Chocolate Tempering

There are many ways to temper chocolate, which is the process of melting and mixing chocolate using heat to create a glossy coating, achieve the desired snap and texture, and to allow it to work well with mouldings.

Several different chocolate tempering methods will be described below:

Microwave Chocolate Tempering
There are many ways to temper chocolate and using a microwave is one of them. Since every microwave is different, the suggestions below are guidelines that may have to be slightly modified for each individual situation. We want to temper chocolate because it will give us a coating that is glossy, has good snap plus texture and will easily release from a mould. Poor tempering is one of the major causes of fat bloom - the dull white finish on the outside of chocolate that can be wiped off. While this accumulation of cocoa butter crystals is not harmful, it does not give an appealing product.

Equipment

Methods

A) Controlled Melt Tempering

With this method you need chocolate that is in 'good' temper (glossy with good snap plus texture)

B) Chunk Method Tempering

This method is very similar to the controlled melt tempering except that you can initially use either tempered or un-tempered chocolate to melt.

How do I tell if my chocolate is in good temper?

Dip a metal spatula or knife blade into the chocolate and leave a small film on the blade. If the chocolate is firm and not tacky in 5 minutes at normal room temperature (68°F), it is in good temper. If it is still tacky, place chocolate chunks back in bowl and cool about 2°F. Repeat test until tempered.

Batch Cooling

Melt chocolate over WARM heat source - warm to 110°F to 120°F

Remove from heat and stir until temperature reaches 90°F to 95°F (slightly cool to the touch.

Cool about 1/4 of batch to 80°F - cool to touch, thick consistency (creates seed)

Remix seeded batch to melted batch. Hold temperature constant while you work

Chunk Seeding

Melt chocolate over WARM heat source - warm to 110°F to 120°F

Remove from heat and stir until temperature reaches 90°F to 95°F (slightly cool to the touch.

Add chunk of tempered chocolate and continue stirring until chunk ceases to melt any further.

Remove remainder of chunk and hold chocolate at working temp.

Marble Slab

Melt chocolate over WARM heat source - warm to 110°F to 120°F

Remove from heat and pour about 1/2 pound of melted chocolate onto a marble slab.

Work chocolate in a circular motion around the slab until mixture feels cool to the touch and chocolate thickens.

Gradually add more warm melted chocolate to the working batch looking for a cool but workable consistency. Chocolate can be worked on the slab or transferred to the pot where it should be held at its working temperature.