Min. 14% Milk fat Min. 3.39% Min. 3.5% Sugar -- -- Emulsifiers Max. 1.5% Max. 1.5% Antioxidants Yes Yes (through (through fats) fats) Whey products No No
The 70 parts of cocoa product are a combination of chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter. All chocolate manufacturers add additional cocoa butter during the conching stage to improve chocolate flow prop erties and eating qualities. Not all manufacturers make the cocoa solids content known to consumers, however. This can be determined for dark chocolate couverture only by the consumer. If a 0.100 kg bar of 70 percent chocolate has a total of 0.040 kg of fat, the total known quantity of fat can be subtracted from the total cocoa percentage to determine that the cocoa solid content is 0.030 kg. This formula will not work for milk and white chocolate, which have additional fat content from the milk solids.
The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more bitter the chocolate will taste. Even though the percentage of cocoa in chocolate has an effect on quality, it does not mean that more cocoa content makes better quality chocolate.
Chocolate liquor, which is produced from the whole cocoa bean after it has gone through the initial production process, often has cocoa butter added to improve flow properties. Chocolate liquor is a base product that can be turned into cocoa powder and cocoa butter, can be sold as unsweetened chocolate, or can be further processed into dark or milk chocolate products. Other names for chocolate liquor are cocoa mass and cocoa paste.
Cocoa powder is made from chocolate liquor by pressing out a portion of the fat with hydraulic presses. Depending on the quantity of fat extracted, the cocoa will have a variable fat content ranging from 8 to 24 percent. Most cocoa powder is alkalized during processing to make the chocolate flavor and colors more pronounced.
Dark chocolate is made using chocolate liquor, additional cocoa butter, and sugar. Additional ingredients like vanilla and lecithin can be added. The range of cocoa in the chocolate will determine the cocoa percentage, with most quality dark chocolates containing between 55 and 80 percent cocoa. The terms sweet, semi-sweet, and bittersweet are used to differentiate categories of sweetness as the percentage changes.
Sweet Chocolate Sweet chocolate is made from a combination of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and sugar, and must contain at least 15 percent chocolate liquor. This chocolate, which has ranges from 15 to 50 percent, is uncommon in quality confectionary work.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Semi-sweet chocolate is more flavorful than sweet dark chocolate because it has higher percentage of cocoa solids. This type of chocolate can be used for confectionary work (coatings, fillings), as well as pastry and entremets. The average percentages are 50 to 64 percent.
Bittersweet Chocolate Bittersweet chocolate, with cocoa content ranges from 64 to 85 percent, is becoming increasingly popular as the consumption of quality chocolate grows. Bittersweet chocolate can be used in chocolate confections, baked goods, and entremets.
Milk chocolate is made from chocolate liquor, sugar, milk solids, vanilla, and lecithin. It can range in cocoa content from 10 to 45 percent. European-style milk chocolate is darker than what most American palates are accustomed to and may taste of caramel due to a high temperature during the conching process. By law, milk chocolate in the United States must contain at least 10 percent cocoa mass and 12 percent milk solids.
White chocolate is not a true chocolate because it contains no cocoa solids. Instead, it is made from cocoa butter, milk solids, sugar, and flavoring ingredients. In 2002, the FDA revised the standards of identity for white chocolate by determining that it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter and 14 percent milk solids.
This category includes products like gianduja (chocolate, usually milk chocolate, combined with a nut paste, usually hazelnut) and flavored chocolates like cappuccino, coffee, or orange. This lesser category of specialty chocolates is emerging as consumers become more aware of quality cocoa and more adventurous in taste. Some confectioners have begun producing chocolate bars with the addition of spices, dried fruits, and nuts. These items are not regulated because the manufacturer typically adds flavorings to chocolate that is already made.
Origin chocolates are made using beans from one growing region. The result is a uniquely flavored chocolate with flavor that highlights local cocoa varieties and production nuances. Like estate wines, origin chocolates are prized for their unique and unadulterated flavor.
Coating and Compound Chocolate
Coating chocolate, also called compound chocolate, is made with cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs) and is designed for use without tempering. Palm kernel oil, a common CBE, is fractionated to mirror cocoa butter's crystallization properties. CBEs eliminate the need to temper the coating or compound chocolate after it has melted.
The taste of coating chocolate is not as good as couverture because the unique melting properties of cocoa butter create superior quality in mouth release and flavor. CBEs, which have a higher melting point, take away from chocolate flavor.
Coating chocolate has less sheen, as well as less-appealing taste and mouthfeel. It is, however, a convenient product for applications when there is no knowledge of couverture working properties and is often called for in conjunction with couverture for chocolate glazes. The working temperature of coating chocolate is 95[degrees]F (35[degrees]C).
PROPERTIES OF COCOA BUTTER IN CHOCOLATE
To successfully understand chocolate and how to work with it, it is important to understand cocoa butter. This is because the ability to control cocoa butter is necessary for successful chocolate and confectionary work. Cocoa butter is responsible for melting properties, setting properties, brilliant sheen, and the crisp snap of well-tempered chocolate. If it is not properly precrystallized in the tempering process, a phenomenon known as fat bloom, or migration of the cocoa butter to the surface of the chocolate, occurs. Fat bloom appears as a harmless, cloudy white dust over chocolate. Chocolate with fat bloom can still be used in confectionary work after it has been properly tempered.
Like all fats, cocoa butter is a triglyceride composed of three fatty acids connected to a glycerol molecule. The triglyceride in cocoa butter is composed of oleic acid (35 percent), stearic acid (34 percent), and palmitic acid (26 percent). The simple composition of cocoa butter adds to the unique melting range of chocolate. It has a fusion point of 97[degrees]F (36[degrees]C) and can go from solid to liquid with no real intermediate state, unlike butter, which softens before it liquefies.
Cocoa butter is a polymorphic substance that can crystallize into six different forms, all which have different melting properties and stability. The chocolate-manufacturing industry has named these six forms using Roman numerals, and the oil and fat industry using letters from the Greek alphabet (Beckett, 2000, p. 89). This text uses Roman numerals in reference to crystal structure.
