What happens when chocolate becomes overcrystallised?
The symptoms, effects and causes of overcrystallised chocolate
Tempering chocolate (or better yet pre-crystallising chocolate) is manipulating it in such a way that the cocoa butter in it takes on a stable crystalline form. This is a crucial step in making your chocolate ready for processing, and gives your finished product a beautiful gloss, a delicious snap when you bite it and great contraction properties, causing it to unmould easily and perfectly.
But creating this stable crystalline form causes a chain reaction, and gradually generates more and more cocoa butter crystals, even if the chocolate is kept at the right processing temperature. This is called overcrystallisation, and will result in a much thicker and stickier chocolate.if used in making your chocolate products, the results would be less glossy, the chocolate shell would be too thick, have dull spots all over, and have a foot of excess chocolate at the bottom.
How to remedy overcrystallised chocolate
Bringing overcrystallised chocolate to a workable condition is pretty simple. You just need to melt the excess cocoa butter crystals in it (e.g. with a heat gun), or add untempered melted chocolate to it in order to obtain the right amount of cocoa butter crystals again. As you do so, you’ll notice that your chocolate gradually becomes more fluid. That means it’s ready for processing again.