Tempering is the process required to give all your chocolate creations that extra snap, shine, and sheen. By tempering, you are re-establishing the cocoa butter crystals found in couverture chocolate. There are multiple ways to temper chocolate – tabling method, melting with a double boiler, or in the microwave, etc. We choose to feature the way we like to temper, in the microwave, because it’s simple and makes tempering chocolate seem like a cinch. Don’t get discouraged by the tempering process; we’re here to show you how easy it truly is!
What you’ll need to temper chocolate
- Couverture chocolate (high quality chocolate containing higher percentage of cocoa butter)
- Plastic, microwave-safe bowl
- Candy Thermometer
Pour your chocolate wafers or chopped pieces in your plastic bowl and microwave on half power. Monitor your chocolate between heating and stir after 1 minute intervals. Bring the chocolate up to the desired temperature.
Dark: melt to 115 use at 89
Milk: melt to 110 use at 86
White: melt to 110 use at 84
After your chocolate has reached the melt temperature, add seed chocolate, which are pieces of your original chocolate before it was melted. Just add a few pieces to cool down your melted chocolate. Continue stirring to ensure the seeding chocolate is cooling the bowl of chocolate to the tempered, usable temperature.
Test your chocolate by dipping the tip of a knife or a small strip of parchment paper into the chocolate. Wait 2-3 minutes to ensure there’s proper snap and sheen to the chocolate. If the chocolate isn’t set after a few minutes, test the temperature to make sure the chocolate is still in the appropriate temperature range. If it is too hot, you may need to add a little more seeding chocolate to lower the temperature. If the chocolate was the right temperature, then the chocolate may have cooled too slowly. Test it again and place the test strip in the fridge and see if the chocolate is in temper.
Once the test strip is successful, then use your chocolate as you want and enjoy that perfect snap, shine and sheen.
As you use the tempered chocolate it may start to harden, if you heat it slowly, but keep it under the “use” temperature, the chocolate will stay in temper. We like to always test it before using it again.
A few warnings:
Don’t ever seed with untempered chocolate.
Heat chocolate slowly to guarantee you don’t burn the chocolate.
Melt chocolate in a silicone or plastic bowl.