Cocoa butter crystals set depending on the way in which they are formed. Form I, which is very unstable, creates very loose crystal structure and is mostly used as an ice cream topping. However, it eventually reaches a firmer form IV crystalline structure (Beckett, 2000, p. 90). The most desirable of these forms is form V crystallization, which confectioners and chocolate manufacturers require to ensure a shelf stable product that is resistant to fat bloom. Form V is characterized by the "dense compacting" of the fat crystals into an organized structure. The six forms of crystallization are shown in Figure 22-8.
The existence of form VI crystallization has been debated in the scientific community. Form VI crystallization occurs when solid cocoa butter migrates through the chocolate to bloom on the surface after extended storage under normal conditions. Granular cocoa butter (form VI) can be used as seeds in tempering chocolate and even in setting mousse applications.
WORKING WITH CHOCOLATE
In the pastry shop, working with chocolate has long been considered a special privilege. There is much to consider when working with this ingredient because every part of the process, from harvesting to decoration, is carried out by people who understand the nuances of cocoa products and how to not waste any of it.
Figure 22-8 Melting Points of Cocoa Butter (adapted from Beckett, 2000, p. 90) Melting Point ([degrees]F) Unstable I 60.8-64.4 Loose Compacting II 71.6-75.2 III 75.2-78.8 IV 78.8-82.4 V 89.6-93.2 Stable VI 93.2-96.8 Dense Compacting
STORAGE OF CHOCOLATE
Although a seasoned chocolatier (one who works professionally with chocolate) will know how to store chocolate, it is a major factor in quality control that the novice must understand. Chocolate should always be well wrapped and stored in a cool dry place. It should never be stored in the refrigerator or freezer because it will form damage-causing condensation and sweat which will result in sugar bloom. Sugar bloom happens when chocolate is stored in high humidity areas and forms condensation on its surface. The sugar attracts the humidity to the surface of the chocolate; this makes the surface moist and draws out some of the sugar from the chocolate. Once the water content evaporates, the sugar remains on the surface of the chocolate in a crystallized form. Chocolate should also be stored away from direct sunlight and should not be stored on the floor.
Chocolate must be melted before it can be tempered for use in decorative or confectionary work. The following are guidelines for melting chocolate; however, the manufacturer's directions, which should be printed on the packaging, should be consulted and followed.
* Dark chocolate should be melted to 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C).
* Milk and white chocolate should be melted to 110[degrees]F (43[degrees]C).
Due to the higher milk and sugar content of white and milk chocolates, they should not be heated as much as dark chocolate. If overheated, white, milk, and dark chocolate can thicken at an increased rate.
Before adding chocolate to any vessel for melting, it should first be inspected for cleanliness and water contamination. Even small quantities of water in chocolate can cause a phenomenon called seizing, which thickens the chocolate into a paste.
Some pastry chefs heat chocolate over a bain-marie. This technique will work, but the steam generated from the water is a potential threat. In addition, steam is a very effective heat generator that can cause the chocolate to become overheated. If using this technique, moderate heat should be used, and the chocolate should be stirred often to ensure even heating.
If used properly, the microwave can be used for melting chocolate. If the microwave is large enough to melt the quantity desired, this is an economical choice. To prevent overheating and burning, the chocolate should be stirred every 30 seconds until it is fluid. When the chocolate is in a fluid state, it can withstand more time in the microwave without burning.
The best way to melt chocolate is slowly in an ambient heat of about 135[degrees]F (57[degrees]C) for dark and 125[degrees]F (52[degrees]C) for milk and white. Although these temperatures may seem high, the chocolate should melt to the proper temperature within 12 to 18 hours. The slower the chocolate melts, the more fluid it will be. Caution must be taken to ensure that chocolate is not left for a long time without being stirred; this can cause the cocoa butter to rise to the surface and the solids to sink to the bottom. In addition, if the storage temperature is above 113[degrees]F (45[degrees]C) for milk and white chocolate, the flavor can be affected, and the proteins from the milk solids can combine and thicken (Beckett, 2000, p. 105).
Overheated chocolate is difficult to use for fine confectionary work. This is not to suggest that it should be discarded, however. Overheated chocolate works extremely well for showpieces because thicker chocolate is sometimes beneficial in molding larger items. It is also possible to add some fresh chocolate (50 percent) to overheated chocolate to help it cool faster and to add a material with lower viscosity to the batch.
Tempering chocolate involves the process of melting and precrystallizing the cocoa butter to have it set in an organized way. This creates a nice gloss, resistance to fat bloom, and a good snap. Poorly crystallized, improperly stored, and old chocolate can form fat bloom or become untempered. Even though this chocolate is perfectly edible, it is not attractive.
Because cocoa butter is so sensitive to temperature variation, there are ideal requirements for tempering that should serve as guidelines. The ideal ambient temperature for tempering chocolate is 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C). It is possible to temper chocolate in an environment that is outside of this figure, but it will create some challenges. For example, if the pastry maker is working in a room that is colder than 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C), the chocolate will set up at an accelerated rate, and the pastry chef will have to work faster to keep up with the chocolate's behavior. In a room that is too warm, the chocolate may never be able to be tempered because appropriate precrystallization cannot take place due to the high ambient temperatures.
For chocolate to be tempered, it must be heated, cooled, and then warmed to specific temperatures. Although individual brands of chocolate provide temperature goals for tempering, it is helpful to know the guidelines. After dark chocolate is melted to 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) and milk and white chocolate is be melted to 110[degrees]F (43[degrees]C), it must be cooled to 82[degrees]F (28[degrees]C) and then reheated to 88[degrees]F (31[degrees]C) to 91[degrees]F (33[degrees]C) for dark chocolate and 84[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) to 86[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) for white and milk chocolate, respectively (see Figure 22-9).
