If you’re just starting out to make pralines, you may not have the fancy equipment to speed up the chocolate dipping process. But no worries! In this article, we’re covering what you need to know when dipping chocolate and the 2 techniques you can master to create the perfect pralines.
3 Tips Before YOu Dip your pralines
Before we get to the chocolate dipping techniques, here are some useful tips.
1. pick the right chocolate
Not all chocolates are created equal. For dipping purposes, it is best to use a type of chocolate called couverture. This type of chocolate has an excellent fluidity thanks to its high cocoa butter content, making it easier to create thin layers of chocolate for your pralines. Embassy Chocolate has a dedicated line of versatile couverture chocolate products for your needs. Check out our products here.
2. temper your chocolate
To create the perfect pralines, you will need to temper your chocolate after melting it down. This will ensure that you will get chocolate that’s easy to work with and gives you pralines with an evenly hard, shiny coating that has a satisfying “snap” when you bite into them.
3. use enough chocolate
Next, you need to make sure that you are using enough chocolate. As you dip your praline filling, you need your chocolate to have a consistent flow rate, so that they all set into a fine layer of chocolate. Otherwise, the chocolate will cool down too quickly, and you’ll need to start all over again. So, make sure to have a minimum of about 400 grams of chocolate ready.
Another way to prevent your chocolate from cooling too quickly is by keeping them in a melter or a heated vessel. This helps it stay at your preferred temperature for a long period of time.
2 chocolate dipping techniques you should know
There are 2 chocolate dipping techniques you can use. The first is the pulling technique, which creates a thin layer of chocolate. The other is the turning technique, which is a slight variation of the pulling method. This creates a thicker layer of chocolate.
Here are the tools you need for either technique:
A deep bowl or melter, preferably heated at the chocolate’s working temperature, to store your melted tempered chocolate
A tray lined with a plastic sheet, parchment paper, or Silpat
A clean dipping fork
A heat gun
Tissue or kitchen cloth
In both techniques, make sure to have your dipping fork clean at all times so you can easily slip the pralines onto the tray. After a few dips, heat the fork with a heat gun and clean off the chocolate sticking to the fork using tissue or kitchen cloth. Also, use gloves when dipping so the fillings are kept hygienic.
1. the pulling technique
Gently press the filling, bottom side down, into the melted chocolate until the top is level with the chocolate’s surface. Then, pull a thin layer of chocolate over the filling with the dipping fork.
Using the fork, lift the filling and then gently tap the fork against the chocolate surface repeatedly. The surface tension will pull the excess chocolate off the praline, thinning the layer of chocolate.
Clean the bottom of the fork against the edge of the bowl or melter, then release the chocolate-covered praline from the fork onto the tray. To prevent some “feet” from forming on the praline from excess chocolate, try to slide off the fork and have the praline remain on the tray.
Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for a few minutes. Putting them in the fridge right away will cool them too quickly, creating a greyish appearance. When the chocolate is dry to the touch, put them in a refrigerator at 18-20°C for about 30 minutes to let them fully crystallize. Then finally, store them in a fridge at 16-18°C.
2. the turning technique
Gently press the filling, bottom side up, into the melted chocolate until the top is level with the chocolate’s surface.
Then, press down on one side of the filling with the fork to make it turn the bottom side down.
The rest of the process is the same as the pulling technique, from lifting the filling and then gently tapping the fork against the chocolate surface repeatedly, to storing the pralines in the fridge.
And there you have it, 2 easy chocolate dipping techniques to create the perfect pralines. For more tips on working with chocolate, head to our blog. If you’re interested in our couverture chocolate products, visit our contact page to get in touch with our consultants.