For chocolate lovers, Valentine’s Day conjures images of heart-shaped boxes filled with delicious confections. I love chocolate as much as the next guy, and it got me thinking: can we temper chocolate in CVap®? What a fun experiment to play with!
I was thinking of a concept combining chocolate and maybe some fruit to create a tasty treat. I spoke briefly with my friend Rachel Sundet of State Park Food Drinks Amusements in Cambridge 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 would provide the control required, and I was right!
Utilizing the info at www.ecolecholat.com , I set our CVap Cook & Hold Oven with Constant Cook ON, Food Temp at 125, and 1 level Browning. I didn’t know how long it would take, so I set the timer for an hour. The chocolate that 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 away from the chocolate, and placed 1.5 lbs of chocolate in a sous vide bag that I vacuum sealed. The chocolate was placed in the CVap oven until it reached 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 cabinet was cooling down I stirred the tempered chocolate in the bowl just until smooth and returned it to the cooled 90°F cabinet.
With the vacuum-sealed chocolate, all I did was press lightly until the chocolate was evenly distributed and returned it to the cabinet.
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.
Now the moment of truth! 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!