[FIGURE 22-9 OMITTED]
FIGURE 22-10 TEMPERING CHOCOLATE [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Once the chocolate is melted to 120_F, pour three-fourths of it onto the granite slab. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Spread the chocolate out to cool it down. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Bring the chocolate in toward the center and then spread it out again. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  After the chocolate has cooled to the proper temperature, return it to the container with the reserved warm chocolate, stir the two together, and take the temperature. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Make a test strip to determine whether or not the chocolate is in temper. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] These test strips show properly tempered chocolate on left, which set within 2 minutes, and under-tempered chocolate on right, which was still unset after 30 minutes.
The three primary methods for successful chocolate tempering are seed, table, and mechanical. Using one of these three techniques, anyone can temper chocolate, provided the work is done in proper ambient conditions. After this section on the major tempering techniques, what to do with the chocolate as well as how to maintain its temper will be explored.
The seed method is the most approachable method for the serious home pastry cook, as it does not require a machine or a granite slab. In theory, melted, decrystallized chocolate is "seeded" with crystallized cocoa butter by adding well-tempered chocolate.
Once the chocolate is melted, one-fourth of the weight of the batch is added in seed. For example, for 4.41b (2 kg) of melted chocolate, 1.1 lb (0.5 kg) is required to seed. After the seed chocolate is added to the melted chocolate, it should be stirred briefly to incorporate and then left to sit. As the seed chocolate melts, it cools the decrystallized chocolate and provides a stable form of cocoa butter for the unstable cocoa butter to begin crystallizing around.
After a couple of minutes, the batch should be stirred using a clean, dry rubber spatula, taking care to not incorporate air. Stirring should continue until all the added chocolate has been melted. The motion of stirring will help the seeds melt and will also help the precrystallized cocoa butter become organized into the required form V crystallization configuration.
The next step is to check the temperature of the chocolate and to do a test strip to see if it is in temper. A test strip is made by applying a thin strip of chocolate over a small piece of parchment paper and observing the setting properties of the chocolate to determine whether the chocolate is in temper, and if it is, what the quality of the temper is. The desired temperature is between 82[degrees]F (28[degrees]C) and 86[degrees]F (30[degrees]C) for white and milk chocolate, and between 88[degrees]F (31[degrees]C) and 91[degrees]F (33[degrees]C) for dark chocolate. Stirring should continue while waiting for the results of the test strip.
The table method can be a quick and easy way to temper chocolate. It is also the most theatrical because it involves spreading the chocolate over a cool granite surface and successfully getting it back into the reserved warm chocolate container. Anywhere from 2 lb (1 kg) to 22 lb (10 kg) can easily be tempered on a granite slab. The only limitation is the size of the table. See Tempering Chocolate Figure 22-10 for an entire tempering process using the table method.
For this method, once the chocolate is melted to its appropriate temperature, three-fourths of the chocolate is poured onto the clean, dry granite slab and the remaining chocolate is reserved. The chocolate on the granite is spread out and moved back and forth periodically using a palette knife and a scraper. When the temperature has dropped to between 79[degrees]F (26[degrees]C) and 81[degrees]F (27[degrees]C) for milk chocolate and between 82[degrees]F (28[degrees]C) and 84[degrees]F (29[degrees]C) for dark chocolate, sufficient precrystallization will have taken place and the cooling must be stopped to prevent the cocoa butter from overcrystallizing. This is accomplished by quickly returning the chocolate to the reserved, warm chocolate and stirring for at least 1 minute to incorporate the two temperatures and spread the precrystallized cocoa butter throughout the mass.
After the chocolate has been stirred for at least a minute, the temperature should be checked and a test strip should be made. The desired temperature is between 82[degrees]F (28[degrees]C) and 86[degrees]F (30[degrees]C) for white and milk chocolate and between 88[degrees]F (31[degrees]C) and 91[degrees]F (33[degrees]C) for dark chocolate. While the test strip is setting, the chocolate should continue to be stirred.
Because chocolate can be a challenging medium to work with, and is so dependent on the appropriate application of heat, motion, and duration of motion, machines have been developed to assist everyone from the home pastry cook to the largest commercial producer. The tempering capacity varies greatly and can range from 21b (1 kg) to several tons an hour. Even though it is being accomplished by machine, the main principles of tempering remain the same.
The two main styles of machines are automatic and manual. Automatic machines are able to measure temperature and make changes accordingly based on the type of chocolate. The operator must double check the temper of the chocolate for quality control. Automatic tempering machines are frequently used for only large manufacturers. Manual machines are run by the operator and can have a range of controls and capabilities. While basic manual tempering units often melt the chocolate without motion, other manual models melt the chocolate in motion, with temperature changes controlled by the operator.
Either type of tempering unit can be a continuous tempering or batch tempering unit. Continuous tempering units supply a continuous feed of tempered chocolate, while batch tempering units temper only a given quantity of chocolate. Whatever machine is used, the operator needs to have a full understanding of it and the tempering process.
Reacting to the Initial Temper Once the initial tempering of the chocolate has occurred, the technician needs to verify the degree of temper and take appropriate action. At this point, the chocolate may be perfectly tempered, undertempered, or overtempered. The way to determine this is by examining the test strip and looking for the degree to which the chocolate is set, the presence of fat bloom, and the sheen.
If the chocolate is perfectly tempered, continue on to work with chocolate, being sure to maintain the temper.
An undertempered chocolate will appear dull and will have visible cocoa butter migration to the surface of the chocolate. It will not set up within 2 minutes and will never have a shine, or characteristics of well tempered chocolate. For undertempered chocolate, more precrystallized cocoa butter should be introduced into the chocolate, and stirring should continue to encourage the organization of the fat crystals into the proper form V If adding more chocolate, ground chocolate that melts easily is recommended. If pistoles (small, flat "buttons" of chocolate) are added, they may take too long to melt and could begin to overcrystallize the chocolate.
Chocolate is easily ground in a food processor, where it is pulsed until it is mealy. It is important to not mix it too much because the increased temperature rise from friction can cause it to melt. The chocolate should be stirred and checked periodically until the appropriate temper is achieved.
