Chocolate making is an art, and the process of making and managing chocolate can be unpredictable and difficult, which is why wholesale chocolate businesses are fixated on assuring that they deliver a quality product to those shops that sell the nation’s favourite delectable treat. |
The process that results in great chocolate is complex and it is well recognised that one of the most challenging steps in the creation of chocolate is tempering, as it involves a carefully monitored heating and cooling of the chocolate.
A Chocolate Sensation
When your customer has bought a bar of chocolate, what do they expect to taste, smell and feel when they break the bar and place it in their mouth? Most wholesale chocolate suppliers hope that every customer at the end of the purchasing line feels only positive sensations. From the delicate snap of the piece from the bar to the smooth and rich soft texture gracing the tongue, eating chocolate should be unforgettable, familiar and comforting.
Chocolate produces the sensation it does because of the tempering processing which is imperative in its creation. If tempering were not carried out when making chocolate it would not be the product we know and love. There would be no shine to its exterior and the texture would be rough and would not retain the firmness that is expected. It was clear to all successful businesses in the wholesale chocolate trade that tempering is the key to quality chocolate and that it has to be mastered if to be credible suppliers.
The Tempering Process
Tempering aims to create an appealing texture to chocolate, but it also helps make it firmer as well as giving that recognisable shiny appearance. To temper chocolate, you must first heat it very gently and then cool it. If you liken cocoa butter to a crystal, you begin to understand what is happening. The crystal particles of cocoa butter are moved around during the process and must achieve the correct alignment, must be of a similar size and must be neatly laid out if the ideal shiny, firm texture is to be achieved and the chocolate is to have that customary dull snap when you break it.
Small-scale chocolatiers may still use the traditional method of tempering their chocolate by melting it and then cooling it on a stone slab until it reaches the desired consistency, but it is not possible to do this in large wholesale chocolate businesses. Instead, a machine, known as a tempering machine is used. This machine heats, cools and heats again in order to create the perfect cocoa butter alignment and crystal formation.
When Tempering Goes Wrong
Wholesale chocolate providers are generally expert in recognising when chocolate is not in temper. But you can look out for the give away signs too. Out of temper chocolate is dull and often exhibits a speckled look. Instead of the delicious snap when you break a piece off, you get crumbling. This is simply because the crystals of cocoa butter are uneven in shape and size and are not in the correct organised alignment.
Buying chocolate from a trustworthy wholesale chocolate provider means that you can rely on correctly tempered chocolate. It is always useful, however, to be able to recognise the signs of a bad temper, just in case!
Angelina Moufftard works for HF Chocolates, a company selling high quality wholesale chocolate to the retail trade and others who wish to purchase wholesale quantities of chocolate and confectionery. Renowned since 1957, we've sourced the best suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and UK. Our great tasting and beautifully packaged products also represent excellent value for money.
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