I have recently discovered one of the most fascinating "cooking" books I have ever come across in many many many years: Jeff Potter´s compilation of recipes with some extremely interesting science behind it. This is Food Science for the masses.
Ok, now I have more respect , even so, to chocolate makers because they have created one of the most addictive foods in the whole world. And after reading Potter´s book now I can understand even better why some chocolate bars are to die for while others... well.... are crap.
.I want to sum up the highlights I found most interesting for food geeks. And to make food science a bit more fun, lets start with: Did you know...?
1- Tempering is not the same as melting: tempering the chocolate is actually melting the different fats present in cocoa butter.
|Photo taken from thecookinggeek.com|
2- Melted and Tempered chocolate should be kept between 31.5 and 32.5 C . Go higher or lower and your chocolate will turn into a big piece of (===)
3- Cocoa butter is made of 6 different types(or structures) of fats!
Each one melts at different temperature.
4- Each batch of cocoa butter will have different composition of fats.
5-When chocolate cools down and solidifies, if the fat crystals that form the structure are mostly of the following forms :
Fat crystals 1-4 = Crap chocolate (rough gritty chocolate)
Fat crystals: 5-6= Smooth chocolate
|Taken from http://chocolatealchemy.com|
5-Chocolate exposed to extreme temperatures will turn into crap chocolate. And this is why some chocolate makers have a break during summer time, as it is very difficult to keep temperature stable for good quality chocolate. Don´t Refrigerate!!! Only if it´s too hot in summer, but ensure that you wrap it well and inside airtight container.
6- Cocoa butter picks up the smell of whatever is around it. Careful with Onions, garlics and any other foods next to your chocolate. Some people like it though::
Japanese black garlic chocolates