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Chocolate : Marble or Granite?

Nanukwood's picture

My girlfriend wants a stone for making truffles, etc.  Originally I was told that marble was the correct stone, but I have since learned that it is too soft and absorbant, and that granite is the better choice.  I would like anyones input on this subject.  Also, where I do I purchase one.  My only option I've found so far is having a stone company cut one to my liking.  Thanks. 

Jangomango's picture

(post #27825, reply #1 of 10)

Both are wonderful in my opinion. Over time, the marble would become stained a bit, but over more time one just calls that "patina".

When you say "etc", do you mean chocolate work which is more than truffles? If it is, one of the disadvantages about stone is the very coldness of it. If she wants to make chocolate ribbons and frills and get into twilly stuff like that, she would need to learn how to warm up the stone evenly before she can get the chocolate to behave. One way to do that is with a hair dryer - a budding chocolatier's best friend.

There is a truly great chocolate maker on Cookstalk, Cookimonster, who should be along soon to give you her opinion on which stone to get.

Nanukwood's picture

(post #27825, reply #2 of 10)

She was told to use stone because is stays cool.  I'm assuming that means that things set up and harden nicely using stone, but then again I have no idea.  Her hobby is chocolate, mine is wood working, so there isn't much overlap.  I wish I was a bit better informed so I could ask better questions.  Thanks for the advice, and any further advice again would be great.  Also, any book recomendations for chocolate candy making would be great.  Thanks again.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #27825, reply #3 of 10)

Hi Doc.

The only reason she would need either for chocolate work is if she intends to temper chocolate on it, i.e. use the tablier method. If she's using another tempering method, and is just looking for a place to put her dipped truffles to harden, a cookie sheet covered with parchment or waxed paper is all she needs. Neither marble nor granite will do any better. If she is looking to temper the chocolate on the stone, both should work equally well. The marble is plenty hard enough for chocolate work. My slab hasn't even stained, though I use it only for chocolate. Zhat said, in my new kitchen I've gone with a granite slab, simply because it was cheaper. I bought it from a company that does stone countertops. I just asked for a polished slab in the dimensions I wanted.

wop's picture

(post #27825, reply #4 of 10)

  We are third generation artisan candy makers. All of our work tables are in Carrara marble and always have been. But granite would work just as well, so I recommend get what ever is cheaper if it is just a work surface.


                                               Philip

Nanukwood's picture

(post #27825, reply #5 of 10)

Now, I'm asking these questions blindly as I'm trying to buy the correct stone as part of her birthday gift.  But I believe she wants the stone for tempering.  She wants to keep the stone in the fridge and use it for hardening the chocolate, not just a surface to set the completed items on.  I was told that marble will hold a cold temperature better than granite, but it will stain and scratch.....granite won't.  I don't know if this makes any difference, but again any input would be great.  Also, any suggestions as to where to buy the stone.  So far I've been considering only monument and countertop companies as they are the only places that I can find that have stone.  I haven't found any confectionary supply companies that carry stones.  Thanks again. 

wop's picture

(post #27825, reply #6 of 10)

    Either hold a more constant temperature, hot or cold, it doesn't really matter if she is using it to temper room temperature is correct 18°C  from the fridge the chocolate will cool too quickly and stick to the marble too much and you would also tend to loose control of how much you temper it..... Any way marble seasons sort of like cast iron and then does not have any big problems with stains, yes it is softer and does scratch. Granite will also scratch when used as a work top but not as bad. When you get it (either) from a counter top or monument supplier(about the only choice) inform yourself well as to the compatablity of what they use to polish with food stuff (they used to use a lead based polish). Like I said before get which ever is cheaper.


                                                                           Philip

favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #27825, reply #7 of 10)

Rather than be limited in size by the refrigerator shelf, you could buy a larger piece and cool it by placing a plastic bag full of ice cubes on top of of the piece of marble or granite.  It works well for pastry. 

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #27825, reply #8 of 10)

Don't see the need for putting in the refrigerator.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #27825, reply #9 of 10)

Hi Doc,

Just to say it again, get whichever stone is cheaper. Both will work. Your best bet is probably the kitchen counter guys, as monument companies tend to cut it really thick. At least around here they do. I've never seen stones for sale by confectionary supply companies. BUT, just a warning, whatever you buy, she should NOT put it in the refrigerator. It will cool the chocolate too quickly, and runs the risk of making the chocolate seize if condensation forms on the stone while it warms up. The tempering should be done with the stone at room temperature (and room temperature should be on the cool side, ideally 65 F).

Jangomango's picture

(post #27825, reply #10 of 10)

And another thing (I agree with all the others above) - get a piece as big as a sweep of an arm.

I know that Cookimonster works in a little space, but I don't know how. It's hard tempering chocolate on a tiny slab with a tiny bit of chocolate, especially in the beginning when she is learning. You can never have too much marble to work on.