‘PROPER’ CHOCOLATE TEMPERING
DARK CHOCOLATE TEMPERING TEMPS
- melting temp: 45-50 ̊C
- cooling temp: 28-29 ̊C
- reheating temp: 31-32 ̊C
MILK CHOCOLATE TEMPERING TEMPS
- melting temp: 40-45 ̊C
- cooling temp: 27-28 ̊C
- reheating temp: 30-31 ̊C
WHITE CHOCOLATE TEMPERING TEMPS
- melting temp: 40 ̊C
- cooling temp: 24-25 ̊C
- reheating temp: 27-28
Tempering is the process that stabilises the cocoa butter in the chocolate and gives it that lovely shine and crisp crack. If you melt chocolate and let it set without tempering, it often turns a streaky matt grey, which isn’t very pretty.
We used to be scared of tempering chocolate, as it seemed like a fiddly and difficult thing to do. However, it really isn’t. You just need a pan of simmering water with a heatproof glass bowl, a digital thermometer and the three temperature ranges above to work with. The outcome will be amazingly professional shiny chocolate.
Tempering chocolate is great if you are making gifts, as it raises the chocolate’s melting point, so it keeps a lot longer in perfect shiny condition.
Pour a few centimetres of water into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over a medium-low heat. Place a heatproof bowl over the pan, making sure its base doesn’t come into contact with the water.
Grate your chocolate in a food processor or by hand with a grater, or chop it very finely with a knife.
Place roughly two-thirds (just do this by eye) of your finely chopped or grated chocolate in the bowl. Stirring regularly, melt the chocolate until you reach ‘melting temp’ – be careful not to go too much higher than this.
Now remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining (un-melted) third of your chocolate in small batches. Keep stirring and reading the temperature, adding pieces of chocolate slowly while stirring to get it to the correct ‘cooling temp’ – you may not need all the rest of the chocolate to get it to the right
temperature. Make sure you do not let it go too cold.
When it’s at its ‘cooling temp’, place the bowl back on the heat and, while stirring, reheat it to its ‘reheating temp’. Your chocolate is now good to go! You need to use melted and tempered chocolate quickly, as it only stays in temper for as long as it remains within this final ‘reheated’ temperature range.
Remember to let the chocolate set in a cool place at room temperature – not in the fridge, as this can often make your chocolate bloom with a white sheen, and lose the lovely shine you have created.