This is a little ridiculous. I am extremly low on cash and really want to get those chocolate dipped pretzels made tonight. It is freezing cold outside and in order for me to get to the store, I need to venture out into the icy cold and pay bus fare twice. A colleague of mine was going over to Whole Foods and asked if I needed anything. Yay! I jumped at the opportunity to have someone else pick up the two measley ingredients I needed. Huge mistake. Bless her soul for offering but I should have known better. She came back with a TEN DOLLAR pure dark chocolate bar for baking. That's not the worst of it though. I went to the mac machine and got her the money and I'm praying the transfer from my savings hits my checking before I bounce something. I haven't been this low on money in months! But behold, 'Tis the season right?
Anyhow, dark chocolate chips are sold commercially and they are tempered. Tempering is a process that is done to commercial chips so it's ready to use so to speak. You melt it any way you want to and use it. Voila.
Now, pure expensive high quality chocolate is not tempered because they assume the people using it know what they're doing and will use it up to a million different ways so they keep it in this 'raw' state so we chocolatiers can do what we must to create our confections. I'm no chocalatier. www.baking911.com is an amazing site and I just took chocolate tempering 101 so to speak. I'm hoping my candy thermometer can be considered a mercury gauge chocolate thermometer or whatever they said you MUST use. You must heat and cool and heat and cool the chocolate to all different temperatures and now I'm not sure when to add the cream. Why do this you ask? Well, if you do not, the chocolate will not cool or harden properly and your gift of chocolate will suck and everyone will think you suck for making sucky chocolate and so on and so forth.
I hope my smart ass brother who requested the dark chocolate finds this highly amusing. I have milk chocolate tempered chips in my cupboard at home, but noooo, "dark chocolate tastes better and is better for you too."
hahaha. I love him. I'll be shouting DAMN YOU and banging my hands dramatically against my desk for the next hour as I learn more about tempering chocolate.
'Tis the season. Happy Holidays. :-)
(I really am laughing on the inside.)