Tempering refers to a process of heating and cooling chocolate to prepare it for dipping and enrobing. The tempering process ensures that the cocoa butter in chocolate hardens in a uniform crystal structure. Chocolate that is tempered has a smooth texture, a glossy shine and a pleasant flavor.
The 4 simple steps you need to know to temper chocolate perfectly every time. There’s no magic in getting chocolate to temper – it just seems that way! Follow these easy steps and never be intimidated by chocolate again.
When you buy chocolate, it is already “in temper.” This means that all of the fat crystals are aligned to give the chocolate perfect snap and shine. When you melt chocolate to change its shape or use it in a recipe, you are taking it out of temper. The heat causes the fat molecules get all jumpy and if they aren’t realigned correctly, you get what’s called “bloom.” Bloomed chocolate still tastes great, it just loses its visual and textural appeal. But even bloomed chocolate can be brought back into temper!
Tempering chocolate can seem like a big mystery, but all you need is a bowl, a pan and a thermometer to get it right every time. For the most accurate results, we recommend using an instant-read thermometer.
If you have a double boiler, more power to you! If you don’t, you can set up a simple “bain-marie:”
- Rest a metal bowl on a saucepan with 1 inch of water in bottom.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl is at least 1 inch above the surface of the water – not resting in the water.
Using chopped chocolate or chocolate wafers, reserve a quarter of the amount of chocolate in a separate bowl to use as a “seed” later.
Grab a silicone spatula and a good thermometer, and you’re ready to make chocolates.