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Volume II
May 31, 2006

Cracking Chocolate

I sell peanut butter balls covered with chocolate. They are called Buckeyes. Sometimes I put Buckeyes in the refrigerator to set. I notice they have tiny little marks on the surface after I set them out for a few days. I do use an open pan and a bowl to melt the chocolate. Could too much steam cause that or the sudden drop of the temperature?

Thank you and looking forward for your reply.

Tsui-Ling Colvin

Dan forwarded me your email about your Buckeyes.  What kind of chocolate are you using?  Is it molding chocolate or dipping chocolate?  When I melt Dipping chocolate I don't use a double boiler or put it around water at all because you are right, the steam can ruin your chocolate. 

The method I use is melting my chocolate in the oven.  I put my oven on Warm or the lowest setting (170) and set my chocolate in the warm oven.  It usually takes about 1 to 2 hours depending on how much chocolate I have to melt.  You don't want your chocolate to get too hot or it will burn.  Make sure you stir it about every 15 minutes. 

If you still are getting spots on your buckeyes it could be that your chocolate is too warm when you are dipping.  Chocolate should be cool to the touch.  Your buckeyes should set up within about 2-5 minutes after dipping them. You shouldn't need your fridge. You should never put dipping chocolate in the fridge.  The moisture will ruin your chocolate.  Also your room should be around 67 degrees.  This will make your chocolate set up faster.

Now if you are using molding chocolate forget all of the above rules.  You can melt this chocolate in the microwave and put your buckeyes in the fridge or freezer to set up.  I've never had any problem when I use molding chocolate.  I mostly use dipping because I think it tastes better even though its a little bit trickier to use.

I hope I have answered your questions.  Please let me know if you need anymore help.Annette Flygare


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