A sign that chocolate is overtempered is a quick setting time of the chocolate. If the test strip sets in 30 seconds, or if the chocolate bows a lot during the setting process, it is overtempered. Overtempered chocolate should be warmed in order to prevent rapid crystallization of the cocoa butter. Care must be taken, however, to not create undertempered chocolate in the process. A couple of techniques work well in this situation. Chocolate that has been melted to full decrystallization can be added to the overtempered chocolate to raise the temperature and increase the number of decrystallized fat crystals. Another option is to apply direct heat to the too cool chocolate by microwave or heat gun.
After undertempered and overtempered chocolate is remedied, it should be tested for the quality of the temper. Well-tempered chocolate should set within 2 minutes [in a room with a temperature of 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)]. Additionally, the surface of the chocolate should not have any visible fat migration, and there should be minimal bowing of the chocolate. When the temper is good, confectionary or decorative work can begin.
Maintaining Form V To work efficiently, a good temper must be maintained. This will provide fluid chocolate that does not thicken quickly and sets within 2 minutes under an ambient 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C) temperature.
Because the working temperature range for chocolate is so narrow, the temperature must be closely monitored. As it fluctuates, the chocolate can become too cold or too warm to work with. An experienced chocolatier can do this visually, taking cues from the well of chocolate, as well as from how it falls off of enrobed candies or out of molds. For novices, temperatures are best measured with a digital thermometer.
Temperature can be maintained with a heat gun, with a bain-marie, or by adding 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C) chocolate. The two benefits to this last technique are an increase of temperature and volume of the couverture. Using this method, the chocolatier should be able to work from one batch of tempered chocolate for many hours. Optimum crystallization must occur, though, and care must be taken to avoid overcrystallization.
In addition to monitoring the temperature, the chocolatier must continue to stir the chocolate while working with it. Just as a lack of stirring can result in chocolate that becomes prematurely overcrystallized, so an excessive amount of motion can also result in overcrystallized chocolate. If working out of a container that is not temperature-controlled, care must be taken to not stir the sides, as there will most likely be a buildup of chocolate. This chocolate has crystallized due to the contact with a cold surface and if it is stirred into the fluid chocolate, it will introduce an abundance of crystals that can overcrystallize the rest of the batch.
APPLICATIONS USING CHOCOLATE COUVERTURE
Chocolate couverture is not limited to confectionary or decorative work. Couverture-grade chocolate may be used in a number of applications, including cookies, quick breads, pie, assorted creams, and mousse cakes. The quality of the chocolate used in those applications does not always need to be as high as it should be for confectionary work. For example, a brownie can be successfully made using a midgrade couverture; however, a mousse cake for a high-end restaurant or pastry shop will benefit from a high-grade couverture. Below are the general processes for applications using chocolate couverture that do not appear in other chapters. The processes for chocolate confections and decorative work are also explored.
In its simplest form, a ganache is a smooth emulsion made from chocolate and a liquid like cream, milk, or fruit puree. The ratio of chocolate to liquid varies depending on the type of chocolate used, the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, and the desired results. A ganache can be formulated for many uses, including as a component in cakes, as an icing or as the center of a chocolate.
Ingredients of Ganache
Ganaches made for filling candies rely on a basic set of ingredients that guarantee good flavor and optimal shelf life without the use of added preservatives. Many chocolate companies achieve a longer shelf life for ganache-filled candies because they rely heavily on inverted syrups rather than fresh cream or fruit purees when preparing their base ganache. However, the proper selection of ingredients is a crucial step in making quality candy fillings, and the freshest ingredients should always be chosen.
Cream The cream for ganache should be fresh cream with a fat content of 35 percent. Too high of a fat content can create problems forming a good emulsion, and too little fat can create a lack of creaminess.
Chocolate The chocolatier or pastry chef has a broad selection of chocolate to use as a base for ganache, as well as an unlimited number of chocolate combinations. In any case, couverture-grade chocolate should always be chosen. Chocolate for ganache is selected based on flavor and cocoa content and how the flavor interacts with additional flavoring ingredients such as coffee, mint, or vanilla. To achieve the best combination, the chocolatier should understand flavor balancing and how to taste chocolate.
Inverted Sugar Inverted sugar retains moisture and maintains a creamy texture in ganache. The inverted sugar should be flavorless. In the process of making ganache, inverted sugar should be added to cream at 7 to 10 percent, based on the total weight of the filling.
Butter When incorporated properly into the emulsion, butter adds texture and body to ganache. It should be added to the ganache when it is at 95[degrees]F (35[degrees]C) and should be soft and pliable to ensure easy incorporation. If it is added too early, butter will create a greasy and undesirable mouth-feel. So as not to distract flavor from the filling, a neutral tasting butter is preferred, because a cultured butter will compete with the flavors of the chocolate.
Nut Pastes Any type of nut paste can be added to ganache in varying degrees, depending on the flavor desired. The nut paste can be made in-house for added control over flavor and texture, or it can be from a commercially available source, which is typically much smoother. Nut pastes should utilize fresh nuts and should be added to the ganache after the emulsion has formed.
Alcohol Alcohol acts as a preservative and flavor enhancer in ganache. Any type desired by the pastry chef can be used. Alcohol is generally added at about 5 to 10 percent of the total weight; however, this can be increased or decreased as desired. Alcohol is one of the last ingredients to be added to a ganache after the emulsion.
Process for Basic Ganache
When making ganache, it is important to work with very clean utensils and to keep the hands out of the mixture. A good sanitation program will help add shelf life.
The general process for making a shiny, elastic ganache is straightforward. It can be achieved only through the proper use of ingredients and the use of balanced formulas. Although there are variations, the basic guidelines are presented here. Students are encouraged to review the processes in the formula section for instructions regarding special considerations.
It is important to scale all ingredients into appropriately sized containers. For example, the chocolate should be scaled into the bowl in which the ganache is made. If possible, the cream should be scaled into the pot in which it will be boiled.
After all ingredients have been scaled, the cream and inverted sugar can be brought to a boil. Because it is important that the ganache not become too hot, it can be helpful to slightly cool the cream before it is poured over the chocolate. (This will depend on the room temperature. If the room is very cold, use the boiled cream right away.) A rubber spatula is used to form an emulsion in the center of the bowl after the cream has been poured over the chopped chocolate or chocolate pieces. When the elastic core forms, the movement of the spatula should draw out to emulsify the cream and chocolate.
