Hi, I'm in the middle of making chocolate dipped pretzels. I (thought I) tempered the chocolate however it's been well over 30 min since I dipped the first pretzels and the chocolate is still wet. Did I do something wrong?? Thank you for your help!
Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.
Sadly, it sounds like your chocolate came out of temper. What temperatures did you use? You have to be very careful when warming it up not to go too high. Here's a handy guide: http://www.davidlebovitz.... If you don't mind a little bloom on the surface, you can put them in the refrigerator to set. They will get soft if you leave them at room temperature for a long time, but are still perfectly edible.
I made a point of not letting them get over 110 degrees. (Milk chocolate) And didn't start dipping until I had stirred the chocolate down to 90 degrees figuring that the chocolate would cool a little more by the time I dipped the pretzels. It's starting to dry, but is still soft. Did I let it get too hot?
And thank you very very much for the advice!
I wonder if my thermometer is the issue. I may have put it through the dishwasher. cough cough. Thank you for the link. He's AWESOME.
Milk chocolate can be more temperamental than dark chocolate when you're tempering (but its better than white chocolate). I'd recommend not going higher than 90 degrees. You can always do a test on the tip of a knife or metal spatula before dipping your pretzels. Just dip in the tip, tap off the excess and let it sit it three minutes. If it sets, your chocolate is tempered. If not, it's not tempered and should be cooled more/again. And you can test your thermometer in boiling water. If it does read 212, that may be the trouble.
Wow. 90! You say... Ok. Great idea re thermometer. Going to go test that now. Thank you.
Just checked thermometer. It's like 3 to 5 degrees off. Will that make a major difference? Gosh I feel so ignorant asking that question. Thank you again.
With chocolate three degrees can make a lot of difference. At least now you know how many degrees the thermometer is off and can adjust accordingly.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
I agree that 110 is a bit too hot, especially for milk chocolate. A perhaps safer method of calibrating your thermometer is to use icy (very icy) water. Water conducts cold more efficiently than ice alone. The thermometer should read 32 degrees. Hold it with tongs, as your body temp can throw the temp off. If it's off, use pliers to gently turn the nut underneath the head until it's aligned with 32 degrees. And if you use a digital unit, there should be a small screw you turn to adjust the temp to 32 degrees. Boiling water is relative to altitude, so if you live above sea level, water will boil at lower temperatures. Too, one of the conditions when thermometers should be recalibrated is immersion in anything hot. The other is being dropped. A third (in my kitchen) is if it's Monday morning. ;0)
Hey you two... thank you VERY much for your advice. Stephanie, I successfully tempered WHITE chocolate today. I was very very proud of myself!!! First time! That 90 degree advice was really perfect. I even made a point of turning the heat off once the temp hit about 87. Can't wait to try milk chocolate again. For the dark chocolate, I'm not going to let it get much over 100. Seems like there isn't much pay off for adding more heat. So as little heat as possible. Got it. Thank you thank you. The white chocolate covered gluten free pretzels are gorgeous. Thank you!!
Hooray! I'm glad to hear.
For the dark chocolate, I still wouldn't go higher that 90. Hopefully it works!
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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