Tempering with Callets
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in the chocolate, which is related to the working temperature of the chocolate. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate changes into a stable crystalline form. It ensures the hardness, shrinking force and gloss of the finished product after it has cooled. If the chocolate is melted in the normal way (between 40 and 45 °C) then left to cool to working temperature, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the effort of using a special way of bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that is what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature so that there are sufficient stable crystals.The 3 factors which are important during tempering are time, temperature and movement.
Pre-crystallisation is very easy if you add chocolate which has already been tempered to the melted chocolate. Callebaut Callets are useful for this. Callets have of course already been tempered. In other words, they are already in the required crystalline form, and can be added to the melted chocolate. The required quantity of Callets depends upon the temperature of the melted chocolate and the Callets. When the melted chocolate reaches a temperature of approximately 40 °C, you can add 15% to 20% Callets at ambient temperature (between 15 and 20 °C).
Melt the chocolate in a melting pan (set the thermostat to 45 °C).
Lower the thermostat (± 32 °C for dark chocolate / ± 30 °C for white chocolate and milk chocolate) and immediately add 15% to 20% Callets at ambient temperature.
Stir the chocolate well to ensure the dispersion of the stable crystals of the Callets. Are the Callets melting too quickly? That is because the chocolate is still too hot. Add more Callets and continue stirring.
In this way, you will obtain a slightly thickened chocolate, which is ready to work with.
All chocolate should be tempered before you use it to
mould/pour, to use for creating blown figures, for coating cakes or
pralines. In short, whenever chocolate needs to have a perfect
sheen and be hard.
When you add chocolate to dishes to add flavour (when preparing mousses or Bavarian creams for instance), it usually suffices to melt the chocolate. Tempering is not required in these instances. All recipes will indicate clearly if the chocolate should be tempered or not.