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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Temper, Temper, Chocolate!

When I was in junior high, my sister registered the two of us for a candy making class. When we arrived, they weren't going to let me stay because I was too young. Somehow my sister convinced them that I would be a good student. I guess I was because I don't remember any complaining after that.

It was an all day marathon of everything from fondant to molding to dipping chocolate. Everyone went home with a huge box of the candy we worked on all day. I got the hang of molds and dipping and rolling fondant. I was either too nervous around the hot candy to get the fondant making part or perhaps the instructors were too nervous to have me around it.

I never did get the hang of proper tempering. It has to be heated and cooled in a fairly precise manner. My last effort left the chocolate worse than before I started (and no, I didn't get water in it!) My most vivid memory of the day was the chocolate hardening on my fingers! (This was back in the day when you could touch food.) The room had to be cool to make chocolate and my fingers were so cold that the chocolate caked on them instead of melting off. Fine chocolate is supposed to melt at body temperature.

I still make candy every now and then. I mostly try to mix in things that disguise the poor tempering. I was reminded of this class by O Wise Sister in her discussion of chocolate for the buckeyes a few days ago. I wish she lived close enough so we could have another candy marathon!

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