How to Temper Chocolate

How To Temper Chocolate

Does your Chocolate have a BAD TEMPER!???

Well, let’s put it back in it’s place! Show it who’s BOSS!

In the video below I will show you How to Temper Chocolate and explain why we do it in the first place.

How to Temper Chocolate
chocolate flow

Chocolate is composed of many different crystals, and when we melt chocolate we have caused those crystals to become all chaotic and mismatched.

It’s otherwise perfect state that we once knew it, is now, NOT SO PERFECT, and we have to get it back there as it cools to ensure our finished products do not have a grainy, dull texture, they are not soft and will never set, or they can be dry and brittle- almost like dirt in your mouth! Gross!

By tempering chocolate, we give it back it’s classic shine, snap and creaminess that is characteristic of great chocolate.

If you have ever seen chocolate that has been left in a very warm place for too long, it will get that gray color and one may think it is old.

This is not true, it has simply fallen “Out of Temper”.

The crystals have been displaced and the whole molecular structure of the chocolate has been compromised.

Tempering Chocolate The SEED Method
You will need an Instant Read Thermometer
These temperature shown in the video and listed below are for Unsweetened, Semi- Sweet or Dark Chocolates.

White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate tempering have the same method but the temperatures are slightly different on the melting and the cooling.

(Milk & White chocolate tempers at 86º-88ºF, 30º-31ºC.)

1. The first step is to melt about 1 lb (454g) chocolate couverture in a clean, dry bowl set over simmering water, to about 115º-120º F (46º-49ºC.)

2. Remove the entire bowl from heat and let it cool to about 86°F Next add about 6 more ounces (or approximately 1/3) of couverture that is IN TEMPER to the melted chocolate. This provides insurance by ‘seeding’ the melted chocolate with good beta crystals. While cooling, stir frequently. The motion causes the good beta crystals to smash into to the out of whack crystals and they bond together and morph into Good Betas! I know, I know…too scientific!

3. The last step is the most important: It’s bringing the chocolate up to the perfect temperature, where it’s chock-full of those great beta crystals. This occurs in most chocolates between 88° and 91° F (31º-32ºC.)

4. Remove what’s left , if any…of the ‘seed’ chocolate and reserve for another use later.
Now your chocolate is ready to dip or decorate!
Don’t let the chocolate you are working with get above 91° F (32ºC) or you’ll have to begin the process all over again. If it drops below temperature as you are working (as it often will)  rewarm it gently to bring it back up.

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34 Comments

  1. YAYYYYYYYYYY! I never knew how to melt white chocolate correctly, it always looked horrible ! Thanks Gretchen, wish you the best to your blog 😉

  2. Very professional and informative video!
    Can’t wait to see the chocolate caramel video.
    Thanks for all your hard work!

  3. Thank you for this demonstration. I have even had problems working with Merckens chocolate where it seized up after coming out of the microwave. Now, I’ll go back to real chocolate with a thermometer. I liked your music and intro on this video.

  4. Gretchen…thank you, thank you, thank you VERY MUCH for this upload!!!

    You make these things so simple…I freaking love you!!

    It worked beautifully by the way

    Greetings all the way from Jamaica!

    P.S. your vegan recipes are to DIE for…Happy New Year

  5. Hi Gretchen,

    Saw your video and tried tempering 52% cocoa yesterday. It did set but took a little long time and no-shiny texture:( my question is
    1. Should the seed chocolate be introduced once the melted chocolate reaches 86°F or immediately after turning off the heat ??
    I added seed chocolate in 118°F and it consumed alot of seed to come down to 86°F stirring continuously. Then I raised onto double boiler to bring upto 90°F.
    My next question is I recorded the temperature 118°F when the chocolate was still on the double boiler. So in the meantime of bringing off the heat and adding seed, my chocolate temperature triggered upto 127°F ! So, how and when to record temperature? Kindly advise me on this regard, Thanks – Nishita

    1. You will first melt the chocolate to 120°f no more.
      Then add the seed chocolate, yes it is true that the higher the temperature the more you will melt the seed chocolate running the risk of having to add more seed
      Cool to about 86-90°with the seed crystals to get back to temper
      Even if you over cool it and have to bring it back to 90° you dont usually have to retemper if you have re-introduced enough seed cystals

    2. Thanks for the kind info 🙂 My final question is

      Any method u suggest to keep the chocolate in temper??
      My chocolate gets thicker soon as it cools which will be difficult to work with. So, how to maintain that 86°f – 90°f window?

  6. Hello Gretchen! I tempered chocolate in the microwave (melting but leaving some chunks and stirring constantly) it hardened so fast in room temperature which I think is great, but the only problem is that it turned into a grey color! Do u think it’s about not cooling so fast? Or is it about temperature??? Thank you Gretchen! U r the best 🙂

    1. The grey color is called “blooming” where the crystals of cocoa butter have floated to the surface meaning you did not get it tempered in time – before it cooled, so it is actually about both- the time & temperature. Tempering is no easy task, it does take lots of practice – so keep trying! Dont give up, it seems as though you are very aware of what is happening and that is half the battle! Just keep paying attention each time and you will get there!

  7. i’ve tried making my own chocolate chips with cocoa, cocoa butter and powdered sugar and lecithin. they look and taste fine, but when i bake them in cookies they don’t have the same texture as store-bought ones, especially when warm. they become kind of grainy, rather than melty like the real ones. any help?

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