The process of tempering chocolate involves melting chocolate, cooling and then reheating it, so that the right kind of crystals predominate to give the chocolate a glossy, smooth finish.
Chocolatiers will use chocolate thermometers to heat and cool the chocolate to precise temperatures, but for those of us who don’t have a Chocolatier’s thermometer handy, here’s an alternative easy-peasy method to try at home!
How to temper chocolate at home:
- Take two-thirds of evenly chopped room-temperature chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Slowly and carefully heat the chocolate to the point of melting, when the chocolate is almost melted, and then remove the bowl from the simmering pan.
- Add the rest of the chocolate, a little at a time every 5-10 seconds, until the pieces stop melting, whilst stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
- Allow the chocolate to cool on its own accord for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Place bowl back over the pan and slowly re-heat the chocolate slightly.
Tempered chocolate can be used for making truffles, moulded chocolates, dipping strawberries, or can also be used to make simple chocolate cups for desserts using cupcake cases as moulds.
Top tips for tempering chocolate:
- Simmer the water in you pan – do not boil the water.
- Stirring is important to keep it from overheating or heating unevenly.
- Good quality, Fairtrade chocolate will always work best.
- Dark chocolate will take slightly longer to temper than milk or white chocolate.
- Make sure the chocolate doesn’t come into contact with any water or steam.
- Be careful not to overheat the chocolate. You should be able to put the chocolate to your lip without it burning.