I keep reading that "Cocoa Butter Silk Is an amazing leap forward in Chocolate Tempering" so i thought i should take a look, is it just like the commercial products Barry C make or is there more to it?
I found that It tempers almost every time, It cuts down the number of steps needed to temper so in turn makes tempering less complicated.
In essence silk is just pre tempered cocoa butter!.
Tempering is a process of making chocolate that sets your chocolate with the right type of crystals, Type V and traditionally we have used a marble slab or a tempering machine
The simple idea is if you have a lot of Type V crystals in your chocolate at the tempering stage you will end up with the beautiful snap and gloss people expect from well-tempered chocolate.
Where do these crystals come from?
Some arrive naturally in the heating and cooling phase of making chocolate but we cannot rely on them even the most experienced chocolatiers can struggle with perfect temperature control.
so, we need to seed the chocolate with a Type V crystal. This helps the tempering chocolate by creating a framework for other crystals to form on.
So Cocoa Butter Silk is just Type V crystals in the form of tempered Cocoa Butter. that we can add to melted chocolate to temper it.
Can we make our Own Silk?
yes, we can make our own or we can buy it ready made.
But lets make our Own Silk
We need: an incubator (Sous vide circulator will do)
Untempered cocoa butter
an accurate and precise incubator to make Silk. It needs to hold the cocoa butter at 33°C for approximately 24 hours and not vary by more than +/- 1°C best option for me is:
Circulating Sous Vide of your choice. good capacity.
A Sous Vide is nothing more than a water incubator. The thermal mass of the water bath makes it very stable.
Chop up your everyday, untempered cocoa butter and put it into a glass jars. The glass is to add weight so it sinks. Set the controller to 33°C Put your chopped up cocoa butter in the water bath and come back 12-24 hours later to Silk.
Note how it is opaque and thick. Melted cocoa butter is clear. That opaqueness and mayonnaise like texture at the right temperature (33.5°C ) is the sign of successful Silk.
Tempering or pre-crystallizing chocolate couverture using cocoa butter silk
You will need 1% of cocoa butter silk. to pre-crystallize or temper the chocolate couverture. (every 1 kg of chocolate couverture you will add 1% 10 gram cocoa butter silk)
Melt the chocolate to 46°C over a very low simmering water bath (Bain Marie) or overnight in a chocolate melter.
Let the chocolate cool to 35°C for dark chocolate and 33.5°C for milk and white chocolate.
Immediately add 1% micro planed cocoa butter silk. Stir to dissolve the cocoa butter and homogenize the mass.
Allow the chocolate cool to 31.5°C for dark chocolate.
For white and milk chocolate allow the chocolate to cool to 29.5°C
- maintain chocolate at a working temperature of 31/32°C