Enrobing of a confectionery center with chocolate
Enrobing is a specific term as it consists in the application of a thick layer of fluid chocolate on a core product and controlling its setting to achieve a uniform thickness. It is a ubiquitous process that requires mastering the chocolate preparation depending of the composition: simply melting and regular tempering.
Any product can potentially be enrobed with chocolate: a chocolate item itself, a biscuit, a cereal bar …
The sole and only ingredient is “a” chocolate mass. It is a mix of:
- Cocoa mass, issued from a fermented cocoa beans, composed of:
- Cocoa solids
- Cocoa butter
- Other additions to change its taste such as:
- Milk powder and fat
- Vegetable fats
The definitions of the diverse types of chocolate is strictly regulated to prevent frauds.
How does it work?
A chocolate must generally undergo a process which will allow it to set in a partly crystallized form. This lends its crispiness or snap to the material.
This carefully controlled process called tempering runs as follows:
- Melting of the chocolate mass to obtain a fluid mass;
- Cooling to crystallize partially the different fat types composing the cocoa butter;
- Reheating to melt back the most fragile fat crystals.
The chocolate mass is then composed of melted and crystallized parts in a given proportion which will initiates the appropriate setting when cooled. After enrobing, the product is cooled progressively in a long tunnel. It is a continuous operation in industry.
The enrobing operation run as follows:
Tempering of the chocolate mass
Application by dribbling
Removing the excess chcolate
Cooling for proper crystalization
The enrobing machine is made of:
- A mesh conveyor
- A device receiving the melted chocolate and forming a falling curtain across the conveyor
- A recovery tray
The enrober is coupled with a tempering system which constantly recycles the chocolate and processes it through the above-described heating-cooling-heating cycles.
Temperature is carefully controlled throughout the whole tempering and enrobing processes.
Note that a similar enrobing process applies to a range of products other than sweet, with the application of another substance having similarity with chocolate : fondant on bakery, emulsion on fruit skin for preservation, wax on cheese …
The typical aspect of an enrober.
How do you measure your success?
Key quality features
Chocolate is a demanding referee
Perfectly set chocolate is glossy
The hard shell gives a crunchy feeling, termed “snap”
Over time, the surface retains its gloss and shows no marble effect called “blooming”
Key quality parameters
The process displays critical factors to control
The proportion of cocoa butter (and occasionally vegetable fats) influences the tempering process
Temperature plays an important role throughout the process from tempering (crystallization), dribbling (viscosity), cooling, handling and delivery
Air moisture and temperature affect the result