Learn how to properly temper chocolate to get that signature sheen and snap. Perfect for coating candy, truffles and more!
If you look closely at the image above, particularly the two egg shells in the front, you’ll see the reflection of my hand! This can only be made possible if you properly temper chocolate!
Tempered chocolate has a very significant ‘bite’ to it – it’s the process that allows you to break into a chocolate bar. I once read somewhere that cacao molecules are like a pile of bricks in their natural state. The tempering process helps form the bricks into a well-aligned wall, giving it new form, structural integrity and sheen. And despite how intimidating it sounds, it’s actually quite a simple process. With a little practice, you can temper chocolate like a pro!
Note: Melting and Tempering temperatures are different for dark, milk and white chocolates due to the varying quantities of milk solids in each. Higher the milk content, greater the risk of burning, so keep an eye on your chocolate as it melts.
You will need:
– Chocolate (Dark, White or Milk)
– Digital Thermometer ( I use this one)
Step 1: Melt chocolate
Work with atleast 1 cup of chocolate. Smaller the amount, you risk chances of burning and it gets more difficult to control temperature.
Chop your chocolate into shards and melt in the microwave (1 minute and then 10 sec increments) or a double boiler until it melts completely. Keep an eye on the temperature, different kinds of chocolate melt at different temperatures.
Dark Chocolate: 114 – 118° F (46 – 48° C) | Milk Chocolate: 105 – 113° F (40 – 45° C) | White Chocolate: 100 – 110° F (37 – 43° C)
Note: Do not let the chocolate heat up over 120°F/49°C.
Step 2: Cool down
Once your chocolate is melted, remove from heat (and if you used a double boiler, wipe off condensation under the bowl). Let it cool down naturally to 82°F/ 27°C, although it helps to give it a stir every once in a while.
Reason: Although the cool down will drop past the tempering temperature, this step will give the cacao molecules ample time to align their molecules to tempered strength, so when you raise them back to the tempering temperature in the next step, it’ll temper much perfectly and evenly.
Step 3: Final heat to temper chocolate
Place back on the double boiler (or microwave in 10 sec increments) and raise the temperature till it hits the tempering temperature (see below). I prefer using the double boiler method for this step, because it lets me keep an eye on the temperature much better.
Dark chocolate should be between 88 – 89° F (31° C) | Milk and white chocolates should be between 84 – 86° F (29 – 30° C).
Spread a small amount of chocolate on a piece of wax/parchment paper and put it in the fridge. It should cool and set hard in about a minute. Break the cooled swatch and it should split with a sharp ‘snap’. You have now successfully tempered chocolate!!
Mold, pour, dip, whatever!
Working fast, pour your tempered chocolate into molds, use it to dip truffles and other candy that you want coated with chocolate, pipe designs to use as cupcake/cake toppers, brush into cupcake liners to create chocolate cups, etc.
Easter is a month away and if you want to get this egg mold, here’s an Amazon link to it. I used to make chocolate eggs for Easter by cleaning out actual egg shells, and while it was a fun project, it took waayyy too much time and effort. With this mold, I can make chocolate eggs in my sleep!
- Water is the enemy of chocolate. Try to keep your working area dry and clean as you work. If even a single drop of water finds its way into the chocolate, it’ll seize and clump up and become irrevocably unusable!
- If your tempered chocolate should harden as you work, microwave it for a few seconds to let it melt back (but never heat it back over the tempering temperature!). Once it crosses the tempering temperature (or lower than 82°F), you must re-temper the chocolate all over again!
- If for some reason the tempering process did not go as planned, chop up the chocolate, re-melt and repeat the process until it is properly tempered.
Try, try, try until you succeed. That’s it! You’ve learnt how to properly temper chocolate. Now go have fun!
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.
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