Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
Make sure this is nicely tempered chocolate. When the chocolate is bent it will audibly *snap*, also it will have a firm crunchy texture when eaten. Also a proper tempered chocolate will have a shiny finish rather than a matte finish. If the chocolate is soft or doesn’t have a clean break it will not work with the tempering method we are using.
The best place to find a tempered chocolate would be to look for chocolate in the baking aisle of a store. Also rather than just buying a bag of chips seek out the bars of chocolate from a reputable producer. Notable brands being Callebaut and Valrona. The reason why we need to do this is because this method is considered the “seed” method. You will need to “seed” with a piece of tempered chocolate to achieve the perfect structure for the chocolate.
Make sure the top pot of the double boiler is completely dry, water cannot be mixed with any of the chocolate.
Chop about 75% of the chocolate and save the larger piece for “seeding”.
In a double boiler over medium low heat, heat the chocolate gently until it reaches 115°F.
Add the large piece of chocolate and the liquid sunflower lecithin then remove from the heat. Continuously stir until the chocolate reaches 83-84°F. At this point remove any of the large pieces of seed chocolate that did not melt.
Place back over the double boiler and heat until it reaches 90°F. Hold at 90°F while using. This is the proper final temperature for the tempering process but it is also the perfect temperature for the culinary crystals. This will prevent them from popping due to excessive heat.
To coat the Culinary Crystals, place them in a dry bowl. Remember any moisture will cause the crystals to pop and seize the chocolate. So keeping everything as dry as possible is the best course of action.
Add some of the chocolate to the crystals. 2 oz of chocolate will lightly coat all of the crystals. 4 oz of chocolate will allow you to create clusters or thin sheets of chocolate that make for great garnishes. Anything above 4 oz will be good for making chocolate bars.
If you would like to flavor the crystals at this point you can do so by adding the flavor drops of your choice to the chocolate before mixing.
Spread the chocolate coated Culinary Crystals onto a non-stick mat and allow the chocolate to set.
Serve or store in a sealed container for up to a month.