I am, of course, about to embark on something I haven't done in many years. I'm going to temper lovely milk chocolate into a tasty candy bar. Creamy, sweet and crispy.
My five year anniversary with Matthew is tomorrow (March 1st!). I've been wanting to use my marble more, and I wanted to make him something special enough to put work into it, but not so ingredient dependent that I'd need to get cocoa butter, almonds and rice paper (although one day I will make nougat!).
Tempering chocolate isn't hard, and if I was someone who did this all the time it wouldn't take long. But since I'm a little out of practice, it's going to take some patience.
Thanks to my lovely fiance, I have my incredibly smooth, cool, cold retaining marble. The marbling method just feels special. Pouring a percentage of the melted chocolate on it, taking an off set and smoothing it out, and turning the chocolate into itself over and over, until it cools. Gently scraping it up and putting it back into the bowl and stirring stirring stirring. It's a little messy, at least for me.
Something about standing there, smoothing the chocolate over the marble was relaxing. I knew the method of tempering chocolate and I had proper equipment to get there.
The trick to melting chocolate well is to use bowl that fits into a small saucepan that allows for a lot of room between the water and the bowl. You use very low heat and chop the chocolate into small pieces without any large chunks. This allows the chocolate to melt evenly at a low tempreture. You do not want a lot of steam coming from the pot. The enemies of chocolate is direct heat and water. Both are equally bad and must be avoided at all costs. You don't want any moisture to get into the chocolate. There is nothing worse than burnt seized chocolate. It is unfixable and results in saddness and possible swearing.
It took some patience and lots of stirring, but I brought the temperature of the melted milk chocolate to 85 degrees. I poured some chocolate into a bowl to use for poprocks, and the rest for rice crispies.
It isn't anything special, you'd never find in a chocolate shop looking like this, but it's tasty and simple. I know Matt will be really happy with it and love that I made it for him. I just hope I can make it last to our actual anniversary and after that for more than a day.
|Marbling the chocolate to allow it to cool|
|Pop Rocks chocolate, nothing too special, but still interestingly fizzy|
|This demonstrates exactly why I am not a cake decorator. Piping skills are not my forte|
So Happy Early Anniversary Matthew dear! This time next year we'll be planning a wedding!