I wish I had taken a picture. Scott and I finished a batch of chocolate, tempered it (or so we thought), and poured two pounds worth into our molds. It was a beautiful sight. To make it even more beautiful we sprinkled half of the bars with San Francisco Salt Co. Cyprus Flake Salt.
This salt is delectable! It forms in a pyramid shape and has a beautifully salty, but uniquely mild flavor. It’s quite expensive but worth every penny and it was the perfect complement to the nutty and mildly bitter chocolate we had just made.
As if on cue, I sprinkled the last of the salt on the bars when disaster struck. Every bar started to bloom! Within a matter of minutes, every bar looked like a marbled bloom of a mess. We temper and pour our chocolate after our kids go to bed because it’s a timed process and much easier without a two-year-old helping. We were tired and, now, very frustrated so we went to bed hoping that in the morning it would be magically all better. It wasn’t.
It’s important to note that chocolate can be re-tempered if it doesn’t work, but this chocolate was half salted and salty chocolate doesn’t sound too appealing. There’s a major difference between getting a blast of salt that fades as the chocolate and salt dissolve on your tongue and eating chocolate that has an underlying and uniform saltiness. The latter is not good.
Out of necessity, we decided to bite the bullet and re-temper the chocolate, salt and all. Of course, this didn’t happen until about two weeks later when Scott finally decided that untempered chocolate really isn’t worth eating and that the salt may not be too strong. Cross our fingers! I might also add that we still have no idea why the temper didn’t work the first time around. My personal thought is that it was late, we were tired and far too hasty and our temperature may not have been accurate.
The lighter specks on the surface and at the break are from the salt.
So, we melted down our chocolate, carefully watched the temperature, and once again tempered and repoured our chocolate. This time it worked but we still hadn’t tasted it and we definitely had our doubts. What we discovered is that due to the fact that the salt forms in relatively thick, pyramidal flakes it didn’t dissolve in the melted chocolate and we ended up with chocolate bars interspersed with bursts of salty goodness. We may never salt our chocolate on the surface again!
I’m so glad we persevered through our frustrations. We were so close to throwing in the towel on this batch and starting fresh. Fortunately, we didn’t and we ended up with an amazing batch of chocolate. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to winnow some more beans. I’m down to one bar.