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What Is Tempered Chocolate?

Hey, Good People. How has your day been? Hopefully, it has been well. If you are still mostly at home during this Covid-19 pandemic era, then no worries. There are still many ways to sweeten up your life. Experimenting with chocolate is just one of them.

Speaking of that, have you ever heard of ‘tempering chocolate’? What is tempered chocolate? How is the process of it like?

how to temper chocolate for molds
Photo by S. Hermann & F. Richter

Tempering Chocolate

Tempered chocolate exists through a long process. In this process, melted chocolate has to be cooled first. Because of this, the fatty acid crystals will turn into nuclei. Other fatty acid crystals will help to crystallize it.

If the tempering process of the chocolate works well, then the result will be a smooth and glossy finish. It will not melt easily on your hands, but it makes perfect dipped and chocolate-covered treats.

Pro tips for tempering the chocolate:

Prepare a candy thermometer to help to avoid chocolate from overheating. Chocolate should not be in temperature above 130 °F, or it will scorch and break.

Another thing that you need to pay attention to is dryness. Make sure that all your pans and other tools to melt chocolate are completely dry. Even a single drop of water can ruin the chocolate melt for sure.

Tempering the chocolate actually gives a better aesthetic feature on the chocolate. Besides its shiny look, you can feel a really nice snap when you bite or crack the bar in two. Remember, the better look invites more appetite.

If you are curious, there are plenty of options when it comes to tempering the chocolate.

How to Temper Chocolate for Molds

This method needs a better one than a candy thermometer. A laser thermometer or a probe thermometer will do.

Other items needed:

-       4 bowls (to be nested together)

-       Spatula

-       Enough towels

-       A double boiler or a pan

-       Molds

Tempering chocolate for molds:

1.      Melt your chocolate in a double boiler until it reaches at least 105 °F from the thermometer.

2.    Pour another two-third of chocolate into another bowl. Put the other third next to that one and make sure it stays warm. For this step, use a probe thermometer. For the two-third of chocolate into a water bath, the coolness should be between 60 to 70 °F.

3.      Stir the two-thirds of chocolate until the liquid thickens.

4.   Put parts of the warm chocolate into the cooler. Add it slowly as you seed the chocolate. The temperature should be raised a little by little.

5.   Keep it warm, even until the temperature reaches 88 °F for pure, dark chocolate (and 86 °F for milk chocolate).

6.      Pour the chocolate into molds and leave it to set up.

7.    After that, rap the molds on the table. This will settle the chocolate. If you worry about over-pouring, scrap the edges a little but do it only once.

8.      Last but not least, just unmold before you enjoy it.

How to Temper White Chocolate

Unlike dark and milk chocolate, the tempering process for white chocolate is different. It is a bit more complicated, especially since white chocolate is mostly made of cocoa butter instead of solids.

Items needed:

-       Minimum 1—2 pounds of white chocolate

-       Any chocolate thermometer

-       Microwave

-       Glass bowl that is safe for microwave use (A sturdy, stainless steel bowl is also okay.)

-       Rubber spatula

Tempering white chocolate:

1.   Weigh the two-pound white chocolate on a scale. Divide by 75:25. The 75 percent chocolate should be placed in a sturdy, stainless steel bowl before it is melted. The other 25 percent chocolate should be in a separate bowl for an additional later.

2.     Melt the 75 percent chocolate with a double boiler. Have a small pot of boiling water and put the chocolate bowl over it. Once the thermometer shows 110 °F, remove the chocolate from the heat stove.

3.    Seed the chocolate by adding the other 25 percent chocolate to lower the entire temperature of the melted chocolate. Stir slowly and try not to cause any air bubbles. Add a few pieces more each time the previous before have already melted. Wait until the temperature goes down to 83 °F.

4.      With a hairdryer, heat the sides of the bowl for ten seconds. Do that until the temperature goes up to 87 °F.

5.      To make sure you get the right temperature, dip in a spoon to check. Then leave it alone for five minutes. The surface should look shiny and feel hard. If it is tempered enough, dip in some cookies, caramels, or fruits. You might need to repeat the zapping process with the hairdryer, just to keep the temperature right.

When it comes to tempering white chocolate, don’t feel bad if your first time is not successful. There is plenty of time for practice.

Good People, now you know what is tempered chocolate and how to do so. Thank you for reading. Hopefully, you can try this too.