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How to Temper Chocolate

So What Does "Tempering Chocolate" Mean?Cheryl Sandberg

By Cheryl Sandberg

There are two different types of chocolate: real chocolate with cocoa butter, or confectioner's coating (molding chocolate). 

How do you know what kind of chocolate you need? Read more...

Real chocolate must be tempered if you want to use it in molds or for dipping. Tempering helps give it a shiny look which is great for molds and dipping. It prevents it from looking foggy or whitish when finished.

Cocoa butter makes up anywhere between 50% to 60% of real chocolate. The cocoa butter crystals are in suspension with the cocoa solids until the chocolate is warmed. Once you have warmed the chocolate, this suspension is broken and when the chocolate cools, the cocoa butter crystals rise to the top, making white streaks on the tops of your chocolate candies. This is called ‘blooming’. It doesn't affect the taste, but it doesn’t look very pretty! Storing the chocolate in too cold or too warm of a house, moving the chocolate in and out of the refrigerator, or temperature changes during shipment can cause blooming. In order to avoid blooming, you must temper the chocolate.

Tempering returns the cocoa butter crystals to suspension within the chocolate and produces a chocolate with a dark shiny gloss. There are many ways to temper chocolate, but we use the following way.

You will need a double boiler, a candy thermometer, a rubber spatula, and at least one pound of semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Be careful not to get any steam or water in your chocolate, or you will end up with a fudgy mess.

Melt 2/3 of the chocolate in the double boiler over hot, but not simmering, water that is not touching the bottom of the container holding the chocolate. Don’t let the water get too hot; chocolate reacts horribly when it’s too hot.

Melt the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of approximately 45 degrees C/113 degrees F. Remove the chocolate from the heat.

Beat in the remaining 1/3 of chopped chocolate, letting the mixture cool to approximately: 31 degrees C/87.8 degrees F for semisweet chocolate, 29 degrees C/84.2 degrees F for milk chocolate, and 28 degrees C/82.4 degrees F for white chocolate.

The chocolate should be smooth and glossy. Hold it at that temperature by moving the container on and off the hot water while you dip or mold your chocolate.

If this is too much trouble, join the club! We use Guittard Melt n Mold confectioner's coating or molding chocolate for most things.

Use confectioner's coating or molding chocolate for:
Molds
Dipping berries, nuts and other things
When you don't want to temper your chocolate

Use real chocolate for:
Cookies
Cakes
Desserts
If you temper your chocolate you can also use it for molds and dipping berries, nuts and other things.

Need help choosing which is best for you? Read more...

Confectioner's coating

Real chocolate:

Guittard's Old Dutch Milk
Guittard's French Vanilla Semi-Sweet Dark
Guittard's Gourmet Bittersweet
Guittard's High Sierra White

 

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