What is Chocolate Tempering
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What is Chocolate Tempering?

Mara Mennicken

Are you a chocoholic looking for a way to take your chocolate obsession up a notch? Do you want to impress your friends with delicious homemade chocolate creations? 

If so, then learning the art of tempering chocolate is essential. In this blog post, we’ll explain what tempering is and how it can help you make delicious treats.

What is Chocolate Tempering?

You’ve probably heard the term “tempering” when it comes to chocolate, but what does it actually mean? Tempering is a process of raising and lowering the temperature of melted chocolate in order to alter the crystal formation. That is why tempering is also known as crystallizing chocolate.

This technique is used to create smooth, glossy, and crisp-breaking coatings for your favourite treats. It also helps ensure that the chocolate melts evenly when eaten. With a little skill, concentration, and a good thermometer, you, too can learn how to temper chocolate like a pro!

Why is Tempering Important?

why chocolate tempering is important

Why is Tempering Important? Chocolate tempering is essential to creating a smooth, glossy finish and a strong snap when broken. When chocolate is tempered correctly, it creates a stable cocoa butter crystal structure. 

This ensures that the chocolate doesn’t melt too quickly in your mouth and that it has a pleasant texture and taste. The true layers of flavour of craft chocolate only come out when the chocolate is perfectly tempered! Plus, the stronger crystal structure prevents fat bloom – when cocoa butter rises to the surface of the chocolate, giving it an unattractive mottled appearance (like when you leaving chocolate by the window or in the car and it suffers from sun exposure). This doesn’t necessarily mean that your chocolate is expired and can’t be eaten anymore, but it won’t have the same mouthfeel anymore due to a broken crystal structure. If this piece of chocolate was a decadent craft chocolate, you can still eat it or melt it and make hot chocolate from it!

The Traditional Method of Tempering

The traditional method of tempering is a tried-and-true way to ensure that your chocolate sets up properly and has the perfect texture and appearance. It involves slowly heating and then slowly cooling the chocolate to a specific temperature, as well as working it with agitation to form the correct crystal structure. 

With this method, you’ll be able to create delicious chocolate treats that have a shiny, flawless appearance, feel firm and break off with a snap, and melt smoothly in your mouth. We will get to the exact temperatures in a moment.

The Benefits of Tempering Chocolate

The Benefits of Tempering Chocolate are plentiful! 

  • It gives your chocolates the perfect glossy sheen
  • a satisfying snap
  • it also allows for a more stable chocolate that won’t easily melt when touched
  • a longer shelf life 
  • when eating tempered chocolate, the true layers of flavour come out one by one
  • It will look nice and shiny for longer (pastry decors etc)

How to Temper Chocolate

How to Temper Chocolate

Now that you know why tempering chocolate is important, it’s time to learn how to do it! The traditional method of tempering chocolate involves melting it, cooling it and then reheating it, all at precise temperatures. 

It is a complicated technique that requires skill and concentration. But with the right tools and the right knowledge, you can easily temper your own chocolate at home. 

  • Bittersweet, semisweet, dark chocolate: 
    1. Start by melting the chocolate to 50°C while continuously stirring. After heating the chocolate and getting all lumps smooth, start cooling your chocolate using a fridge or freezer. Again, never stop stirring, we need movement + temperature alteration for the crystallization. Cool down to 28°C. Then using Bon Marie, reheat to 31°C.
  • Milk chocolate:
    1. Start by melting to 45°C, cool down to 27°C using the same method as above, and reheat to 30°C.
  • White chocolate:
    1.  Melt to 40°C, cool down to 26°C and reheated to 29°C.

Tips for Tempering Chocolate

Now that you understand the basics of tempering chocolate, here are some helpful tips to make sure your chocolate turns out perfect every time! 

