Techniques for Tempering Chocolate
Our experts share advice for melting chocolate for baking and candy-making perfection.
Proper “tempering”—heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize it for making candies and confections—gives chocolate a smooth and glossy finish, keeps it from easily melting on your fingers, and allows it to set up beautifully for dipped and chocolate-covered treats.
How to Temper Chocolate
Watch your temperature! Use a candy thermometer to avoid heating chocolate above 130°F. Chocolate is very sensitive to heat and will scorch or seize easily.
Be sure that your work surface, pans, and tools are absolutely dry before melting chocolate. Even a drop of water or other liquid can cause chocolate to “seize up”
Read on for our expert advice on the best methods for tempering chocolate.
Tempering Chocolate Method 1:
Grate or chop the desired amount of chocolate. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler. Heat over hot but not boiling water, stirring constantly, until chocolate reaches 110°–115°F.
Place the top pan of the double boiler on a towel. Cool chocolate to 95°–100°F. Add the remaining chocolate to the top pan, stirring until melted. The chocolate is now ready to be used for molding candies, coating, or dipping.
Tempering Chocolate Method 2:
Starting with a pound of broken chocolate, melt two-thirds of the chocolate over indirect heat, such as in the top pan of a double boiler. Melt just until the chocolate is liquid and smooth (at 110°–115°F).
When it is smooth, add the remaining one-third of broken chocolate and heat again until the entire chocolate becomes smooth.Pour the chocolate onto a marble or other cool, smooth, non-porous surface. Using a spatula, scrape and stir the chocolate across the surface to smooth and cool it. When the chocolate cools to 80°–82°F, return it to the top pan of the double boiler. Place over hot, not boiling, water. Heat and stir constantly, until it reaches 87°–91°F. Remove the top pan of the double boiler. The chocolate is now ready to be used for molding candies, coating, or dipping.
Techniques for Melting Chocolate
Our experts share advice for the best ways to melt chocolate.
Techniques for Melting Chocolate
Melting chocolate doesn't have to be a challenge. With the proper technique, it can be a smooth operation, and you'll have a velvety pool of luxurious Ghirardelli chocolate in no time.
How to Melt Chocolate
- Break or cut chocolate into small (½ inch) pieces for even melting. Stir gently and frequently while melting.
- Melt chocolate over low or medium-low heat or use a double boiler. Chocolate burns easily, so it's best to melt chocolate slowly.
- Be sure that your work surface, pans, and tools are absolutely dry before melting chocolate. Even a drop of water or other liquid can cause chocolate to seize up.
Read on for the best ways to melt chocolate.
- Break chocolate into small pieces, and place in top pan of double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. A glass or metal mixing bowl on top of a saucepan half-full of water works as a stand-in if you don’t have a double boiler on hand.
- Allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
- When you’re adding chocolate to a batter or melting with butter, the direct heat method works well, but it’s not the best choice for molding or dipping chocolate.
- Place chopped or broken chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat and stir constantly to avoid scorching. Remove from heat when only small lumps of chocolate remain, and stir until completely melted.
- Place chocolate in microwave oven in a heatproof glass bowl or container and heat at medium power (50 perfect) for 30-second intervals. Remove and stir each time before returning to microwave and repeating. Each microwave is unique and affects the chocolate differently so please monitor closely. When only small lumps remain, remove and continue to stir until complete melting.