Whether you’re savoring the crisp snap of a chocolate truffle or the firm mouthfeel of a chocolate bar, you’re experiencing the magic of tempered chocolate. Tempering chocolate is a prized technique among chocolatiers, but it’s also something you can do at home. This guide will tell you how to temper chocolate. Get ready to make your candies and confections next level!
Types of Chocolate for Tempering
Tempering is a way of heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize it for making confections. Quality baking chocolate can help give you a perfectly tempered treat. What is baking chocolate and why do you need the right type for tempering? Traditionally, this type of chocolate has a high cocoa content. For dark chocolate with a rich taste and smooth melting experience, we recommend our TCHO chocolate discs for baking. They’re delicious in muffins or cookies, but they also melt beautifully.
We have baking discs for everyone, but some of our favorites include baking chocolate made with 68% cacao and tasting notes of nuts and roasted coffee. Or try our 66% cacao fruity and nutty dark chocolate. Whatever flavors (and cacao content) you like, we have the chocolate discs perfect for your next recipe.
Reasons to Temper Chocolate
The appropriate temperature ranges for tempering chocolate give your treats a unique look and consistency. Lightly tempered chocolate has a dull appearance and a softer texture. If you heavily temper chocolate, it feels firmer and looks glossier.
Tempering chocolate is all about the confectionary experience. Most real chocolates made with cocoa butter are tempered. Tempering chocolate makes the mouthfeel and appearance more impressive. When you temper the chocolate, you give it a smooth finish and uniform, snappy texture. Without tempering the chocolate, it’ll be more flexible with a crumbly mouthfeel.
Tempering gives that beautiful sheen when you open a box of chocolate candies or a chocolate bar. It also keeps chocolate from quickly melting on your fingers. At home, you’ll find that tempered chocolate releases easily from candy molds. It helps to set up dipped treats and chocolate-covered candies. It also cools in a few short minutes.
Supplies for Tempering Chocolate
Don’t forget — chocolate is sensitive to heat! A candy thermometer can keep your chocolate from scorching at the bottom of the bowl. Have a spatula and palette knife handy, as well as a clean kitchen towel for your kitchen tools and work surface. A tiny amount of water can cause chocolate to seize up and change its texture. Some bakers use a double boiler to temper their chocolate. Others have supplies to make their own bain marie. If you are microwaving your chocolate, you’ll need a microwave-safe bowl. Above all, be sure you start with quality craft chocolate.
Steps to Temper Chocolate
We’re all envious of the skills of the chocolatier. Why not learn how to temper chocolate at home? Here are the basic steps to temper chocolate in your kitchen:
An easy way to temper chocolate is by “seeding” it using a double boiler. Seeding means slowly adding solid, unmelted baking discs to already melted chocolate. To use the seeding method:
Start by melting two-thirds of your chocolate, stirring the melted mixture constantly. Use our temperature table (below) as a guide. Now, slowly add the remaining one-third of the unmelted chocolate a bit at a time. The new chocolate will lower the temperature of the melted chocolate. Follow the temperature table to know where your chocolate should be at this point in the process.
Now that you have completed the first part of the seeding method, it’s time for the second step: Raising your chocolate temperature to the working temperature on our chart. Bring your water back to a boil. Once boiling, you can take it off the stove and add a kitchen towel over it. Now, bring back the bowl with cooled-down chocolate and place it on top.
Be careful not to exceed the working temperature of your chocolate. You can remove the bowl from the pot when the temperature is one or two degrees away from the desired number on our temperature chart. Leftover heat at the bottom of the bowl will help the temperature rise a bit on its own. Test your batch and enjoy!
Marble Tabletop Method
Did you know you can use a marble tabletop to temper chocolate? Start by melting your chocolate using our temperature chart. Now, pour two-thirds of the melted chocolate onto your cool marble tabletop. Using a constant motion, stir the melted chocolate with a spatula and a palette knife.
Continue this motion until the chocolate starts to crystallize and thicken up. Pour the rest of your chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir it until it becomes one heap. Test your batch to see if it’s tempered properly. If the mix turns too thick, you can slowly heat it again. Perfectly tempered chocolate will harden in just a few minutes.
Microwave Method (for Smaller Quantities)
To temper in the microwave, place 2/3 of your chocolate discs or chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in short bursts at half power for about 10 seconds at a time, stirring with a spatula between these sessions until the chocolate is almost completely melted.
Next, mix your smooth chocolate with the rest of your reserved chocolate. Keep using extra-short microwave bursts and stir until the entire mixture is uniform. Allow the chocolate to cool. You can always use a candy thermometer if you’re not sure of the temperature. When it reaches its working temperature, it’ll be ready to mold into delectable treats.
Temperatures for Tempering Chocolate
Review our temperature table anytime you’re tempering chocolate:
- Dark Chocolate: 113-122 F
- Milk Chocolate: 104-113 F
- White Chocolate: 100-110 F
- Dark Chocolate: 84 F
- Milk Chocolate: 81 F
- White Chocolate: 79 F
Working (Reheated) Temperatures:
- Dark Chocolate: 89-90 F
- Milk Chocolate: 86-87 F
- White Chocolate: 82-83 F
How to Check If Your Chocolate Is Tempered
When tempering chocolate, you always need to make sure that your chocolate is in temper. Using a clean and dry knife, dip the tip of it into the bowl of chocolate and allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes. If it’s properly tempered, the chocolate will reach a hard and shiny state fit for a delicious confection.
Creating Delicious Chocolates
After tempering, store your confections in an airtight container at room temperature. Avoid placing plastic wrap directly over the tempered chocolate since condensation can affect its texture. Above all, have fun with the process! Making chocolate can be just as fun as eating it.