  • Make sure to keep your chocolate and tools dry- any water or steam will ruin it. 
  • When melting the chocolate, heat it for 5-10 seconds at a time, stirring and checking the temperature in between each interval. 
  • To check if your chocolate is in temper, you can use a few simple methods like the snap test (more below)
  • Don’t overheat or under-cool the chocolate when tempering! With practice, you’ll get better and better at tempering. Just stick to the temperatures precisely and restart from your 45°C if you ever go too low, or too high in temperature. 
  • Stir stir stir, measure, measure, measure. Especially when you start, the best is to never leave your chocolate unattended. One hand holds the thermometer, the other a spatula.

Additionally, tempering is an advanced technique that requires skill and concentration, so be sure to use a good thermometer and follow the instructions closely. 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly tempered chocolate every time.

How Does my Chocolate stay in temper?

Once you understand the basics of tempering chocolate, it’s important to know what temperature you should be aiming to stay at. For dark, milk and white chocolate, the ideal working temperature is 30°C to 31.5°C. (White chocolate closer to 29°C, dark chocolate closer to 31°C)

Knowing these temperatures will help you get the best results with your chocolate tempering!

Testing If Chocolate Is In Temper

Once you have gone through the process of tempering your chocolate, it is time to test if it is in temper. To do this, dip a knife blade into the chocolate and let it rest in your fridge for about three minutes. If the chocolate is in temper, it will be glossy and firm to the touch. 

If it comes out soft or it melts to the touch, it has not been properly tempered. Another indicator that you tempered chocolate correctly is that it has a nice snap when broken. 

Many instructions say to do a tester of the tempered chocolate by placing a teaspoon of chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper and freezing it for 5 minutes. This will help you determine if your chocolate is properly tempered.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Tempering

Here are a few of the most common mistakes I have witnessed when tempering chocolate for the first time:

  • Don’t forget to keep an eye on the temperature and make sure it doesn’t get too high or too low. 
  • You also want to avoid adding any water or moisture to the chocolate, as this can cause it to seize. 
  • Scraping chocolate off molds or surfaces and putting it back into the bowl of tempered chocolate can also cause it to crystalize faster, so be careful. 
  • Choose the right chocolate for tempering. If you don’t use chocolate with a high cocoa butter content, your tempers will never set correctly. 

Advanced Techniques for Tempering Chocolate

Now that you have a basic understanding of tempering chocolate, you may want to take your skills to the next level. With advanced techniques for tempering chocolate, you can create unique textures and flavours. You can explore different methods, such as the seeding method or the tabling method. 

With the seeding method, you melt two-thirds of your chocolate and then add the remaining third. This helps ensure that all the chocolate crystals are properly aligned. 

The tabling method involves pouring melted chocolate onto a cool surface and then spreading it with a spatula. This helps to cool the chocolate quickly, allowing it to set faster. 

With these advanced techniques, you can create delicious chocolates with a glossy finish and perfect snap!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tempering chocolate?

Tempering is a process used to stabilize and crystallize cocoa butter in chocolate. It’s used to give chocolate its glossy finish, snap, and smooth texture. During tempering, the cocoa butter molecules line up in a particular way, resulting in a more stable product that has a longer shelf life.

How do I temper chocolate?

There are several methods for tempering chocolate, from classic seeding to modern tempering machines. Generally, tempering involves melting the chocolate to a certain temperature and then cooling it down to the correct temperature for crystallization. It’s important to have the right equipment and to follow the specific instructions for the type of chocolate you’re working with.

What are the benefits of tempering chocolate?

Tempering chocolate gives it a smooth texture and glossy finish, the perfect layered flavour experience, as well as a nice “snap” when it’s broken. It also helps to ensure that the chocolate has a longer shelf life and won’t melt as easily. By tempering chocolate correctly, you can create professional-looking chocolates with the perfect texture and taste.


Congratulations! You now know what chocolate tempering is for and how to do it correctly. You also know the perfect temperatures for making craft chocolate. With this knowledge, you can take your craft chocolate-making to the next level. It’s a great way to make sure you get the best results from your chocolate treats.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about tempering chocolate.

About the Author Mara Mennicken

I am a chocolate lover and health enthusiast. I believe in nurturing my body with the best I can find because I want to turn 100 healthy years old.

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