For chocolate lovers, Valentine’s Day conjures visions of heart-shaped boxes filled with delicious confections. I love chocolate, and it got me thinking: can we temper chocolate in a CVap® Cook and Hold Oven? What a fun experiment to play with!
My plan was to combine chocolate and fruit to create a tasty treat. I spoke with my friend Rachel Sundet of State Park Food Drinks Amusements in Cambridge, Massachusetts and got a few tips about chocolate.
There are many ways to temper chocolate, some more involved than others. No matter which method you choose, precision temperature is of the utmost importance. Whether you use the classic stovetop or microwave method or even the unique method of using a sous-vide cooker, if the temperature is not right, the chocolate won’t be right. I learned terrific information about tempering chocolate from the folks at ecolechocolat.
I thought CVap Cook and Hold Ovens would provide the necessary control, and I was right!
Utilizing the info at www.ecolecholat.com , I set our CVap Cook and Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, Food Temp at 125, and 1 level Browning. Unsure how long it would take, I set the timer for an hour. The chocolate we used for this experiment was Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate.
I placed 3 lbs in a stainless bowl wrapped with plastic wrap to keep the water off the chocolate, and placed 1.5 lbs of chocolate in a vacuum-sealed sous vide bag. The chocolate was warmed in the CVap oven until reaching its critical temperature of 120°F. The chocolate actually reached its temp in 30 minutes, but I allowed an extra ten minutes, just to be safe. Once the chocolate was removed I set the cabinet at 90 +0.
While the oven was cooling down I stirred the tempered chocolate in the bowl just until smooth and returned it to the 90°F oven.
With the vacuum-sealed chocolate, I pressed lightly until the chocolate was evenly distributed and returned it to the oven.
Wait – I almost forgot the fruit! While the chocolate was in the first stage of tempering, I hot-marinated freshly sliced pineapple in the same cabinet, slow-poaching it in orange juice, sorghum molasses, and a dash of chipotle pepper.
Fresh strawberries were washed and dried and then dipped into the freshly tempered chocolate. Beautiful. I grilled the warm poached pineapple, topped it with the warm marinade, and chocolate-dipped strawberries, and then drizzled a bit more tempered chocolate to finish. What a sweet Valentine’s experiment indeed!