Right now, we don’t have the option to head down to the shops whenever we feel a craving for chocolate but most of us do have plenty of time on our hands to learn new skills and perfect existing ones to make chocolate treats.
On this Easter weekend our Executive Chef Graham Tinsley wants to show people how to make scrumptious, all-natural chocolate at home using just a few basic ingredients and by following a few of his insider tips.
Graham explains, “The way to prepare the best chocolate to prevent it having a dull greyish colour and an off-putting waxy texture is through a process called tempering which prevents the cocoa fat separating out. This is an essential step for smooth, glossy, evenly coloured coating for chocolate and it produces a crisp, satisfying snap when you bite into it.
He continues, “The tempering process takes chocolate through a temperature curve which helps align the chocolate crystals and the easiest way to do this in by a method known as seeding.”
Easter is one of those “permissible indulgence” moments for enjoying chocolate and Graham concludes “Making your own all-natural chocolate following my guidance is even better than shop bought chocolate that can contain ingredients that are less appealing such as sugars, dyes and preservatives”.
Tempering chocolate is an essential step for making a smooth, glossy, evenly coloured coating for your dipped chocolates and chocolate moulds. Tempering prevents the dull greyish colour and waxy texture that happens when the cocoa fat separates out. Tempered chocolate produces a crisp, satisfying snap when you bite into it. The tempering process takes chocolate through a temperature curve, a process which aligns the chocolate’s crystals to make it smooth, silky, and glossy.
The easiest way to do this is by the method known as seeding. Melt 2/3rds of your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water until the chocolate is melted and the required temperature is reached. Then take the chocolate off the heat and add the last 1/3rd of chocolate and stir until completely dissolved. This will take a bit of practice to achieve the correct temperatures. A food thermometer is a must for achieving this