On Thursday last week, a group of twenty-four Year 8 pupils had their first ‘Kitchen Chemistry’ of tempering chocolate in their After-School Club.
Tempering chocolate is an essential step for making smooth, glossy, evenly coloured coating for your dipped chocolates. Tempering prevents the dull greyish colour and waxy texture that happens when the cocoa fat separates out.
Pupils learned the characteristics of what makes good chocolate and then how the chemical structure of chocolate gives it these properties. Drawing upon their scientific knowledge from Year 7 and 8, they were able to discuss the importance of the particle arrangements in solids and liquids as well as what happens when a solid melts. These were instrumental in then putting all of their knowledge into practice when they were given a block of chocolate to temper into their own creationary chocolate bar.
They safely melted their chocolate bars over their own make-shift bain-marie, checking the temperature along the way, then adding in the additional chocolate to ensure that the correct chocolate crystals formed. After a brief reheating of the almost-liquid chocolate they chose which additions to include in their new shiny, snappy chocolate bar.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, they had to leave their chocolate overnight to then be able to see if they succeeded. Some were more successful than others, but most importantly, fun was had by all with an extra application of scientific knowledge.