Set up a bain marie, which is a pot of simmering water that is large enough to hold your bowl suspended over the water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. The bowl should also be large enough that water cannot push out of the sides of the pot and fall straight in the bowl. You are going to have to control the steam by lifting the bowl occasionally to release it, but condensing water shouldn’t be able to just fall in your bowl.
Set up an ice bath. Not just ice in a bowl. There needs to be water with the ice so that you get a nice cold bath for the bowl. The ice bath bowl needs to be larger than chocolate bowl and the water/ice level should be low enough that you aren’t going to flood your chocolate with ice water. There is no recovering from that.
Melt a critical mass of chocolate over the bain marie. I like to work with at least a pound of chocolate. If I will be dipping bonbons, then at least two pounds. Melt the chocolate to 120°F, then remove the bowl from the bain marie. Stir frequently.
Place the bowl in the ice bath and stir constantly. Remove the bowl from the ice bath every so often to just normalize the temperature and make sure it doesn’t just drop suddenly below 81°F. Once it hits 81°F it is technical in temper but you need to get it into the working range where it will remain in temper but be easier to work with.
Place the bowl back over the bain marie and gently heat it to between 88°F - 91°F, stirring constantly. I usually like to get it close to the top of the range so I have more time to work with it before I have to reheat it.
Test your chocolate!! Dip the tip of a pairing knife or metal spatula into the chocolate, tap off the excess and then let it sit. If it doesn’t start setting in a minute or two, it isn’t in temper. You have to start over by melting it down. I know, I know. The injustice of it all.
Let’s do this! If your chocolate passed the test, then it is time to mold chocolate, dip bonbons, enrobe chocolate or pour it out to make décor! The door to The World of Chocolate has just opened for you. Walk boldly through!
Keyword chocolate, chocolate decorations, how to make chocolate decor
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