When you buy chocolate, it is already "in temper." This means that all of the fat crystals are aligned to give the chocolate perfect snap and shine. When you melt chocolate to change its shape or use it in a recipe, you are taking it out of temper. The heat causes the fat molecules get all jumpy and if they aren't realigned correctly, you get what's called "bloom." Bloomed chocolate still tastes great, it just loses its visual and textural appeal. But even bloomed chocolate can be brought back into temper!
Tempering chocolate can seem like a big mystery, but all you need is a bowl, a pan and a thermometer to get it right every time. For the most accurate results, I recommend using an instant-read thermometer.
Step 1: Setup
- Rest a metal bowl on a saucepan with 1 inch of water in bottom.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl is at least 1 inch above the surface of the water - not resting in the water.
Grab a silicone spatula and a good thermometer, and you're ready to rock.
Step 2: Melt
Stir the chocolate continuously until it has all melted smoothly.
Bring the chocolate to:
- 118oF (48C) for Dark Chocolate
- 112oF (45C) for Milk Chocolate
ONE DROP OF WATER IN THE MELTED CHOCOLATE WILL CAUSE IT TO SEIZE and, well, ruin it completely. So, you know, be careful.