Sunday, November 13, 2011

Marble Slab for Tempering Chocolate

Recently, Linda, a co-hostess in Blackfoot, Idaho, requested that I do a chocolate demonstration as a surprise for her co-hostesses and guests.  Ordinarily, this is not something that is part of a Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P. tasting party... but Linda was charming, and she and Nancy and Shiela were working hard together to make this a fabulous holiday party for their friends, so I agreed.

She requested White Chocolate Bark with Peppermint and Dark Chocolate Drizzle from the "Lindt Chocolate Passion" cookbook.  As shown in the promo photo below on the left side of the hot chocolate.
Beautiful, isn't it?  (It's very tasty, too - and I'm not much of a peppermint fan!)  It's a three ingredient recipe.  Four bars of Lindt Swiss Classic White Chocolate, chopped; one cup of Star mints (individually wrapped red & white peppermints), crushed; and 1/2 bar Lindt Bittersweet Chocolate.  Sounds easy enough, right?  I thought so too, until I read the first bullet point under Method, which reads:
"Temper the chocolate according to the instructions on pages 40-43."  (Ought Oh!)

I quickly realized that
     1.  I have never tempered chocolate before, and
     B. I was going to need a marble slab in order to do this the traditional way.

So, I went to work researching the internet.  I had always wanted a marble slab as I knew they were a fabulous piece of kitchen equipment for pastry, candy making, and now, tempering chocolate.  I also knew they were expensive.  Sure enough, my research presented me with options ranging from $55 to $300, and that was without shipping!  (Have you ever picked up a marble slab before?  Can you say huff and puff?)  Sizes of these "marble pastry boards" ranged from 12"x12" to 18"x20".

My brilliant hubby to the rescue!  He took me for a little ride to Idaho Granite and Stone where I (sheepishly) asked Katie if anyone ever came in asking about smaller pieces for candy making.  She put me at ease immediately.  Katie says it's common for people to ask, especially as the holidays approach.  Anticipating people like me, they had some pieces cut in advance!
So here is the lovely 20"x20" marble slab we chose!  The best part?  $20.00  She even gave the stone a spritz of sealant and supplied us with little rubber buttons to apply to the bottom.

The back of the stone had some rough fibers on it, which we scraped off with a heavy duty window razor scraper.  My husband, the tool perfectionist, took a little sandpaper to the edges and smoothed away the rough spots, then applied the rubber buttons.  (A friend suggested that felt discs work well also.)

When you go, tell Katie that the Lindt Lady sent you!

Idaho Granite & Stone
Katie Sivill, In-House Designer
3353 N. 25th E.
Idaho Falls, ID  83401
(208) 552-3225

PS.  The demonstration went very well, and guests were impressed when I packaged a few pieces in a cello bag and sent it home with them. :)

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