Tempering chocolate, what can I say? The whole candy making thing is a mixed bag, you know? So challenging, so satisfying, so much better made at home. I don't know what this says about me but, I always try things the old fashioned way first. Like with making this chocolate coating. I saw an easy (practical) way, then I saw the traditional, candy-thermometer, stovetop, double-broiler way, and so naturally I thought, "Well since I own a candy thermometer, might as well use it, right?" Wrong. I burned chocolate, honestly a first for me. It turned into this crumbly mess and then I tried churning it (?). Why, you say? Sometimes these things work out for me, and I discover a completely new thing, and other days I'm the non-sensical weirdo churning crumbled chocolate in her kitchen. I told you it was a mixed bag. I. told. you.
Ok, so if you've read this blog before, you may know I like to nerd out on some things, chocolate is no exception. Like in this video where the science guy describes his chocolate as having a "satisfying sheen," and then goes on to share all that I never knew I wanted to know about the crystal structure of cocoa butter. Yes, yes please. So, here's the deal. You want your chocolate to form the stable beta crystals, so you can get it to harden, get crunchy, and have a higher melting point. So, I told you the stove top thing was an all out bust for me. So, I moved on to the microwave method with what was left of my chocolate/dignity.
So simple, so, so simple. Basically, take half the chocolate you need for your recipe, put it in your microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Still not melted? 30 more seconds. Stir. Take your unmelted chocolate and add it in to the melted chocolate, still stirring. That's it. Seriously, your chocolate will harden, and form the fancy beta crystals, and the melted chocolate bonds to the unmelted chocolate and the whole thing is like the world's easiest science experiment. Plus a total ego booster, especially if you've had any kitchen blunders recently, which of course, I have every faith that you haven't.
Here's what you'll need:
- Melt half of your chocolate chips in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix until smooth. They may need a bit more time. Just toss them back in the microwave, keeping a close eye on them.
- Once the chocolate chips have melted, mix in the unmelted chocolate chips and stir. Don't put them back in the microwave! It's going to mess up the beta crystals. If there are a few clumps, you're just going to have to live with it.
- Generously add your chocolate to your cookies. The chocolate hardens in about 15 minutes, so act fast.
- Sprinkle on the pistachios.
As you can see, I was pretty heavy handed with the chocolate. I think I've earned it at this point.
Hope you're all well this holiday season, and leave me a note if you made these. I'd love to hear how you did.
Merry Christmas, I hope you have all your own sweet disasters, new traditions, and everything your heart desires for the new year.