Tempering Chocolate (Crystallization)

The process of tempering chocolate (also known as crystallization) is the alignment of stable cocoa butter crystals (Beta V) in melted chocolate, allowing those crystals to form, grow and set.

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Flexible Chocolate

This flexible chocolate recipe is from my dear friend John from Molecular Culinary Academy. The use of locust bean gum and kappa carageenan gives it a little bit of stretch and flexibility. I used it in the plated dessert shown above, created for a demo for the culinary program at Canadore College many years ago.

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“Aero”, Aerated Chocolate at Home

Who doesn’t love an Aero Bar, am I right? I’m not sure who came up with this technique… I first learned about it from John Placko many years ago when I was helping out with one of his modernist technique workshops. It’s a pretty easy technique: melt chocolate, thin it out, put it in an ISI, add nitrous oxide, dispense, and vacuum. But in order for you to do all those things, you need some equipment…

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“Snow”

Above is a dessert that Megan and I first plated together at Niagara College a number of years ago. We were still in the honeymoon phase of dating at the time, and Megan thought it was cool to tag along to these professional events. This plated dessert is composed of a flexible chocolate, mango and passion fruit fluid gels and meringue tear drops, tuiles, white chocolate “snow”, mango sorbet and some fresh herbs.

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Chocolate Equipment

When I started Shoko Chocolates with a couple of friends some time ago, it was on a budget. We didn’t have fancy tempering machines or even chocolate melters. With some bowls, spatulas, a microwave and some polycarbonate moulds, we were up and running. Below is a list that we’ve compiled about the tools required for different types of chocolate work. Note that these lists cover the absolute basics (this is just a fraction of the tools that you would find in a professional, production shop). Also, for the sake of brevity, we have omitted common items that you would typically find in the kitchen (scales, ladles, scissors, whisks, spatulas, etcetera).

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