As soon as the emulsion is achieved, the temperature should be measured and the butter should be added at 95[degrees]F (35[degrees]C) and mixed in just to incorporation. If any nut pastes are to be included, they are added next. Lastly, alcohol is added in a slow and steady stream and should be incorporated as it is added. When the ganache is finished, it should be covered with plastic wrap until it is ready to use. See Ganache Figure 22-11 for step-by-step details on how to make ganache.
FIGURE 22-11 GANACHE [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Pour the boiled liquid over the chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Begin forming the emulsion in the center of the bowl. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  When the emulsion begins to form, slowly work toward the outer edges of the bowl. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  The finished ganache should be slightly elastic, shiny, and very smooth
Basic Ganache Process
* Boil the liquid and inverted sugar (include vanilla bean if applicable) and cool to 190[degrees]F (88[degrees]C).
* Pour over the chopped chocolate, and let rest for 1 minute.
* Begin to form an emulsion in the center of the bowl with a rubber spatula and work outward.
* At 95[degrees]F (35[degrees]C), add the soft butter.
* Add any nut paste if used.
* Add the alcohol if used.
* Cover the surface with plastic wrap, and reserve until needed.
Chocolate truffles are made from ganache that is firm enough to hold its shape when piped or otherwise portioned. Although a softer ganache can be used, specialty premade shells are required to hold the soft filling. These rustic-style confections are traditionally meant to mimic the wild truffle but have evolved into many different shapes and presentations.
Truffles are coated in a layer of chocolate and cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or any number of other ingredients such as cocoa nibs, roasted coconut, and chopped candied nuts. Sometimes truffles are only coated in chocolate, but are recognizable because of their round shape.
Hand-Rolled Truffles Figure 22-12 and Lining Chocolate Molds Figure 22-13 illustrate the steps necessary for producing various truffles and show some of the finishing techniques.
Hand-Rolled Truffle Process
* Pipe ganache into mounds on a parchment-lined sheet pan using a large plain tip.
* Allow to set.
* Roll the ganache into balls using gloved hands lightly dusted with powdered sugar. (See Hand-Rolled Truffles Figure 22-12, Step 1.)
* Roll and coat in untempered couverture by hand. (See Hand-Rolled Truffles Figure 22-12, Steps 2-3.)
* Dip in tempered couverture, deposit into cocoa powder, and dredge. (See Hand-Rolled Truffles Figure 22-12, Steps 3-5.)
Piped Truffle Process
* Pipe ganache in short lines approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, or as desired, onto a parchment-lined sheet pan using a large plain tip.
* Allow to set.
* Dip in tempered couverture and then deposit into cocoa powder and dredge.
Deposited Truffle Process
* Pipe ganache into truffle shells and allow to crystallize.
* Pipe chocolate over the opening to seal the ganache.
* Dip in tempered couverture and then deposit into cocoa powder and dredge.
* Alternately, dip in tempered couverture for finishing.
Specialty Ingredient-Coated Truffle Process
* Have rolled, piped, or deposited truffles on hand.
* Dip in tempered couverture and roll in the selected ingredient to coat.
Enrobed Truffle Process (Hand-Dipped)
* Have rolled, piped, or deposited truffles on hand.
* Dip in tempered couverture, and transfer to parchment paper to set.
* Decorate accordingly.
FIGURE 22-12 HAND-ROLLED TRUFFLES [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Once the centers are piped and partially crystallized, roll them lightly in powdered sugar. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Roll the truffle centers in untempered couverture [90[degrees]F (32[degrees]C)]. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  The truffles rolled in couverture are ready to be dipped. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Dip the truffle in tempered couverture, and tap off any excess chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Deposit onto a tray of a sifted cocoa powder/powdered sugar blend and roll the truffle with the dipping fork before the chocolate sets. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Let the truffles remain in the cocoa powder until the chocolate is set.
Molded chocolates require both skill and stamina to produce by hand. There are automated and semiautomated lines to aid in the process, but it is entirely possible to create elegant molded candied without them. The process for molded candies is more involved than that for truffles and enrobed candies.
Chocolate molds made from polycarbonate plastic are required for efficient molding. Flimsy plastic molds should not be considered as they will bend and will not provide attractive candy. Molds must be clean and free from fingerprints and chocolate from previous batches.
Preparing the Mold
The first step in making molded chocolates is to prepare the molds, although some chocolatiers prefer to prepare the fillings first. The molds can be lined with chocolate without any issues if the workroom is not too cold. If it is, the filling should be made before the molds are lined. This is because the chocolate will contract more in a cold workroom and can pop out of the mold more easily during chocolate making. Molds should be warmed slightly to prevent a large differential in temperature between the mold and the chocolate. A heat gun is a good choice for warming the mold. If the mold is too cold, the chocolate will set at a faster rate, and a thin shell will be harder to obtain.
Lining the Mold
The lining of the mold with chocolate should be quick and clean. A palette knife, two chocolate scrapers, and a 4 to 6 ounce ladle are required. Some pastry chefs pipe the chocolate into the cavities, but this is a time-consuming process that results in low-quality molded candies with thick shells. To make the task go quickly and to minimize waste, it is important to keep chocolate off the hands and tools as much as possible. The longer the lining process takes, the thicker the candy shells will be.
When molding, it is important not to touch any of the cavities, which can warm them and throw the chocolate out of temper. The mold is held in one hand, and the chocolate is ladled evenly over the cavities of the mold until just filled (see Lining Chocolate Molds Figure 22-13, Step 1). Next, the excess chocolate is removed from the top of the mold and the sides are cleaned (see Lining Chocolate Molds Figure 22-13, Step 2). The mold is tapped on the edge of the table to remove air bubbles and is inverted over the supply of reserved chocolate and tapped with the chocolate scraper to remove excess chocolate (see Lining Chocolate Molds Figure 22-13, Steps 3-5). With the mold still inverted, dangling chocolate is scraped off, and the mold is placed upside-down on a sheet of parchment paper (see Lining Chocolate Molds Figure 22-13, Step 6).
