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Topic: Sticky Chocolate!! Why???  (Read 571 times)
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Celene08
« on: August 30, 2008 08:10:44 PM »

 My sister and I have been doing little cupcakes recently, and we dipped them on white chocolate. Then, we cooled them on the freezer, or even at room temperature, but they don't seem to harden! It only stays sticky, and messy when you grab them.

Why is this happening? My boyfriend thinks that the chocolate is bad, and my mother thinks that it's because of the weather, there's to much humidity(since it's been raining the past days).

If anyone has an answer it will be greatly appreciated!!
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Mala
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008 08:49:12 AM »

did you temper the chocolate?  chocolate has to be tempered to be hard at room temperature.  tempering is the process of heating, cooling, and reheating chocolate to get all the crystals the right size and aligned right.  without tempering chocolate still tastes good but never sets up. 

if you are using chocolate bars, or chips, the easy way to temper is to melt 2/3 of your finely chopped chocolate either in a double boiler (be careful not to get any water in the chocolate!) or in the microwave.  white chocolate especially is quite delicate and prone to burning, so go VERY SLOWLY if you melt it with either of these methods (i have burned white chocolate on several occasions... not pretty). 

toss the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe container and nuke it for about 10 seconds, stir, and repeat.  it takes awhile but better take your time than burning it.  a double boiler just consists of a pan of about half an inch of slowly simering (simmering! not boiling! you want steam to melt the chocolate...) water with another stove top safe bowl (1st choice: metal mixing bowl) on top of it, in which you put your chocolate.  stir constantly with this method. 

when your chocolate is mostly melted with either of these methods, add the rest of the chocolate, but do not put it back in the microwave and take the bowl off the double boiler.  mix until the new chocolate is all melted.  if it's too thick, you can zap it again for 5 seconds until you get it to the right consistency, or put it back on the double boiler.  don't make it too hot again though, or you'll break the temper again and have to add more chocolate all over again.

there are better instructions for tempering chocolate all over the web.  do a google search and see what turns up.

an easier way to do this is to go to the craft store and find the melting chocolate.  they come in lots of colors, and are idea for someone who doesn't want to go through all the hassle of tempering.  there are additives in the chocolate (mixed blessing there i think) that will help keep the temper of the chocolate as long as you follow the instructions on the bag. 

good luck!
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Selnith
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008 08:53:15 AM »

i find that you don't get that problem if you just put the little bits of chocolate into a bowl, over another bowl of hot water and stir, that way the chocolate melts but doesn't get hot enough to risk breaking the temper or burning
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Cory Barton
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008 01:50:03 PM »

Yep, tempering is probably the issue. Chocolate is extremely finicky and likes to be very specific when you melt it down.

When you bite into a good quality bar of chocolate, it should be hard and with a nice shine and snap to it, melting after it starts warming up in your mouth. This is because the chocolate is already tempered, meaning that the crystals in the sugar and fat of the chocolate are set up in a certain form. When you melt chocolate, all the crystals that were already set up in it are all broken up, as the highest temperature they can last is 94F, just below body temperature.

To temper, you have to melt all the crystals in the chocolate down, raising the temperature above 94F, then allow it to cool down to 80F, then back up to 88F and keep it at that temperature while working with it. This chocolate will harden quickly, have great snap and shine, and generally be awesome chocolate =D

If you want, hah, I could go into all the technical stuff and describe the six forms of crystals that chocolate can form (form V is what you want, and what tempering will leave you mostly with, forms IV down all are crumbly, melty, soft, and generally not good)

You can buy coating chocolate, which does work well, but I prefer chocolate that isnt enhanced with chemically messed up vegetable fats =/
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"For the culture that tolerates shottyness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity and ignores excellence in plumbing because it is a humble activity. This is their fate. Neither their pipes nor its theories will hold water."
Celene08
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008 08:27:23 PM »

Thanks alot guys!!!! You've been really helpfull!!!! I'll try all your suggestions as soon as I can!!!! Thanks!!!!
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