Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How To Temper Chocolate

Here are some instructions on how to temper chocolate. It seems lengthy, but is easy and very straight-forward. Tempered chocolate is a way of melting it that makes it shinier and easier to work with. It is great for chocolate decorations and candy making. This is the method I used for my chocolates and chocolate box for Valentine's Day. 
  1. Place a pot half-full of water onto the stove top and bring it to a simmer. Take care not to let it boil, the vapour will cause the chocolate to seize, as will any drop of water.
  2. Place a bowl inside the saucepan, so that the rim of the bowl is larger than the pot and holds it above the water, not touching. (A double boiler may also work for this, as long as the bottom is not heavily insulated).
  3. Chop the amount of required chocolate required and place two-thirds of it in the bowl. It is ideal to temper approximately eight ounces of chocolate at once, so place two-thirds of this in the pot.
  4. Stir the chocolate constantly using a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl often, until smoothly melted. 
  5. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the chocolate. Milk and white chocolate should be heated to approximately 105F, dark chocolate 115F.
  6. Once chocolate reaches temperature, immediately remove the bowl form the pot and stir in the remaining third of the chocolate until smooth.
  7. Continue to stir the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of less than 90F. 
  8. Chocolate should be immediately used. Pour into molds, over desserts, or into a piping bag for drizzling. For the construction of a chocolate box, continue with the following directions: 
  9. Immediately pour chocolate onto a flat, transportable surface lined with waxed or parchment paper, and spread smooth. It helps to tape the paper to the surface. The chocolate should be about 1/8 inch thick. too thin and it will break, too thick and it won't set properly.
  10. Chill the chocolate briefly until just set. The amount of time depends on the temperature of your refrigerator and the type and thickness of chocolate. If it is not set enough, it will not be able to be broken into shapes. If it is too hard, the chocolate will crack. Continue to chill or let the chocolate stand at room temperature briefly accordingly. 
Tempered chocolate that has not been poured out to set can usually be gently reheated to the required temperature using the above method and used again with success. However, tempered chocolate is always best used when freshly tempered, and should never be stored in the refrigerator - store in a dark place at a cool room temperature. 

No comments: