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Tempering is the process of heating and cooling the chocolate in a controlled way. If you simply melted your chocolate instead of tempering it before processing, it would not yield the results that make an irresistibly appealing chocolate product. It would take a long time (hours even) to harden, and the chocolate shell would look dull, patchy (white patches from blooming) and melt easily. Moreover, your chocolate would be a bit rubbery, instead of having that delicious snap when you bite it, and would have poor contraction properties, causing it to unmould with difficulty.
They may look alike but there is a big difference between real Chocolate and compound chocolate. Chocolate in general is derived from the cocoa plant and consists of chocolate solids (cocoa mass) and cocoa butter, in addition to sugar and milk (for milk chocolate). In compound chocolates the chocolate solid is substituted with cocoa powder and the cocoa butter by vegetable fats. So basically if you find in the ingredients anything other than cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and milk (and an emulsifier), then it would definitely be a compound not a real chocolate. Since compound chocolates do not contain any cocoa butter, which is responsible for good sensory qualities such as gloss, snap and mouthfeel, they do not need to be tempered.
Ideally chocolate should be stored in a sealed bag/container in a cool dry place between 18˚- 21˚C with humidity levels below 55%. Chocolate should never be stored in the fridge since it could easily absorb odors of items in the refrigerator, and the condensation from the fridge will lead to “sugar bloom”, meaning discoloration and white patches on the chocolate. Although this does not affect the flavour but patchy chocolate is not appealing.
Overall, the difference between dairy cream and non-dairy cream is its fat content and taste. In dairy cream the fat comes from animal fats and in non-dairy cream from vegetable fats.
Using premixes in producing your desserts have several advantages over making them from scratch. Apart from reducing your preparation time significantly, with premixes the margin of error is minimal and the results are consistent. The storage factor is also beneficial since all your ingredients are premixed to scale in 1 bag.
The main difference between regular and baking/cooking chocolate is the sugar content in the chocolate. Although you can use any chocolate in your recipes, the high levels of sugar in sweeter chocolates such as milk, white and some dark chocolates with lower cocoa content will affect the sweetness in your recipe. Dark bitter chocolates are better to use in baking/cooking as you can control the sweetness and the avoid the risk of burning the sugar in the chocolates.
Although both methods melt the chocolate slowly, some Chefs prefer the Bain-Marie method for beginners or home cooks. However great care has to be taken as a tiny drop of water or moisture from the vapors can radically thicken the chocolate. On the other hand, electric melters eliminate the need for water and are much safer and precise in controlling the temperature.
As fresh fruits are available at different seasons and regions, availability throughout the year cannot be maintained. The quality of the fruits can also be jeopardized during transport. On the other hand frozen fruits are picked at peak ripeness and are immediately put through the freezing process. This freezing process helps preserve the vitamins, minerals and phytochemical content of the fruits which are made available throughout the year.
A ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream (and butter in some recipes). Depending on the ratio of the cream to chocolate it can be used as a filling for truffles, cakes and other pastries as well as a glazing.
Bake stable fruit fillings as the name indicates remain “stable” during cooking as they are able to withstand high temperatures in the oven. Regular jams however cannot withstand high baking temperatures and will start becoming unstable. Regular jams also consist of more water which can affect your baking process.
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