Tempering chocolate with a table-top machine can be tricky until you learn and master the process. After learning the process, you will be able to produce more finished chocolates and use a double boiler. Table-top chocolate tempering machine doesn’t often work like a fully automated chocolate tempering machine; instead, as a semi-automatic machine that can assist you in making chocolates. Even huge chocolate factories use a table-top tempering machine in their research room to study the chocolate they developed.
What to Keep in Mind Before Using the Machine
When tempering chocolate, ensure the chocolate’s temperature does not dry to the crystallization phase. This is because small non-industrial tempering machines don’t have the motor or paddle robustness to temper properly. An automated tempering machine can produce stable cocoa butter crystals with a freon cooled kettle or a water jacket. The air-cooled versions that have fans will work; however, do not seem to work as well.
Moreover, another reason not to drop the machine temperature all the way down to the cocoa butter crystallization because it will take too much of your time and burn the production schedule down while the small machine tries to properly crystallize the cocoa butter into a more stable situation.
How to Use the Table-top Tempering Machine
As you start working on your chocolate using the table-top machine, let the machine spin one or two minutes at the 87F before you work. This makes sure the entire melted mass is in temper. Ensure the melted side does not have any unmelted pieces floating in it. If you have to ensure fluidity or a constant temper, add small amounts of unmelted wafers to the side without melted chocolate.
In general, the table-top tempering machine does not work so great in terms of tempering in a fully automated way. This is partly because of how it heats with a light bulb. The machine could heat unevenly so they should only be used to assist your own tempering methods.
Chocolates are generally easy to temper. Small tempering machines can be an issue for chocolate tempering when filled to full capacity. If you come across problems with your small table-top machine, it may have to do with the thermometer, the bowl being unevenly heated or left over unmelted chunks in the mass while being brought back to working temperature. It is imperative to ensure there is no water or especially cold portions such as ice touching the bowl or the chocolate.