This post will be a little different to my regular posts but I’d like to explore and work with something new. Some of you might already know that a few years ago, I decided to quit my previous job in the advertising industry and to moved to Paris to work on my pastry diploma. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2016 and returning to Hong Kong where I spent roughly 2.5 years working at The Peninsula, I realized that making pastries in a professional setting is very, very different from making pastries at home.
Some of the things I struggled with and had to make a lot of compromises while trying to recreate things I learned from school and work at home include: 1. Not having enough refrigerator/freezer space 2. Working with a different oven 3. Having to make sure I have all the ingredients I need at home 4. Not having the professional tools and equipment for what I want to make (eg. marble countertop)
This is why while most videos and websites teach you to temper chocolate on a marble table or by using the seeding method, this post will teach you how to temper chocolate using hot and iced water baths.
I also make sure I have my hot water bath and iced water baths ready before starting. One thing to note is that you should never let your chocolate come in contact with water. This will pretty much make your chocolate not usable. However, people add water to chocolate in some situations when they want to make their chocolate thicker (eg. making chocolate decorations).
I used to think tempering chocolate at home is very time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. After switching to using the water baths to temper the chocolate, I realized it’s easier than what I imagined. It definitely took a few tries and took me some time to get used to this but I’m so happy that I can finally satisfy my cravings for hojicha chocolate bonbons now!
Here are a few points I want to point out again: – Chocolate temperature: (1) Over 50 degrees (2) Cool to 28-29 degrees (3) Warm to 31-32 degrees. – NEVER let your chocolate come in contact with water!
Have fun and feel free to share what flavors you made with me!