Microwave Pure Chocolate Melting

partially melted an chopped

This is just a microwave melting procedure for pure chocolate block. I mean pure, no added ingredients like sugar, milk and lecithin. You may tweak this to suite tempering procedure. The kind of very strict heating and cooling procedure to achieve a shiny appearance and nice snap.

I have a tempering procedure of my own. Much simpler than any instructions found on net. I melt it up to 45°C or even higher. The two things I avoid are getting it scorched and boiled. Let it cool to room temperature without stirring and agitation. Then, stir for about ten minutes. Pour to clean chocolate molds and put in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden. Easy, though it took me several months to figure this out.

Get a microwave oven safe melting pot. A PP container of ceramic bowl. Be sure the chocolate block volume you are going to melt can only fill up to three quarters of container capacity.

pure chocolate block

Put the chocolate block in container and place it inside oven. No need break it to chunks. We’ll do it later. Set the oven to high and heat for two minutes.

partially melted an chopped

Take it out. It should be partially melted. Get a knife and break the non melted blocks to chunks. It should be very easy by now.

melted with few chunks

completely melted

Take the container back in oven and heat for another two minutes.

Stir to melt all the chocolate. It is now ready for whatever purpose you have in mind.

Excess Microwave Heat on PP Boxes

Polypropylene (PP) is microwave oven safe. It wouldn’t be used for microwave heating applications otherwise. It is resistant to corrosion and chemical leaching. Resilient to most physical damages, impact and freezing. If plastic box is marked as microwave oven safe, then, it is 99.9% PP, the plastic number 5.

If it is microwave oven safe and resistant to heat. Then, why the ketchup is leaving a mark on bottom of this PP lunchbox?

polypropylene box stained with ketchupMicrowave heating works only if the object inside the enclosure contains water molecules. No heat is produced if water is absent. A simple test to know whether a vessel is microwave oven safe or not is to half-fill it with water and heat it inside a microwave oven for few seconds. If the water is relatively hotter than vessel, then the latter is microwave oven safe.

Explaining it deeper. In convectional heating, heat is transferred from the source to metal vessel the to the food. Microwave heating works the other way around. Heat is only produced when microwave energy comes in contact with water molecule. Hot polypropylene box is a result of heat transferring from water to plastic material. PP can resist temperature up to 275 °F or 135 °C. Above, it may react to the food it contain. It melts at 175 °C.

If the microwave oven safe material is pushed to its limits. Then, it may not be called safe. Safe is only safe within its own limits.

Carl's Microwavable Pork Rind Chicharon

Cooking instructions:

1. Transfer pork rind/ chicharon pellets to the paper bag provided inside. * DO NOT USE OR INCLUDE FOIL/PLASTIC CONTAINER.

packed chicharon and paper bagpork rind in paper bagchicharon foil and pe bag2.  Fold the end of paper bag three times, about one inch per fold.

chicharon paper bag folded3. Set the microwave oven at the middle-highest temperature setting between 3 to 6 minutes depending on microwave wattage. For 800 watts, 2-4 minutes; for 700 watts, 4-6 minutes. (check microwave oven wattage)

4. Adjust the time in case of over/under cooking. Sprinkle with salt, flavor or seasoning.

Reactions:

The thick multilayered foil is one of the best and yet cost-effective packaging for food sensitive to rancidity. It is not suitable in microwave so a separate paper for  cooking is provided.

carl's pork rind chicharonI guess deep oil frying can be done if microwave is not available.

Its an assurance of a newly cooked chicharon. The oil resistant paper provided and the microwave method of cooking are very convenient.

pork chicharon in oil resistant paper bagcooked pork rind chicharonThe words “export quality” and “no preservatives added” are somewhat too old and have no impact to most consumer. Pork rind itself has a bad reputation, persons avoiding or prohibited from eating such are hard to convince.

The 75 grams raw contents has 8% total fat, in which 9% is saturated, and 7% sodium. The value is not surprising considering it is a pork rind added with pork oil and salt.