After 1 minute, the mold is picked up without being turned over, and the chocolate on the surface is scraped off to create an even coat of chocolate that covers only the cavities. The molds are reserved until ready for filling.
Depending on the approach used for filling the molds, the ganache should be made or prepared for depositing. It must be pipable and soft enough to fall into the crevices of the mold and leave a flat surface. If it is too thick and leaves an uneven surface, it will be difficult to close properly. If this happens, air gaps between the filling and the base may host bacterial and mold growth. If the temperature of the ganache rises above 80[degrees]F (27[degrees]C) to 82[degrees]F (28[degrees]C), the lining can decrystallize.
FIGURE 22-13 LINING CHOCOLATE MOLDS [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Using a ladle, line the cavities of the mold with tempered chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Scrape off any excess chocolate back into the reserve chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Tap the mold on the table to remove any air bubbles. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Invert the mold over the reserve chocolate and tap out the chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] While the mold is inverted, scrape off any remaining chocolate that is not lining the cavities of the mold. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Place the mold on a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate is partially crystallized; then remove the mold from the parchment paper, and scrape off any chocolate that is in the surface of the mold.
[FIGURE 22-14 OMITTED]
When the ganache is ready to be deposited, it should be piped into the cavities using a clean (preferably disposable) piping bag (Figure 22-14). The ganache should be deposited within 1/16 inch (2 mm) of the surface of the mold. If too much space is between the top of the filling and the top of the mold, the base will be excessively thick. If there is not enough room between the filling and the mold, the base will not be sufficiently thick and the chocolate may not be able to be close. After the fillings are deposited, the mold should be gently tapped on the table to ensure that the filling is settled into the mold. Any filling on the mold's surface should be removed.
The fillings should crystallize in the mold for 24 to 48 hours before they are closed. If this does not happen, excess moisture will be created, and bacterial contamination can occur. If the filling is left to crystal lize for too long, it can dry and pull away from the side of the chocolate, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Filling based on white and milk chocolate requires longer times (up to 48 hours) for crystallization because of the increased quantities of sugar and lower quantities of cocoa content. The molds should be stored in a covered transit rack in a workroom that is about 60[degrees]F (16[degrees]C) to 65[degrees]F (18[degrees]C).
Closing the Molds
When the ganache is properly crystallized in the molds, they can be closed. This process requires the same care and precautions as lining. It is important to work cleanly and efficiently and at the proper temperature. Molded candies benefit from a slight warming before the base is applied to encourage better bonding. This can be accomplished with a quick pass of the heat gun.
The mold is held in one hand, while the other hand ladles a sufficient quantity of chocolate over the cavities of the mold. Next, it is tapped into the depressions on the surface of the filling. Excess chocolate is removed, and the mold is tapped on the table to remove air bubbles. If any air bubbles show, they must be covered to cut off the chocolate center from the air. Once the bases are clean, the sides of the molds are be cleaned and set aside for the chocolate to crystallize. (See Closing the Mold Figure 22-15.)
Extracting Molded Candies
Twenty minutes before extracting the candies from the mold, they should be placed in the refrigerator to cool. This makes the candies easier to remove and helps to prevent fingerprints.
The molds should be turned over in one swift motion onto a silicone baking mat, which acts as a cushion for the candies during extraction. If candies remain in the mold, it should be tapped on an angle until the candies fall out. It is essential to not crush any candies during this process. After they are turned out of the molds, the candies are transferred to appropriate storage containers or packed as needed.
Enrobed chocolates are candies with ganache or praline centers that have been coated with a thin layer of chocolate. This can be achieved by hand dipping the chocolates with a dipping fork or by using an enrobing machine for higher volumes. An experienced chocolatier can hand dip at least 300 pieces per hour, while an enrobing machine can easily process 3,000 an hour, depending on the model and configuration.
FIGURE 22-15 CLOSING THE MOLD [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Ladle chocolate over the filled cavities. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Tap the mold to settle the chocolate onto the surface of the filling. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Scrape off the excess chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Tap the mold to pop any air bubbles while the chocolate is still fluid. If there are any holes, cover with couverture and level the surface as needed.
Enrobed candies must to be handled in a different way than truffles and molded chocolates. Special attention must be paid to the handling of the ganache before it is enrobed. Failure to follow basic guidelines can result in a loss of shelf life.
Typically, the ganache is slightly firmer so that it is movable. It should not be too firm, however, as soft-textured, supple ganache is preferred. The ganache for enrobed candies is typically prepared in a sheet and must be cut before it can be further processed. Special cutters called guitars cut upwards of 200 pieces in two presses of the cutting strings.
The basic equipment required for enrobed candies includes parchment paper, a clean and dry pastry brush, a palette knife, a straight edge, a candy frame, and a flat sheet pan or plaque.
Preparing the Ganache
Four equally important steps are involved in the preparation of the ganache for enrobed candies. The steps are preparing the base and portioning, cutting, and spacing the ganache.
Preparing the Base The ganache base ensures that the candies will be easy to handle during cutting and spacing and that they will hold their intended shape, especially the corners. To prepare the base, a mixture of 90[degrees]F (32[degrees]C) chocolate that has had 10 percent cocoa butter added to it is brushed onto a sheet of parchment paper over the footprint of the candy frame. The frame is secured to the paper using the chocolate solution and then brushed in the center area with a thin layer of the chocolate solution. This is allowed to set for 10 minutes or until dry before the ganache is added. If it remains unfilled for too long, the base may crack and buckle, rendering it useless. Timing of this preparation is critical.
Even though the chocolate is not tempered, the motion of brushing will promote crystallization of the cocoa butter, and the chocolate will set up. It is essential that this base is just thick enough to prevent the ganache from sticking to the parchment paper and the guitar.
Portioning the Ganache The ganache should be portioned into the frame by weight for ease of production. The weight is determined when the mold is filled to the surface and cleared of any excess. After the weight has been determined and the filling has been deposited, the filling should be spread out using a palette knife. Next, the straight edge should be used to ensure that the filling is flush with the top of the frame.
