Tempering Chocolate

Given that our friends the Scripters are in town, I guess it’s about time that I finally get around to writing about the lesson Cheryl gave me in tempering chocolate when we saw them in New Orleans earlier this summer.  Cheryl is the proprietor of Bittersweet Confections, a fabulous New Orleans chocolatier and caterer.

She started by melting some very good chocolate in a double boiler.

She stirred this pretty constantly until the chocolate melted.

Once the chocolate was melted, she removed it from the heat.  If I remember correctly, it reached about 105 degrees.

Off the heat, she then added unmelted chocolate and began to incorporate it.

She continued to add unmelted chocolate a little at a time and incorporate it into the mixture.  It reminded me of mounting butter into a sauce.  She made it look easy, but I think there is a real art to this.

 Once the chocolate was fully tempered, we used it to dip strawberries.

The finished product!

We used what was left to make a chocolate bark that included strips of cayenne peppers freshly picked from their garden.  It was fantastic!  The combination of red pepper and chocolate is one of my absolute favorites.

No waste!

Thanks to Cheryl and Dave for a great dinner and a memorable evening.

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