Last Updated on August 12, 2022
Tempering chocolate can be painful. But what if we told you there’s a shortcut? Knowing how to use Wilton paramount crystals will help with that!
Today, we will dive deeper into the science behind the process of tempering chocolate. This will help you better understand the many benefits that these paramount crystals give you! Now, you too can make beautifully tempered chocolate decorations effortlessly!
What Is Tempered Chocolate?
Knowing exactly how to use Wilton paramount crystals will make the entire tempering process a breeze. But first, what exactly is tempering chocolate?
This is an advanced technique used by chocolatiers and pastry chefs. It involves slowly heating and cooling melted chocolate to help stabilize it. Simultaneously, this technique also gives the chocolate a hard snap and a perfectly smooth glossy finish.
If you were to try the same coating or decorating techniques using regular melted chocolate (untempered chocolate), it would take forever to set, it will have a matt finish, and it will melt when you touch it. This chocolate also has less of a snap and more of a crunch to it.
Why tempering chocolate is difficult?
We learned how to temper chocolate from an actual chocolatier. And no, it wasn’t a brief overview. It was an actual professional full-time 4-week chocolatier course. And believe us when we say we had a lot of trouble learning this technique.
When you temper chocolate, the aim is to melt sugar crystals (when heating) and reset them into a more stable structure (while cooling). Unfortunately, this requires extremely specific temperatures for different types of chocolate. Miss the mark and you have to start all over again. Not to mention, when chocolate cools too much it becomes unworkable.
Furthermore, the external environment could make your life a lot more difficult. If there is too much moisture in the air or if it is too hot or cold, the chocolate will also have a difficult time tempering.
Tempering takes a lot of practice, patience, and determination. It isn’t something you will just pick up overnight. And even skilled chocolatiers will sometimes still have issues.
But, and it’s a big “but”, there is a way you can make the entire process less of a pain! It still requires some work and patience, but the chocolate is less likely to remain untempered.
What Are Wilton Paramount Crystals?
Wilton paramount crystals is an incredibly unique product. It’s a mixture of soy lecithin, citric acid, and partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil. What a mouthful! But bottom line is that it is a stabilized fatty product.
Now, while simply adding fat to melting chocolate already has a ton of benefits, the other accompanying ingredients in these crystals are what make them superior!
The citric acid acts as a preservative for the crystals. This gives them a longer and more stable shelf life. the soy lecithin on the other hand acts as an emulsifier (binding agent), antioxidant, and flavor preservative.
Paramount crystals have two main functions for tempering chocolate. The first is that it helps thin down the chocolate. And the second is that it helps give the chocolate a snap and glossy finish. Let’s take a look at each function in more depth.
Function 1: Thins down chocolate
One of the biggest problems you run into when tempering chocolate is that it thickens too much when it cools. This makes it unusable for coatings and making decorations. Ultimately, this forces you to start the laborious process all over again!
Because paramount crystals are oil-based, they help keep the chocolate in a runny and workable consistency for much longer before it sets.
Why not just remelt the chocolate? Because it takes a lot of time and effort.
By simply adding some Wilton paramount crystals, you help the chocolate from cooling too quickly, which in turn gives you more time to work with it.
Function 2: It gives the chocolate a glossy finish
There is nothing better-looking than shiny chocolate coatings with a silky smooth finish. Even better if they give you that hard snap when you bite into it!
Paramount crystals help give the chocolate these features even if it hasn’t been tempered. It makes your products look a lot more professional and generally neater.
How To Use Wilton Paramount Crystals
All these benefits from one simple addition? It cannot possibly be that easy? Well, it is! The crystals (which look more like discs) have been created in an easy-to-use way.
So, before diving into how to use Wilton paramount crystals, let’s look at ratios.
You can use 1 teaspoon of paramount crystals for every 2 cups of melted chocolate. Any less and the crystals won’t work as effectively. But, any more than that and eventually the chocolate won’t set at all (which is good for chocolate fountains).
Especially when making larger batches of tempered chocolate, don’t add too much at a time. Start with a smaller amount and work your way up from there.
Now, let’s have a look at a step-by-step guide for how to use Wilton paramount crystals.
Step 1: Melt your chocolate
Melt your chocolate until it is extremely smooth and runny in consistency. Don’t overheat it or seize it accidentally. Also, you shouldn’t allow it to cool once it reaches a very runny consistency.
Step 2: Add the Wilton paramount crystals
Sprinkle the crystals over the top of the melted warm chocolate. Then, gently mix them in. Keep mixing until they are completely dissolved and fully incorporated.
Step 3: Reheat if the chocolate starts thickening
As you are melting the crystals into the chocolate, the mixture will naturally start cooling and eventually thicken. Once it does become unworkable, reheat it over gentle heat to make it thin and workable.
Despite what many people initially think, how to use Wilton paramount crystals isn’t as scary or difficult! It has been created to give the chocolate a tempered look without having to go through all of the trouble!
If you still have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below! And, make sure to also let us know how your process went!
What are paramount crystals used for?
Paramount crystals are a product consisting of palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, and citric acid. This mixture helps thin down chocolate products while giving them a silky smooth finish, glossy look, and hard snap. And, they will also help keep your melted products runnier for longer. This gives you more time to work with them.
How do you use paramount crystals with Candy Melts?
First, you will need to melt the Candy melts until they reach a very runny consistency. Then, simply sprinkle the paramount crystals over the warm surface and gently fold them in. Keep mixing until they are completely melted and incorporated.
What do paramount crystals do to chocolate?
The main change these crystals give to chocolate is that they help keep the consistency workable (runny) for longer. Furthermore, it will give the melted chocolate a tempered look without you actually having to temper it.
Are beta crystals and Paramount crystals the same thing?
These two are not the same thing. Beta crystals are formed from cocoa butter and describe a stable crystal structure for tempered chocolate. It isn't a product you can buy or add. Instead, it is a crystal structure that you create during tempering.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.