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When heating chocolate you have to be careful to heat it to the correct temperature.Thanks to the sensitive nature of the coco butter it's super easy to burn or to have seize up.Cocoa butter melts at just about body temp - which is no surprise if you've ever held a chocolate bar in your hands- it starts to melt right away.
The tastiest treats are made of sweet, decadent chocolate.
But tempering and melting chocolate can scare even the most seasoned pastry chef.
If you don't get the temperature just right and keep it there - it can spell disaster.
But Enter the compound melting chocolate- the saving grace of many a home cook - myself included.
Where as semisweet and bittersweet melting chocolate which is typically found in baking chips and chocolate bars can be heated to a higher temperature--- milk chocolate and white chocolate heated to the same temp will either seize or burn.
When professional confectioners melt chocolate, they tend to use a candy thermometer, keeping the dark melting chocolate between 100°F - 120°F and milk melting chocolate or white choco at no higher than 115°F. no worries- you probably don't need the thermometer.
You have a built in thermometer - just stick your finger into the bowl of melted chocolate - it should feel no warmer than your skin - a nice 98.5 unless you're running a fever ;).
Compound chocolates are not made with pure coco butter -which you MUST temper.
Instead the compound melting chocolate still delivers the great melting chocolate taste but in most respects a superior melting chocolate because you don't have to temper it. Tempering is the process of heating chocolate to a specific temperature and holding at that temperature for a period of time.