Chocolate Designs by Sarah is crowdfunding to enable us to achieve the capital needed to expand and improve our operations. The funds gained will be spent on purchasing a chocolate tempering machine, undertake an allergens course, launch a sugar free range, and expand our current dairy free range.
About the project
The tempering machine will enable the business to expand the chocolate range and maintain and increase the quality of our products.
A chocolate tempering machine is a countertop electronic mixing and heating pan or appliance that is designed to take all the guesswork and manual labor out of tempering chocolate. It heats the chocolate to the correct temperature while constantly mixing it, allowing special crystalline shapes to form within the molecular structure. This gives the final product an attractive look and smooth taste.
Raw chocolate that is melted to make candy must be tempered to be crisp and smooth. If not tempered, chocolate dries to a very dull, unattractive and uneven color, streaked with gray. Moreover, it will be chalky and feel grainy on the tongue.
A chocolate tempering machine solves this problem by automating a process that causes the molecular crystals of the chocolate to take on a specific uniform structure, called a Beta V form. It heats the chocolate to a very precise temperature, then cools it slightly before reheating it, all while mixing the chocolate in a regulated manner. The combination of heating to the exact temperature — which is different for semi-sweet chocolate, milk, and white chocolate — and mixing just the right amount, causes the proper crystals to form.
A computer-controlled appliance can keep chocolate in the tempered, melted stage for hours at a time, allowing a chocolatier to make candies without tending to the tempering process itself. When the chocolate cools, it will be even colored, shiny, and crisp, yet will melt to a smooth, creamy consistency on the tongue.
To temper chocolate without a machine, a cook must use a double boiler, a candy thermometer that can register temperatures as low as 82.4°F (28°C), and a rubber spatula. Even tiny variations in the temperature of the chocolate will spoil the outcome, however, and over-mixing will cause the fats to separate, while under-mixing will prevent the Beta V crystals from forming. Even if the chocolate is tempered successfully, the chocolatier must keep moving it on and off the heat to keep it tempered, all while making the candy at the same time.
People who have made homemade chocolates without a chocolate tempering machine will likely appreciate the work this appliance does and how they are left free to enjoy the candy-making process.
The allergens course will ensure the business is completely compliant with the relevant allergen specifications and achieve a trained status. Expanding and launching our dairy free and sugar free range will enable the business to be more accessible to those with specific dietary requirements and provide a product that is within their necessities, but also that tastes delicious.
All of the above will enable the business to continue to grow, expand and evolve as the months and years progress, with the eventual goal to be stocking shops and markets.
Here are a few reviews about our products:
- Holy smokes batman, just demolished half of my breaker bar and it is utterly delicious. The chocolate is so rich and creamy, and so soft! I expected to have to really bite into it, but it melts in the mouth. It's absolutely gorgeous! Highly recommended!!
- My little boys face lit up when he saw the chocolate cupcake! When he saw all the sweets inside he shouted Wow!!!! Such a great present :-) We couldn't believe how many sweets would fit inside! Yummy tasting chocolate too. Thank you Sarah x
- I picked up a chocolate cupcake as Sarah was let down on a previous order. So I bought it last minute and decided to give it as a present for my son’s teacher at the end of last term. The teacher's thought it was lovely as very tasty. They shared the buttons that were inside with the children in the class :) thank you.
- Sarah went out of her way to provide me with some gorgeous dairy free choccys for my little munchkins! They arrived perfectly packaged and will be a hit with my chocolate loving babies! Such a lovely lady to work with and would highly recommend her!
- Beautiful chocolates, had a couple of orders now and both were great. Highly recommended :) xx
Sarah Beth Plant has been a chocoholic all her life, and it was a natural progression to make and share chocolate with chocoholics everywhere. Sarah most enjoys formulating new designs and flavours to expand the range of chocolates offered. Sarah has undertaken a number of courses and is constantly learning about the industry and ingredients to ensure a consistently high quality product.
Q: Why don't you already have a tempering machine?
A: We don't currently have a tempering machine at present due to lack of capital, but our products are still high quality, it would just be improved with a tempering machine.
Q: How long do your chocolates keep?
A: Most of our chocolates currently keep for a week. Due to the lack of the tempering machine, the chocolate eventually goes chalky and grainy. This will change and extend to at least a month shelf life if I am able to purchase the tempering machine.
Q: What benefit will there be in taking an allergen course?
A: There are 1.92 million people in the UK with a food allergy of some kind. Investing in allergen awareness training will guarantee that we get to know the top 14 allergens, the sort of reactions they can cause and how to prevent cross contamination when preparing and serving food.