The Essential Chocolatier

What is essential in the life of a chocolatier?  More than you would imagine. Unlike most kitchens, the temperature of a chocolate kitchen must remain at 68 degrees and have low humidty. This ensures a  working environment to consistently get the best chocolate temper.

Tempering is a method of heating and cooling chocolate in order to use it for coating, dipping, or molding.

Proper tempering gives chocolate a smooth and glossy finish. Tempered chocolate will have a crisp snap and won’t melt on your fingers as easily as improperly tempered chocolate.

Properly tempered chocolate is also great for molding candies because the candies will release out of the molds more easily and still retain a glossy finish.

In the chocolate kitchen, a tempering machine is critical.  While chocolate can be tempered by hand, a tempering machine will automate the process and take the guess work out.

Enrobing is essentially a mechanized form of hand-dipping. Think of a solid curtain of liquid chocolate covering up the centers. Most artisan chocolate shops do such a low volume, that it is more cost effective to take two or three hours and hand-dip a batch of chocolates than spend thousands of dollars just to save a few hours of time. Enrobing chocolate gives the pieces a very consistent look and maintains a high degree of quality as well.

What else will you find in a chocolate kitchen?  You will find lots and lots of block chocolate.  You will also find chocolate warmers, a packing station, a cooling cabinet/tunnel, racks, storage, and a bunch of every day utensils you may have in your own kitchen.

The kitchen may not look like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and you won’t find any Oompa Loompas running around either.  However, rest assured, your chocolatier takes great pride in the taste and presentation of each piece that is made.

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