I first became involved in the Chocolate world in 2004. My partner and I started a business with a third party who only used the seeding method of tempering. A short time later I was thrust into the role of Chocolatier by some business reorganization circumstances. Without a recipe or any training or experience, beyond watching the departed Chocolatier, I began making Truffles for the business. I began to research recipes and the concept of Chocolate Tempering on the internet, along with both education and equipment resources. The end result was my completion of the Ecole Chocolat, Chocolatier training and the purchase of a Chocovision Revolation 2 tempering machine in 2006.
Since the beginning, I have used this little machine in every aspect of our Artisanal Chocolate Truffle business.
I have used this same machine for the past five years, often for sixteen to eighteen hours of continuous operation, to produce coverture chocolate for between 800 and 1000 truffles per day. I pre-melt chocolate at a low temperature in the oven which can be added to the tempered pool in the machine which reduces the need to run the full tempering cycle repeatedly throughout the production day. To insure that the pool of melted chocolate remains in correct temper, I do seed with good quality tempered chocolate pieces occasionally throughout the production day. However the machine never is turned off once I start a production day. I make extensive use of the pause function which stops the bowl turning for 90 seconds and allows me to dip between four and six truffle centers at a time.
One of the features I find particularly useful in this machine is the LED temperature readout and the one degree temperature adjustment function. I find that the viscosity of the melted chocolate pool varies throughout the day as chocolate is used and added to the pool. The temperature adjustment allows me to maintain a consistent coating thickness as the production run progresses. This machine uses forced air to heat and cool the chocolate rather than light bulbs or a water bath. This method allows for quick and accurate temperature adjustments.
Using the process described above I have successfully used this machine, which is rated at only one and a half pounds per batch, to temper and use between eighteen and twenty five pounds of coverture per day. My truffle centers are an average of five eights ounce each and the finished truffle is one ounce. My daily production from this tiny machine runs between fifty and sixty three pounds per day.
I especially appreciate the ease of assembly for this machine. There are only four removable parts which go together very simply to begin tempering. There is a stainless steel bowl, the baffle and scraper and the baffle clip which keeps chocolate chunks from climbing out of the melting side of the bowl. With this simple design it is easy and practical (the additional parts are not expensive) to keep separate assemblies ready with either additional melted chocolate of the same type being used or to switch out from dark to milk or white covertures without losing valuable production time. The ease of changing bowls is especially valuable when making molded product which may involve different types of coverture. I also find the preset tempering cycles for dark, white and milk chocolate valuable and convenient. The machine is very precise in holding the temperature setting and it maintains the set temperature within two tenths of a degree. Additionally the work surface space requirement is very small at only one square foot. I easily place one full sheet pan of centers on one side of the machine and the finished dipped truffles on the opposite side.
This machine most certainly was not designed for the work load I have given to it. The case design is smooth molded plastic which is easy to clean with a dry cloth while the chocolate is still warm and the control panel is a smooth sealed surface.
The only complaints I have of this machine is that the heat has caused the plastic case inside the bowl cradle to deteriorate and the noise level is quite high for a small machine. The deterioration is not really the fault of the machine but my cruel over working of this small wonder. I have not had one moment of trouble with this little work horse. When it comes time, which will undoubtedly be soon, to upgrade my tempering machine, Chocovision will be my first choice. I am considering either the Revolation Delta or Revolation 3Z models, since I have no plans for an automated production line in my business.
When I started out I had no idea that my production would be so high in such a short time. My advice to anyone seriously considering the purchase of a tempering machine would be to overestimate the capacity you will require.