First, my hat off to Curiousbaker, whose clear and simple instructions not only gave me the courage to try tempering chocolate, but also worked very well! Thank you, Curiousbaker!
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My maiden attempt at tempered chocolate dipping was chocolate-dipped potato chips. I tried two kinds, Pringles Original (I think Nieman-Marcus' chocolate-covered chips use Pringle's) and TJ's Ridged chips. Chocolate: Guittard Semi-sweet chips. (I didn't want to risk my Valhrona bars.) I also tried dipping the Midnight Rum Balls (recipe can be found by searching Chowhound Home Cooking Board) in Schokinag white chocolate.
What I learned:
1. The chocolate coating was thicker than I'd like, especially on the very thin Pringles. I ended up spreading the chocolate on (rather than just dipping) the chips to get a thinner chocolate coating.
Question: Will a better quality chocolate give me a thinner melted chocolate?
2. TJ's Ridged Chips are not very good, for dipping or eating. The chips have a very high proportion of broken, irregularly-shaped, and folded-over chips. The chips also seem hard, rather than crisp, as if they were cooked over insufficient heat. On the other hand, since these chips were thicker and ridged, the heavy chocolate coating did not seem as overwheming as on the Pringles. Another band of ridged chips would probably be better. Next time I will try Callebaut on Lay's.
3. Dipping the Midnight Rum Balls in white chocolate was more difficult than anticipated. The rumballs, which were rather soft, kept falling off the dipping fork, and the melted chocolate would stick to the fork if I dipped the rumballs completely. So I ended up leaving a bald spot around the fork. When I brought these little treats to a dinner party, one friend, upon taking a look at the white-chocolate-coated rumballs, exclaimed, "Oh, eyeballs! But aren't we early for Halloween?"
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