How do we temper small batches of chocolate by hand? By using the silk tempering method.
What is silk?! Its cocoa butter which has been heated to a certain temperate and when is added to melted chocolate it kick starts the cocoa butter crystallisation process which tempers chocolate with little to no fuss.
You don’t need to heat chocolate in the traditional temperature curve, all you need to do is melt it to one temperature.
There’s two different stages for silk tempering.
The first stage is making your silk. You can buy it, but it’s not readily available everywhere.
The easiest way to make silk is with a sous vide.
Step 1. Seal a small amount of cocoa butter either in a vac sealed bag or glass jar. You can use a ziplock bag. But the most important thing here is it must be watertight.
If any water gets into the cocoa butter it will not work.
Step 2. Heat you water to 33.5c (92.3f) and then add your watertight sealed cocoa butter to the water. It can be helpful to weigh it down with something heavy like a small hand weight.
Step 3. Let the cocoa butter sit in the warm water for 24 hours. It will then be a goopy consistency, like thick mayonnaise. You can use it straight away, or what we do is let it set and then grate off what we need each time.
Tempering with silk
When tempering with silk you need 1% silk of the total weight of chocolate you’re tempering. For example for 1kg of chocolate you need 10g of grated silk. (Formula for calculation is [weight of chocolate] x [0.01] = silk required in grams)
Step 1. Grate the require amount of silk (1% total wight of the chocolate). We recommend using a microplane to get the silk as small as possible so it will melt easily and quickly.
Step 2. Melt your chocolate to around 34c (93.2f). This works for all chocolate types - dark, milk and white. You use the same melting temperature!
Step 3. When your chocolate is melted to the correct temperature mix in your pre-grated silk and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, so all the silk can melt.
Step 4. Pour your chocolate into what mould you’re using, chocolate bars or bonbons!
You may need to experiment with the melting point of your chocolate, there are different thoughts on what it should be. We found it can be a little higher, up to 34.4c (93.9f), or a little cooler. We need it a little cooler for our coconut milk chocolate for example (it’s a pain to temper normally!) and use a melting temperature of 33.5c (92.3f) for this chocolate.
Don’t melt your silk as you will undo the work making it. It should melt right into your chocolate when mixed in.
Store your silk at room temperature and don’t let it get above 33c(91.4f) if you live somewhere warm.
This works for small and big amounts of chocolate!
You don’t have to worry about the traditional temperature curve of chocolate tempering. Just melt to the right temperature and mix in the silk!
As always, water is the enemy. No water in the making of your silk or tempering!!