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How to Temper Chocolate

Learn how to temper chocolate in this Howcast food video featuring pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse.


Hi. So, today I am going to show you how to temper chocolate, which is a very complicated-sounding process, but it is actually super easy. I am starting with my dark chocolate pistoles, which are these nice, round chips, but you can use any type of chocolate as long as it is a good quality chocolate that is going to melt down nice and viscous and will set up really nice with a good snap and sheen.

That is the point of our tempering process. So, I am going to bring this over to the stove where I have a double boiler. I am going to hop on over. So, I am just melting down this chocolate about two thirds of the way, and I am working over my double boiler. It is also fine to do this in a microwave in a microwave safe container. I am just using my rubber spatula to gently stir my chocolate around, make sure nothing is scorching in the pan.

And, again, I am just melting it two thirds of the way down, and we are going to use the rest of the chocolate that has not melted to cool down the melted chocolate. So, my chocolate is melted two thirds of the way. You can see I still have kind of big chunks of chocolate running through it. So, I am going to use that chocolate that has not melted to cool down my chocolate that has melted.

And, what that is going to do is first, it kept my chocolate from getting too hot and then, second, this is just the easiest way to quickly bring down the temperature. Other ways to do it, you could take an ice bath and kind of pop it right on top of the ice bath and that will help cool things down. Or, you could pour it all on the table which is an extremely messy way called "tabling." But, this is the cleanest way, the easiest way, and if you notice I am going to occasionally take the back of my finger where it is nice and sensitive and I am just going to touch my chocolate and see where the temperature is. Right now it is still super warm.

So, I am going to keep stirring, and you can see with my rubber spatula I am making almost a figure eight. I am kind of moving back and forth. This keeps me from getting too many air bubbles incorporated into my chocolate. It is just nice and gentle. I am stirring and stirring. And, if you notice that your chocolate has completely melted before it cools, and we are looking for it to cool to about room temperature or a little bit cooler, then add a little bit more chocolate.

So, I am going to add a few more chocolate chips, and I am just going to keep stirring. So, what is the purpose of tempering? The purpose of tempering is to get our chocolate to the point where we have melted it down but then we have cooled it down so that it will set at room temperature. Which means that you will get nice, firm, stiff candies without having to pop them in the refrigerator. Think of M and M's - melt in your mouth not in your hand. You want something that will be at room temperature and not go anywhere. And, also, if you look at my chocolate you can see almost streaks running through - that is the cocoa butter, and what we want to do is emulsify all that cocoa butter into my cocoa solid so it gets something that is really glossy, really smooth, and nice and cool. So, my chocolate is ready to go. It is nice and cool to the touch. It is really smooth and glossy. There are no streaks running through it.

So, we are ready to go. Use this for dipping strawberries and Oreos, or use it for your own chocolate truffles or a nice chocolate ganache. And that is how you temper chocolate. Enjoy.

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