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Covered in chocolate

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I'm making chocolate covered pretzels with either semi- or dark chocolate. Should I use unsalted or salted pretzels? I want to avoid the rods or the super thin twisted ones. Would the butter or sourdough Snyder's work? Or should I stick w/mini's?

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  1. sourdough & chocolate doesn't sound like a great combination to me. but *definitely* use salted pretzels - it will be a terrific contrast to the sugar in the chocolate, and that crunch from the salt crystals is always a nice textural addition. i'm going back a while because i haven't been able to eat pretzels for years (boo) but the butter-flavor ones always had an odd texture to me. i'd stick with traditional for this.

    1. We used salted rods over Christmas to make candied pretzels. The unsalted will taste as if something's missing.

      1. Regular (not sourdough or butter) salted minis with either semi or bittersweet wil be great. Actually, I think semi sweet, like a 50%+- cacao range is better than too dark; nice to have a contrast between salty and sweet.

        1. Chocolate loves salt, surprisingly. However, I think you should make a small run first and see if they are overly salted.

          You could use the unsalted variety and salt them after the dip with Kosher.

          By the way, it will work best if you can temper the chocolate. If you can't do that, try to keep the temperature below about 110 degrees F as you melt the pretempered chocolate. Most bars are pretempered.

          15 Replies
          1. re: tonka11_99

            definitely going with the salted mini twists although i did read a creative idea on the board to dip the pb filled ones nuggets.

            since i can't get chocolate bark for melting, can i go w/chips and melt it at bursts in the microwave?

            1. re: superfinespot

              It depends. It'll work, it'll still taste good and most people won't notice if you don't temper the chocolate and melt the chips in the microwave (do it in short bursts and stir because they won't look melted but will once stirred). The best way to do it is to temper the chocolate but that's more time consuming and precise. You need the patience and a candy thermometer. It gives you a shiny, crisp coat that you see in good chocolate shops. So, it depends on what you want.

              1. re: chowser

                Don't you need to add a little butter to it? Don't know why I thought I remembered reading that somewhere.....

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  If you put butter in it, it will get shiny but not harden. You will have a genache.

                  When you bite into a chocolate bar and you hear that snap. That is the result of tempering. It aligns all the molecular Crystals so that the chocolate is hard and shiny and gives a good snap. It also has a higher melting point so it doesn't melt in your hands so easily.

                  1. re: tonka11_99

                    Adding cream would make ganache. I love that snap of tempered chocolate and it looks so pretty. I think I appreciate all the more since I discovered how much harder it is to get that.

                  2. re: Phurstluv

                    No, some people add shortening to it to get it shinier but that's not the same result as tempered chocolate.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Usually a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil is added to a bag of chocolate chips to thin out the chocolate only when used for drizzling. For dipping it's really not necessary.

                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                        Paula Deen added parafin to chocolate to get it to dry shiny and still a little hard. That trick was out of grammas trick book.

                        To actually temper you would have to go through this messy and time consuming process on a marble slab or own a tempering machine like mine.

                        Here is a link to it and I am posting a picture of one. I make a lot of chocolate truffles.

                        http://www.amazon.com/ChocoVision-C11...

                         
                        1. re: tonka11_99

                          Here's a link on chocolate tempering info from one of your favorite websites:

                          http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar...

                          Here's another link using the MW for a shortcut tempering procedure:

                          http://candy.about.com/od/workingwith...

                          What do you do with chocolate to justify owning a tempering machine? Serious inquiry.

                          I've never dipped truffles in chocolate, just rolled them in cocoa powder. I've tempered chocolate for dipping other things though, strawberries, chocolate for candy molds, dried fruits, cookies, graham crackers, marshmallows, caramels, etc.

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            Somehow, I got started making truffles and trying to dip them in chocolate with varying degrees of success. Good belgian chocolate is expensive. To lower the cost, I started making batches of them and selling them at my wifes work and some at mine.

                            I make 24 dozen 3-4 times a year. That is enough production to justify buying Callebaut chocolate in 11 pound bars. The price is a lot cheaper then.

                            Anyway, I tried candy melts and "summer coatings for dip but they clearly weren't chocolate and it was a shame to dip Callebaut in a lesser coating.

                            One year Santa Clause (My Wife) caught a revolation 2 on sale for about $350 and got it for me.

                            The truffles I sell pay for the chocolate I use so my little hobby doesn't cost me much except for the one time investment of the tempering machine.

                            1. re: tonka11_99

                              That would be so convenient. It's hard trying to maintain the chocolate temperature when dipping large batches with the other methods (I've settled on seeding). Your solution sounds like a win-win with the machine and selling some.

                              1. re: chowser

                                It only has a capacity for 1.5 lbs of chocolate but it only takes about 20 minutes or so and the machine will maintain the temperature to within .1 degree F.

                                1. re: tonka11_99

                                  Do you know this website for purchasing chocolate?

                                  http://www.chocosphere.com

                                  Callebaut in 11 lb blocks, or smaller, and many more chocolate brands, and good prices, although I haven't checked on their shipping charges. Maybe another option for you.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    I buy from www.chocolatesource.com. They are a tiny bit cheaper.

                                    I haven't experimented with other brands. They are usually more expensive than callebaut and Jacques Torres really likes belgian so I use it.

                                    I don't see how anybody affords Vahlrona.

                                    1. re: tonka11_99

                                      Yes, they are a few dollars cheaper on the 11 lb blocks. Good to have another source, plus they're a lot closer to me than chocosphere. It seems the warm weather packaging option offered by chocolatesource is free, but the 2nd day charges are quite a bit more than chocosphere. The money you save on chocolate you spend on shipping. Just can't win.

                                      Valrhona cocoa powder is my favorite and yes, it's not cheap; I buy a 3 kg bag and split it with a friend of mine; It gives me enough cocoa for a year or more of baking.