How to temper chocolate

Chocolate should be tempered (to enable it to set in a stable crystal structure) before use to ensure a glossy, hard finish (it will snap) with some shrinkage (easier to remove from mould). The gloss is particularly important when making chocolates, using chocolate in moulds including Easter Eggs etc. and when coating cakes – any use where the chocolate requires a hard sheen. If just melted and allowed to cool to a working temperature, the finished result will be dull and matt.

When used for flavouring, and mixing into, desserts such as creams, mousses and soufflés etc. this is not so important, and simply melting is probably sufficient.

Adding pre-tempered chocolate to the melted chocolate makes tempering easy. This is why callets are so popular as they are pre-tempered.

To Temper

The use of a thermometer for accuracy, is recommended.

Use a microwave, or place chocolate in a Bain Marie.

Melt chocolate to a temperature of 45ºC and stir until melted completely. (Out of a 1kg bag, initially melt approx. ¾ of the callets).  Out of the remaining callets in the bag, add a handful at a time, stirring until melted and always checking the temperature. Repeat this until the chocolate has cooled to 32ºC for dark chocolate, 31ºC for milk, and 30ºC for white, and all the callets have melted.

To test for successful tempering

Spread a thin layer of the chocolate onto a cool surface. It should set hard quickly and with a shine. If not, just add a few more callets and stir in.

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