What does couverture chocolate mean. The definition couverture translates to 'covering' and refers to the finest professional quality chocolate. It is produced with a high percentage of cocoa butter and uses premium cacao beans. It melts smoothly, making it ideal for specialty candy making and molding. When tempered and cooled, it forms an elegant glossy finish. Chocolate chips, coins or disks (available from some specialty purveyors) are ideal for tempering, as they are all the same size and will therefore melt evenly. If you're using a block of chocolate; chop chocolate into even pieces that are no larger than half an inch square. Coating chocolate contains vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter and tempering is not required. However it does not have the same rich, complex flavor as high-quality chocolate. The perfect environment to store chocolate is around 60ºF/18ºC, with low humidity, and be stored out of direct sunlight, and away from any other foods or substances with strong odors that could be absorbed by the chocolate. Chocolate cups can also be stored in airtight container and refrigerated.
Tempering Process: the room temperature should be below 70ºF/21ºC prior working with chocolate. Melt no less than 2.2 lb./1kg of chocolate; a large amount is easier to work with. To melt chocolate, use a water-bath. Fill the bottom less than half of a saucepan with water, making sure the bottom of the top bowl doesn't touch the water. Bring the water to a simmer. Place the chocolate in the top bowl, and place over the simmering water, stirring chocolate frequently, until melted and smooth. Be aware that the worse enemies of chocolate are water and heat. Chocolate can be tempered indefinitely.
If using dark chocolate: Melt chocolate to 120/132ºF (50/55ºC) then lower temp to 82/84ºF (28/29ºC) and raise up to 89/90ºF (31/32ºC) for working.
If using milk chocolate: Melt chocolate to 113/122ºF (45/50ºC) then lower temp to 81ºF (27ºC) and raise up to 86/87ºF (30ºC) for working.
If using white chocolate: Melt chocolate to 113/122ºF (45/50ºC) then lower the temp to 79ºF (26ºC) and raise up to 82/83ºF (28ºC) for working.
Serve with chantilly, ice cream and seasonal fruits... Enjoy!