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Use any dark chocolate of your choice but make sure it is a chocolate couverture (usually sold in pistoles or chips).
Melt the pistoles in the microwave, in periods of 30 seconds to make sure the chocolate does not burn. Combine with a rubber spatula at every interval.
I selected the Inaya dark chocolate couverture with 65% cocoa content.
The packet should feature the crystallization curve with 4 key temperatures. 1: Heat up to 45 or 50°C => melting temperature. 2: Let cool down to 28°C. 3: Heat up to 31-32°C => ideal use temperature. 4: 20°C => crystallization temperature The crystallization curve varies according to the type of chocolate.
Melt the chocolate. The temperature should reach between 45 and 50°C, making sure it doesn't exceed this.
At this stage, pour the chocolate on your workbench, ideally made from marble or granite.
Spread with a cranked metallic spatula. The temperature will gradually do down to 28°C as you work the chocolate on your workbench.
I recommend using a laser thermometer.
Use a cranked spatula as well as a chocolate spatula to work the chocolate. Scrape both tools to collect the chocolate stuck on the blades.
Continue working the chocolate with the spatula...
... while monitoring the temperature pretty much constantly.
Gather the chocolate in the centre while you work it with the spatula.
The temperature should go down to 28°C but not below.
Continue working, spreading and gathering the chocolate.
The chocolate is now at 28°C.
At this stage, heat the chocolate until the temperature reaches 31 and 32°C. You can do this using a bain-marie or a hot air gun for an easier operation directly on your surface.
Continue kneading the chocolate while keeping a close eye on the temperature.
The temperature should not exceed 32°C.
Gather the chocolate again...
... and stop when the chocolate is at 32°C.
Using both spatulas, transfer the chocolate into a bowl.
At this stage, the chocolate is tempered.
The chocolate should be maintained at this temperature the whole time you're using it. I recommend using a bain-marie, a dipping machine or a Caloribac to keep the chocolate warm.
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