My Favorite Tempering Machine
When I was first interested in Chocolates, I met up with a couple who had closed their shop after 20 years. They had an order for Christmas and asked if I would help them. They brought over an 80 pound Hilliard’s tempering machine for me to use and I quickly got used to it and its little quirks. Things being what they were, I never got paid for this work….I made 60 three foot “nails” for a construction company friend of theirs.
But while this was going on, I became a big expert on what was tempered and what wasn’t. Hilliard’s tempering machines have a split bowl system. The chocolate callets are placed in the back and the bowl rotates. There is a temperature dial on the side which is set to the higher temperature to start tempering. When this temperature is reached one simply turns the dial to the lower temperature.
When I finally found a commercial kitchen, and after numerous phone calls to them to pick up the machine, I was told I could use it “for a while”. My business got going and I used the Hilliards for almost a year. It was a little slow, but served well while I was making smaller batches of truffles.
When they finally informed me that they were reclaiming it, I frantically looked at all outlets to find a replacement. I was very fortunate to find the bigger 240lb Hilliard tempering machine for sale in California. I headed there, with a promise to my sister to be able to spend time with her since she lived in California. I was leery going someplace I didn’t know to hand over $2500.00 for an unknown machine.
The people were lovely and told me they were selling all of their grandfather’s equipment. He had a very big hobby making chocolates. (Whether that was true or not, I’ll never know). The machine was turned on, it rotated and heated up well, and as we loaded this huge machine into my van, they also handed me some extra parts for the enrober!
Enrober! I was so excited realizing that I had just hit the jackpot of tempering machines.
Back home, I was a little hesitant adding my precious chocolate to this machine. I cleaned it thoroughly and then turned it on. I was so delighted at how fast the chocolate tempered and how much room I had for turning my molds over when I needed to empty them.
It was so much better than the 80 lb. machine, which I thought might have needed some work, after seeing how much better the large one operated.
I like the fact that you can keep chocolate tempered as long as needed, that the molds can be turned over to empty without spilling all over the edge. It has a stainless steel “counter” surrounding this huge bowl and it fits easily into a fairly small area, and it runs quietly on 110 electricity.
When I first used it, I used a thermometer to keep checking to make sure I was at the correct temperatures and was so delighted when the machine started cooling at the precise temperature it had been set.
I also liked the support that Hilliards gave me. I needed the night cover, and when I gave them my serial number, they also sent me a copy of the manual. Anytime I needed to call them, they answered promptly, were courteous and always did what they promised.
Some of the parts of the enrober were missing, but all I had to do was take a photo of what I had and they sent me a picture of what it should look like, what parts were missing and the cost.
Because I pay in my commercial kitchen by the hour, I try to make a full run of truffles when I need them. With this large Hilliards machine, I can do that, and do it in the most efficient time with the least amount of mess.
I can’t wait to buy another one.