Afetr a good chocolate and suitable molds, we need of some technical details to make pralinas, or any other kind of shape as bar or sculpture or simple couverture. These indications, regarding the process of cocoa mass working, are very important to obtain a shiny and without defects chocolate.
The first phase is the chocolate melting by the ‘baigne-marie’ (see https://theobeans.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/bain-marie/), then it has to be temper.
At the temperature below of 104 F (=40 C) the bounds among sugars, cocoa butter and cocoa solid are broken. When temperature returns under 85 F (=30 C) they re-bind themselves to produce a chocolate with a perfect sheen. There are no differences in flavour but only in aspect, necessary when chocolate is used not only as an ingredient but also as the protagonist of the work of art.
Three are the possible methods to obtain this effect.
The first method is for working large quantity of chocolate and required tempering equipment that assure a costant melting point. The resulting product is ready to use in any moment.
The secon one is the so called ‘table method’. It’s used for small quantitis and homemade recipes. Chocoalte is melted at 104 F (=40 C), then from one third to half quantity is put on a marble or steel flat surface and worked by a ‘spatula’ till it starts to become harder. More speedly as possible it is put with the other part kept at the right temperature and melted togheter again. It has to be manteined between 86 F (=29 C) and 91 F (= 31C) to work with. If the temperature belows the whoole process has to be repeted to avoid the appearance of defects due to separation between cocoa butter and cocoa solid (they remain separeted when chocolate return solid with the typical wave of different colour, on the surface).
The third method is the ‘injection’ one. With this procedure small quantities of choppoed chocolate are added (=injected) to the melted mass so to maintein the whole product at the temperature of 89 F (=32C), and to use it for any creations.
It’s important in every method to have a digital thermometer, so to reveal the right temperature during the tempering process.