How to Temper Chocolate
Tempering chocolate is not the seven headed monster cooking shows on TV led you to believe it is. There’s really not much to it. It is simply an annoying little extra step in the melting chocolate process one must take in order for the chocolate to have a nice glossy shine, a crisp snap and a pleasant texture when eaten.
When chocolate is not properly tempered, it takes a long time to harden, it can have a grainy texture and unsightly white spots. It also melts in your hand as soon as you touch it and it doesn’t snap. So, not what you want when making delicious treats as gifts for your loved ones.
To temper chocolate all you need to do is heat the chocolate to its melting point, cool it down and then slightly raise its temperature again. The temperatures must be accurate, that’s why a candy thermometer is a must. And temperatures vary between the different kinds of chocolates, so keep the chart below handy.
Start by chopping the chocolate into smaller pieces, alternatively you can also use chocolate melts or chips. Place 75% in a glass bowl.
You can melt it in the microwave, in 30 second increments and stirring it well in between blasts (this is quicker, but harder to control the exact temperature.
Or you can use the double boiler method by heating some water in a pan, bringing it to a simmer and placing the glass bowl on top. The steam from the water will create indirect heat, melting the chocolate without burning it (avoid getting water into the chocolate, as this will ruin it).
2. temper chocolate
2. temper chocolate
When the chocolate has reached the optimum temperature (refer to chart for different types of chocolate), remove from heat and slowly add the 25% remaining chocolate while stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl.
This is called the seeding method, in which you encourage the chocolate to cool down faster and provide seed crystals, meaning it will solidify more stably.
Add all remaining chocolate until it’s all fully melted and check temperature.
3. Temper Chocolate
Now place the bowl again on top of simmering water (or microwave) for just a few seconds and check temperature.
The goal here is to elevate the temperature ever so slightly, so be careful not to heat it too much, otherwise, you’ll have to start the process all over.
Now the chocolate is tempered and it’s ready to be used for coating or to be poured into molds.
Pour chocolate into molds with the help of a container with a spout. Swirl the mold around in order to cover the sides with chocolate.
Add your favorite filling, such as nuts, marshmallow, nougat, jams or cherries. Then add more chocolate on top to seal it.
You can refrigerate it, but leaving to harden at room temperature is best.
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