How to Temper Chocolate

Here are the few tips I’ve compiled into a list and a printable cheat sheet on how to temper chocolate. Feel free to watch the video tutorial below if you’re a visual learner like I am.DSC_0018.jpg

  1. Use a high quality chocolate. Low quality chocolate that contains little to no cocoa butter isn’t the best for tempering, and might not even need to be tempered. If the main fat is something like palm oil, it will set at room temperature regardless. It sounds great, but usually doesn’t taste very good.
  2. Chocolate and water don’t mix! Try not to get any water into your chocolate — especially if you are heating your chocolate over a hot water bath. Chocolate and water don’t mix, so if you get water into your chocolate, the chocolate will seize up and become a big gritty mess.
  3. Use an instant-read thermometer. This will be your best friend when determining the state of your chocolate.
  4. There are many ways to heat up your chocolate, my preferred way is to put my chocolate into a bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). This ensures gently heating. If using a microwave, be sure to mix and check on your chocolate every 10-20 seconds so you don’t overheat your chocolate.
  5. If using the tabling method, make sure you use a non-porous, non-metal surface.
  6. Test your tempered chocolate by using a little piece of parchment dipped in chocolate and let it set.
  7. You know you have properly tempered your chocolate once you see that your chocolate is shiny, streak-free, and has a nice, satisfying snap when you crack it in half.
  8. If your chocolate is too hot, keep stirring/tabling until it is cooled to the desired temperature.
  9. If your chocolate is too cold, heat it for a few seconds at a time.
  10. DO NOT GO OVER 34C/93.2F WHEN RE-HEATING, or your chocolate will go out of temper and you have to start all over again.

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 1.41.36 AM.jpg

Seeding Method

This requires you to take 30% of your chocolate and keep aside as your “seeds”, and melt the rest of your chocolate. Add in the seeds to cool your chocolate, stirring constantly, in order to promote crystallization. The stirring and the addition of the already tempered chocolate will cool and agitate the chocolate, until it reaches the perfect working temperature (see charts below) and is ready to be used.

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 1.42.36 AM.jpg

Tabling Method

This method requires you to melt all your chocolate, and then pour out 80-85% of your chocolate onto a clean non-porous, non-metal work surface (such as marble). Spread it out with an offset spatula and bring it back into the center with a bench scraper, and repeat this process until it has cooled to the desired temperature (see chart below).
Pour it back into your bowl with the remaining 15-20% that is still warm and has not been tempered, and stir it. It is ready to use when it reaches the perfect working temperature. If it is too cold, heat it for a few seconds at a time but do not exceed 34C/93.2F. If it is still too hot, pour out 50% of your chocolate instead of the full 80-85%, and continue tabling it until it is at the desired temperature in the Step 2 Column in chart 2 below. Add it back with the rest of the chocolate and stir. Continue the process until you reach the desired working temperature.

 

Chocolate Tempering Cheat Sheet

Seeding Method:

Step 1: Melt

Step 2: Add 30% of Chocolate (chopped or in small pieces, also known as your seeding) to Cool the rest of your chocolate

Final: Ideal Working Temperature

Dark

45-50C/113-132F

32C/89.6F

Milk

40-45C/104-113F

30C/86F

White

40-45C/104-113F

30C/86F

Tabling Method:

Step 1: Melt

Step 2: Pour out 80-85% of your chocolate out onto a non-porous surface. Cool to:

Step 3: Add your tabled chocolate back in with the 15-20% untempered chocolate. Stir.

Final: Ideal Working Temperature

Dark

45-50C/113-132F

30C/86F

32C/89.6F

Milk

40-45C/104-113F

27C/80.6F

30C/86F

White

40-45C/104-113F

27C/80.6F

30C/86F

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