The overall purpose of tempering is to cause the chocolate to set quickly and achieve a superior glass and hardness effect!
Tempering in a Nut-Shell:
- Melt all existing fat crystals
- During agitation, cool the chocolate to a temperature that both stable & unstable crystals form quickly.
- Re-heat the chocolate in order to melt all the unstable crystals so that only stable crystals remain in the chocolate.
- Make sure the chocolate is at the correct temperature during use.
The following are 2 simple techniques you can use at home in order to temper your chocolate:
This traditional technique is suitable for relatively small quantities. This method is a quick way to ensure your chocolate is tempered properly, it will require the use of a stone slab on which to work with and requires a relatively higher skill level in comparison to other tempering methods such as seeding as well as the practical limits of the amount of chocolate that can be tempered in one batch.
- Melt chocolate using a water bath, microwave or melter to achieve 50′ c for Dark Chocolate, 40′ c for Milk & White. At these temperatures you will successfully remove all existing cocoa butter crystals.
- Pour 1/3 – 1/2 of the total melted batch onto the marble slab, spread the chocolate across the slab using a scraper and palette knife until it thickens slightly, make sure to agitate the chocolate constantly in order to ensure it doesn’t solidify, this will also encourage proper crystallization.
- Pour back the thickened chocolate into the bowl of melted chocolate and mix until uniform. This will leave only stable crystals in the chocolate.
- Test a sample by dipping a spoon into the melted chocolate and place on side to cool down. If setting is quick and without streaks it is ready for use. Make sure to heat the chocolate if you reach temperatures below 30′ c.
This method is clean, quick and can produce both large and small quantities. Feel free to use blocks or chips/pistoles.
- Melt your chocolate to the desired temperature.
- Slowly add your solid chocolate in order to cool the batch.
- Keep stirring until your chocolate cools down to the desired temperature (approx. 27’c).
- Re-heat the chocolate to melt away all undesired crystallization (approx. 32’c).
- Test a sample to ensure proper temper.
When working with your chocolate make sure the temperature doesn’t fall below 30’c until you wish to fully set your chocolate.