After the ganache has been portioned, it is beneficial to place it in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to help promote crystallization. The ganache should then be stored at workroom temperature [65[degrees]F (18[degrees]C) to 70[degrees]F (21[degrees]C)] until enough time has passed to ensure sufficient crystallization.
Cutting and Spacing the Ganache Before the centers can be enrobed, the ganache must first be removed from the frame, cut, and separated to slightly dry the surface. This is because chocolate coating applied while the candies are moist will create a gap between the filling and the chocolate shell when the filling dries. This gap is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
The most efficient tool to cut ganache centers is a guitar, but a ruler and knife will work equally well. Once centers of the desired size are cut, they must be separated and allowed to rest for at least 3 hours before enrobing to dry the surfaces of the ganache.
Enrobing the Ganache
Enrobing can begin as soon as the centers have been sufficiently air-dried. Whether this is done by hand or with a machine, the chocolate must be well tempered because overtempering will create thick coatings and will make removing excess chocolate more difficult. The quality of the temper should be closely monitored to ensure a thin, even coating of chocolate.
When enrobing by hand, several practices help move the task along. Candies are placed on a piece of clean parchment paper on a sheet pan or plaque. Candies should be within close reach and the station should be set up for workflow to occur in one direction. After being dipped, the candy should be placed in the far corner of the tray, and as dipping progresses, the lines toward the dipper should be filled from the back to the front of the tray. This is to guarantee that no chocolate drips on finished candies. (See Hand-Dipping Process Figure 22-16.)
Removing the candy from the dipping fork must be done swiftly and in a way that will not allow feet and or marks on the bottom of the candy. Although this requires practice, it is easy to achieve.
When enrobing candies by machine, all centers should be ready to be enrobed because tempered chocolate should be utilized as soon as it is ready. Once the temper is assured, enrobing begins. The size of the machine and finishing techniques used on the candy will determine how many workers are required. For example, a small operation that utilizes a cooling tunnel will use two people: one to load the candies, and one to catch them. Additional people can be added for decoration and catching, depending on the volume, while smaller units without cooling tunnels can be operated by only one technician.
Throughout the enrobing process, the quality of the temper and the quality of the enrobing must be monitored. If the chocolate becomes too thick, adjustments can be made to the machine, such as increasing the working temperature, adding fresh chocolate at 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C), or decrystallizing and retempering the chocolate.
Candy decoration showcases the chocolatier's style and provides differentiation from colleagues. Decorations can be complex or very simple, depending on the volume being produced and the caliber of the chocolates. They include textured, cocoa butter, or house-made transfer sheets; base ingredients like gru de cacao, candied ginger, and crushed nuts; chocolate piping; fork design; and even the application of forced air. Whatever decoration is chosen should be applied efficiently during production.
FIGURE 22-16 HAND-DIPPING PROCESS  Drop the center in the tempered couverture with the base facing up. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  With the fork, press the base to invert the chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Lift the enrobed center out of the chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Tap off any excess chocolate and then deposit the candy on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
SPECIALTY PROCESSES FOR DECORATIVE WORK
Specialty processes are used for applications like garnished desserts, retail cakes and pastries, and chocolate candies and decorative pieces.
CHOCOLATE TRANSFER SHEETS
Chocolate transfer sheets are plastic sheets that have been printed on one side with colored cocoa butter. They come in a variety of designs, and can be custom made with any logo or words printed on them.
To use chocolate transfer sheets, tempered chocolate is spread in a thin and even layer over the side of the sheet that has been printed on (see Chocolate Transfer Sheets Figure 22-17, Steps 1-2). Just before it sets, it is cut into desired shapes using the back of knife (see Chocolate Transfer Sheets Figure 22-17, Step 3). Alternatively, the chocolate can be "cut" using pastry cutters to achieve the desired shapes. Once cut (see Chocolate Transfer Sheets Figure 22-17, Step 4), transfer sheets should be placed under a flat weight to prevent warping until the cocoa butter is fully crystallized. The plastic should not be removed from the chocolate until it ready to use and should remain on the chocolate for at least 4 hours.
Textured plastic sheets are useful tools for creating visual texture on candies or showpieces. They come in a variety of textures and are easily cut into strips or other shapes for custom work.
HOUSE-MADE TRANSFER SHEETS
Custom transfer sheets can be easily made using white, milk, or dark chocolate thinned with cocoa butter. Designs are applied to plastic sheets, and an additional layer of chocolate of contrasting color is applied to act as the "back" after they have set. From this point, the application process is the same.
Examples of house-made transfers include marbled dark and white chocolate designs or delicate milk chocolate brush strokes with a white back. Fat-soluble colorants can also be used, as can things like poppy seeds or vanilla seeds.
FIGURE 22-17 CHOCOLATE TRANSFER SHEETS [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Pour tempered chocolate on the acetate sheet. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Spread the tempered choco late into a very thin layer. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Using a ruler, cut strips to make squares or rectangles. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Next, transfer the prepared transfer sheets to a flat surface and cover with a flat object and allow the cocoa butter to crystallize for at least several hours.
CHOCOLATE CURLS AND BOWS
Chocolate curls and bows are frequently used to decorate entremets and chocolate showpieces. They are quick and easy to make and store well for long periods of time. The specialty equipment needed to make curls and bows includes acetate plastic sheets, an icing comb, a squeegee, and a slightly damp cloth. The process for making curls is highlighted in Chocolate Curls Figure 22-18, while the technique for making bows is outlined in Chocolate Bows Figure 22-19.
Several techniques can be used to make chocolate cigarettes, which can be single- or duo-toned. A thicker, slightly overtempered chocolate works well because it remains more pliable for a longer period of time. The basic tools required for cigarette making includes a chef knife, a palette knife, a chocolate scraper. and an icing comb (see Chocolate Cigarettes Figure 22-20).