The expiry date is a stick-on tag that is very convenient to implement, and perhaps easy to tamper by not so good hearted sellers. I am hoping they could implement indelible expiry date printing soon.

The claimed “tender and crunchy” is subjective. It is, provided that optimum cooking time and temperature are met.

Advantages of Microwave Sterilization on Condiments

Using microwave as method of sterilization provides several advantages:

Steam sterilization method needs very long time and has bad effects on flavor. A succession of rapid heating and rapid cooling prevents significant flavor changes. Microwave energy provides the rapid heat.

Irradiation destroys the molecular structure and generates harmful irradiation residue. Why use a dangerous method if a safer alternative is available. The microwave energy itself is dangerous as it boils water molecules on path. This danger is easily prevented by a suitable enclosure. More important thing, microwave never leaves residues.

Microwave is very convenient to use. Imagine it as a small piece of gadget house in a box.

Reduced cost. Far more lower cost than steam and irradiation methods. The thing it refers to is the time. More jobs could be done with microwave as compared with two other methods.

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Microwave Oven Leaf Drying

My professor showed me a kaong sugar cube. It was white, as white as freshly harvested kaong sap. It was a trial processed using microwave oven.

That make sense. If the processor is after the color quality, a microwave energy might be perfect. In small to large scale, this can be done by passing a very thin film under microwave heated tunnel.

A very expensive and slightly risky method. Microwave consumes huge amount of power that equates to huge electric cost. The risk factor – it boils anything with water. Human body is 70% water. This idea is only feasible if someone can source a very low cost electricity and can construct a safe equipment.

Anyway, I was curious so I did a simple test on guyabano leaves.

The idea is heat the leaves as high as possible using the least amount of time. I heated five leaves separately at maximum heat setting but varied the time with each test.

Trial 1. Max heat for 5 minutes.

microwave oven dried soursop leaves 1

dried crumpled leaves 1

Trial 2. Max heat for 4 minutes.

microwave oven dried soursop leaves 1

dried and crumpled leaves 2

Trial 3. Max heat for 3 minutes.

microwave dried leaf 3

dried crumpled leaves 3

Trial 4. Max heat for 2 minutes.

microwave dried leaves 4

dried crumpled leaves 4

Trial 5. Max heat for 1 minute.

microwave dried leaf 5

dried crumpled leaf 5

Leaves color never had any changes in any trials, before and after microwave heating. No color changes were observed in between trials either.

Each leaf was crumpled after heating. Three to five minutes heating period rendered the leaves very brittle while 1 to 2 minutes only made them slightly brittle. The drier the sample becomes, the more brittle it becomes. Microwave can heat the sample as long as it has moisture. Heating stops as soon all moisture is almost evaporated. I think microwave heating a single leaf for three minutes at maximum heat setting is sufficient.

Note: heating several leaves at the same time will surely give different quality.

Jackfruit Seeds in Microwave Oven

Jackfruit seed is edible but often discarded after the removal of sweet succulent flesh, the lamukot in Tagalog term.

jackfruit seedsIf someone in the group loves cooking, he is going to collect the seeds, boil it and serve for merienda. It taste good. However, the hard to removed slippery covering is a major limiting factor. Anyone should experience the trouble of removing the peels.

To add more value, I experimented making a fried jackfruit seeds. I removed the peels manually. Cut to reasonable sizes then fried in hot oil. The resulting product was an excellent snack with a combined characteristics of potato and cassava.

I tried another, the microwave oven cooked jackfruit seeds. Removed the seed coverings. Placed it in microwave oven for three minutes at highest setting. Then another two minutes at the same wave.

peeled jackfruit seedThe seeds I got were stored for several nights. Most of the seeds have dry testa as a result. It made the removal easier. A machine specifically design for peeling jackfruit seed would make my work easier. It might revolutionize jackfruit seed processing.

The surface became tough, the inner was dry but softer. After second heating, it became tougher and less enjoyable to eat. This was nothing as compared to boiled and fried seeds.

microwaved jackfruit seeds