Tempering chocolate on the fly

Learning how to temper chocolate for chocolate coated strawberries at 8:00 pm. on Valentine’s Day may not seem to be the ideal time, but strangely it all worked out.

I was shown the shortcut Alton Brown method of tempering chocolate, which amazingly doesn’t involve using a thermometer, or a water bath.

Basically you melt some chocolate in a microwave until it’s hot but not scalding, add some extra shavings and stir until it cools enough to ribbon.  Then heat back up a little on the stove until it can coat something, say, a strawberry. 

Even though this was the first time I did it it came out and the chocolate hardened on the strawberry, which was pretty cool.

I remember in Baking II asking the instructor if we were going to learn how to temper chocolate and his response was that he thought it was too difficult for our class to learn.  That kind of pissed me off at the time, and based on my learning it in the middle of service last night proves just how easy it really is.

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