EZtemper is used to produce a stable form of cocoa butter crystals (seed) that can be used to pre-crystallize, i.e., temper:
bean to bar cocoa mass
coloured cocoa butter
chocolate and chocolate/nut spreads
We call this stable form of cocoa butter crystal seeds produced by EZtemper "silk". A small quantity of EZtemper silk can be used to pre-crystallize chocolate, ganaches and other mixtures that benefit from tempering.
Pre-crystallization of chocolate requires between 0.1 and 1% of the stable form of cocoa butter crystals (beta crystals or "Form V" crystals) in order to set up with the snap, shine and mouth feel associated with well tempered chocolate.
EZtemper will allow you to consistently provide those stable crystals and allow you to work with the chocolate at a higher temperature than usual to ensure increased fluidity and ease of use.
Unpacking and Setting Up the EZtemper
When your unit arrives remove it from its cardboard box and set it on a stable surface. Slip it out of its protective plastic.
Please note that the lid of this unit SWINGS. DO NOT LIFT IT or you may damage it!
Unlatch the silicone fastener, SWING open the lid and remove the following items: 2 stainless steel containers with lids A stainless steel rack A box containing an adapter and cord
Wash and thoroughly dry the stainless cocoa butter containers.
Place the rack inside the unit so it rests on the bottom. Swing the lid closed and fasten it with the silicone fastener.
The power cord attaches to the unit on the underside of the silicone collar on the side opposite to the strap fastener. Pressing down gently on the silicone collar as you insert the plug should lead to a smooth operation.
Once the cord is connected to the unit attach the other end of the cord to the adapter and then plug the adapter into a power outlet. Make sure all connections are secure.
To turn on your unit: Switch on both the fan switch and the power switch on the top of the unit. A light on the switches will indicate that they are on if power is getting to the unit.
Place a quantity of good quality cocoa butter from a reliable source in one or both of the stainless container(s) supplied with the appliance and put the lid on the container(s). Each container will hold about 170 grams of cocoa butter depending on the cocoa butter format. You may need to chop the cocoa butter into smaller pieces before putting in the container.
If you anticipate requiring larger quantities of cocoa butter silk for your production - add cocoa butter to up to 6 similar sized stainless containers.
Unlatch the fastener, SWING open the lid and place the container(s) in the EZtemper. SWING the lid closed and fasten the latch . Make sure the unit is turned on.
It may take up to 12 hours for the cocoa butter to attain a silky consistency. When you think it is ready stir the mass to remove any lumps. When there are no more lumps in the cocoa butter and it has reached a silky consistency it is ready to be used.
12 hours is the approximate time needed for the cocoa butter to attain equilibrium in crystalline structure.
Once equilibrium has been reached and your cocoa butter is silky, it can remain in the powered-on unit indefinitely. (The unit consumes very little power.) This way you always have silk on hand and ready to use.
Adjusting the Temperature of your EZtemper
Cocoa butter will contain a critical percentage of form V crystals when it is between 33 and 34º C. The EZtemper is shipped with a factory set temperature of 33.5 C, an ideal setting for most commercial cocoa butter.
However, it may sometimes be necessary to adjust this factory-set temperature. Cocoa butter from different sources may have different characteristics.
If after 12 hours any lumps have not softened and the cocoa butter has not reached a silky consistency you may need to adjust this temperature UPWARDS by 0.1-0.2°C. If on the other hand, your cocoa butter silk seems too fluid (noted by melting on the cocoa butter surface) - you may wish to DECREASE the temperature by 0.1-0.2°C.
To adjust the factory-set temperature:
On the lid you will see a button marked SET and arrows pointing LEFT, DOWN and UP.
Press the SET button once and you will see [SP] appear on the top display. Use the up and down arrows to choose the temperature you wish between 33.0 and 34.0 C. Press the SET button a second time and you will see [Sŗ] - this is a timer function that should remain at 00.00. Press the SET button a third time to apply your settings.
If you accidentally set the timer an alarm will sound when the time is reached - the unit has been programmed NOT TO SHUT OFF should that happen. To stop the alarm simply press the SET button twice and use the down arrow to return the unit to 00.00. When you press the SET button a third time your new settings will be applied.
Start with an adjustment of 0.1º C degrees initially. Check cocoa butter silk texture 4 hours after each adjustment.
Adjusting the EZtemper
Help! My cocoa butter is still lumpy.
Cocoa butter from different sources may have different characteristics.
If after 12 hours any lumps have not softened and the cocoa butter has not reached a silky consistency you may need to adjust this temperature.
Start with an increase of 0.1º C degrees initially. Check cocoa butter silk texture 4 hours after each adjustment.
Some people have reported cocoa butter that continues to have small crystalline chunks in it even after raising the temperature. We have confirmed that this is due to cocoa butter that has been sitting around long enough for the form V to convert to form VI crystals. Simply melt the cocoa butter and cool to room temperature until solid (this may require 12 or more hours). Return cocoa butter to unit and proceed as before. Note: do not cool in the fridge or freezer when doing this - you may bypass the creation of form IV and form V crystals so your cocoa butter will simply melt when put back in the EZtemper.
Help! My cocoa butter is too runny.
If your cocoa butter silk seems too fluid (noted by melting on the cocoa butter surface) - you may wish to decrease the temperature by 0.1-0.2º C. Once the silk is too fluid however it will not become more firm inside the EZtemper when you have decreased the temperature. You will need to remove it, let it completely firm up at room temperature and return it to the machine.
If cocoa butter is completely melting you may have cocoa butter that contains non-cocoa butter fats. Palm oil and other non cocoa butter fats are liquid between 33 and 34ºC. Replace with cocoa butter from a reliable source. If you are certain of the purity of your cocoa butter and it is still melting - turn the EZtemper down to 32.0, put in fresh cocoa butter and after 12 hours gradually creep it up until you reach the correct consistency. Consistency is more important than actual temperature.
If the fan somehow has been turned off or the lid remains partially open then the cocoa butter can melt - if this occurs - remove from the unit, cool until solid at room temperature, then place the container back in the unit.
Bring the product you wish to pre-crystallize to a temperature between 28 and 33.5°C, depending on the application, before adding the required amount of silk. Cocoa mass, chocolate, or coloured cocoa butter should be between 32 and 33.5º C, whereas ganache, meltaway or gianduja can be closer to 28º C. **Note: it is not necessary to heat the product to 45° C and then bring back down - just get it melted and at 33.5° C**
Since you are introducing the stable form of cocoa butter crystalsyou need only wait a minute or so before using your product.
If used to pre-crystallize melted chocolate, the chocolate will remain in temper for as long as the chocolate is not overheated. As it cools you can reheat to the initial temperature without throwing your chocolate out of temper. It will over crystallize as time goes on and you will find that you can push your temperatures higher - up to 34.5 for dark chocolate.
Extracting Cocoa Butter
Two ingredient bean to bar manufacturers don't want to add 'foreign' cocoa butter to their chocolate - have a look at the video to see how you can extract the cocoa butter from your own chocolate liquor to use in the EZtemper.
EZtemper Care & Maintenance
The EZtemper unit is easy to maintain and clean.
The unit should not be immersed. Spills can be simply wiped with a damp soapy cloth. It is not unusual for cocoa butter crystals to form a film on the black silicone parts of the appliance. This may require wiping on occasion with a warm soapy cloth.
The stainless grid at the bottom of the unit and stainless steel containers may be safely cleaned in the dishwasher. Be sure to rinse and completely dry all components before next use.