Chocolate tempering is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures. Thanks to this process, cocoa butter hardens in a specific crystalline structure.
Tempering seems to be a difficult process because we cannot observe with our own eyes what is happening inside the chocolate. Instead, you need to learn how to control the process only by temperature, by sight, and by feel. Without tempering, you won’t manage to make molded chocolate candies, as pros do!
Tempered chocolate has a higher melting point (does not melt in hands), and quickly hardens. Products acquire a glossy shine. Proper tempering allows the avoidance of sugar or fatty film on the surface of the chocolate. 3 factors are important in the process of tempering: time, temperature, and stirring.
It is recommended to melt the chocolate at a temperature of 40-45°C depending on its type. Do not place chocolate in direct contact with the heat source. It is recommended to melt chocolate in a microwave or in a water bath, adjusted in such a way that the melting point of the chocolate is stable between 40° and 45°C. This temperature is ideal to start tempering (recrystallization).
1. The use of tempering machines is ideal for chocolate melting. However, this method is available only for professionals. A novice confectioner must have the right working surface made of marble or simply a piece of marble at home. This is the most suitable way.
2. The main tools for tempering at home include: marble countertops or a plastic bowl, an infrared thermometer, as well as convenient spatulas (a spreader and a scraper). If you do not have an infrared thermometer, an immersion thermometer is also suitable, but it slowly gains temperature.
3. A multi-cooker is another ideal option for tempering at home. You need to pour the chocolate into a clean, dry bowl, set the desired temperature, and forget about it for the night.
4. It’s convenient to melt the chocolate in the microwave, but you need to stir it every 10 seconds, otherwise, it will burn.
5. Tempering with the use of pallets is more suitable for the production of chocolate figures. You can find small unmelted pieces in the chocolate. That’s ok for chocolate figures. The chocolate layer is much thicker there than in molded chocolate candies. Chocolate should be perfectly smooth for candies.