Casting chocolate is a simple technique that can be applied to showpiece components. Tempered chocolate is simply deposited into molds or templates and is allowed to set. Because chocolate contracts as it cools, it is important to cast only the inside of molds or templates to prevent cracking. For thicker casts, the chocolate piece should be refrigerated for up to 20 minutes to ensure a thorough and quick crystallization of the cocoa butter.
MOLDING LARGE PIECES
Showpiece production often uses large molds that are brushed with chocolate until the surface is thick enough to bear the weight it must support. For example, an egg mold 2 feet (61 cm) tall should be molded to approximately 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick to ensure appropriate strength.
When brushing the mold with chocolate, it is best to take an organized approach that will ensure an even coat. First, chocolate is applied to the entire mold and then worked around it systematically to ensure an even coat on the upper edges as well as in the depths. Simple molds work best because unmolding less-detailed areas is much easier than unmolding detailed ones. Building up a flat edge of the mold is also important to create a sufficient surface for joining the pieces to be assembled.
FIGURE 22-18 CHOCOLATE CURLS [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Line up the acetate strips on a granite surface. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Ladle some chocolate on the top of the strips. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Drag the icing comb down the length of the chocolate to form the thin lines of chocolate. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Release the strips from the table. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Before the chocolate sets, form the curl. FIGURE 22-19 CHOCOLATE BOWS [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Release the strips from the table. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Bring the two ends of the acetate strip to meet. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Line up the chocolate lines, and join them to form the bows. FIGURE 22-20 CHOCOLATE CIGARETTES [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  Spread a thin layer of tempered chocolate on a granite slab, and quickly scrape it with a scraper when it is "leathery." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  It will form a classic cigarette. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]  For a different result, use chef knife to push the chocolate into more open cigarette shapes as shown here.
SPRAYING CHOCOLATE AND COCOA BUTTER
The use of chocolate spray is not limited to creating a velvety texture with thinned chocolate on cakes. Spraying has many applications in the preparation of molded chocolate pieces and showpiece finishing. The following ratios of chocolate to cocoa butter should serve as guidelines for creating spray chocolate. In general, as the cocoa solid content decreases, less cocoa butter is required to thin the couverture. All ratios are chocolate to cocoa butter:
* Dark Spray: 50:50 to 70:30
* Milk Spray: 65:35
* White Spray: 80:20
For frozen desserts, spray chocolate should be 120[degrees]F (49[degrees]C). For molds and showpieces, the solution should be approximately 90[degrees]F (32[degrees]F). The actual temperature will vary according to equipment being used and the temperature of the workroom. If the work is being done in a cold room and a compressor is in use with the spray gun, the chocolate solution will need to be warmer than if it is being used with a self-contained unit such as a Wagner spray gun.
COMPOSING AND ASSEMBLING CHOCOLATE CENTERPIECES AND SHOWPIECES
The culmination of the pastry chef's and the chocolatier's experience is the creation of decorative showpieces or centerpieces that serve to display the quality of their work and artistic expression. The combination of many techniques (some of which have already been discussed), the vision of the artist, and the ability to construct all the components serve as the basis for making eye-catching showpieces and centerpieces.
Several basic concepts should be known regarding composition and building. The theme of the project, visual balance, structural integrity, and construction techniques need to be well understood and planned. The process can be broken into two categories: planning the theme and visual balance, and producing and constructing components.
Theme is important from the beginning of the project because it provides the artist with a direction for style, including shapes, colors, and sizes for the project. When the theme and components are known, the piece should be drawn and life-size cutouts of the components made, if desired, to help the artist better visualize how they will fit together. This will also help to identify problems present in the design.
[FIGURE 22-21 OMITTED]
After the final plan is established, component production can begin. Structural integrity and strength are important aspects because pieces at the bottom will need to support their own weight, in addition to the weight above them. After the components have been made, assembly can begin. The main objective during the assembly is to attach the elements together without the appearance of the "glue" used to do so.
Before joining two items, it is best to score them and then apply tempered chocolate to the items being joined. When the couverture is three-fourths set, the join should take place. If it happens too soon, the chocolate will be too thin and will not hold. Excess chocolate that can leak out from two joined pieces can be removed carefully using a paring knife or other sharp object.
Some pieces are finished with a chocolate spray after assembly. There are two options for spraying: spraying tempered, thinned couverture for a shiny chocolate finish or spraying warm, thinned couverture onto a cold item for a dramatic velvet finish. In the latter case, leaving chocolate in the freezer for too long is not advisable because the extreme cold can compact the fat crystals, causing it to break. Pieces should be placed in the freezer for a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes.
See Figure 22-21 for an example of a simple chocolate showpiece.
HEALTH AND CHOCOLATE
This section is not supposed to replace information provided by medical professionals and additional research, and a consultation with appropriate medical personnel should be considered before changing any diet.
Recently, the benefits of dark chocolate have been extolled in the press. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that naturally occurs in plants as defense mechanisms. Plants and foods that are high in flavonoids include cranberries, apples, onions, cacao, peanuts, and red wine. Of the chocolates, only dark contains flavonoids, the quantity of which is related to how much the chocolate has been processed. As the chocolate goes through more processing, more of these natural flavonoids are lost.
An additional consideration is the type of chocolate that is being eaten. Eating a candy bar filled with nuts, cookies, and caramel is very different from eating a small piece of dark chocolate. The type of fat in the chocolate will have an impact on the health of the consumer as well. Cocoa butter substitutes are not as healthy as cocoa butter, which is a naturally occurring fat. Research has shown the fats from cocoa are of mixed benefit to health. The oleic acid component of cocoa butter, which makes up one-third of its fat content, is a monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil. The other two-thirds of the molecule are composed of stearic acid and palmitic acid, which are saturated fats. Saturated fats have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and increase LDL cholesterol. The good news is that stearic acid has been shown to have a neutral affect on cholesterol, which means that only one-third of the fat in chocolate has a negative affect on cholesterol (Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute).
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|Title Annotation:||Part 1: PART 4 PASTRY|
|Publication:||Advanced Bread and Pastry|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2009|
|Previous Article:||Chapter 21 Advanced decoration.|
|Next Article:||Chapter 22 Chocolate and chocolate work.|