Tempered Chocolate

Instead of the usual dish, I wanted to share a tool that can create endless possibilities: tempered chocolate. People think it’s daunting, but it definitely is not!

This technique allows you to make chocolate covered strawberries with the perfect shell that doesn’t dribble at room temperature; or make fancy swooshes and accents as seen in my Sachertorte recipe earlier.

I would recommend watching Jacques Torres give his tutorial, which is fantastic. Personally I watched that many years ago, and then watched the movie, Chocolat, to get the inspiration for the soul and finesse involved with this technique.

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Ingredients:

  • Dark Chocolate (65% and above)

    or

  • Milk Chocolate (35% and above)

Directions:

  1. For either chocolate you choose, the methodology is identical, just the temperature is different

  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces (doesn’t need to be pulverized because you will be melting it anyway)

  3. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate slowly (reserve a handful on the side for later on)

  4. Now here, you can be super super super technical or like me (not technical at all) for this process… and do either 1 or 2:

    1. Melt dark chocolate to just below 90ºF or milk chocolate to just below 86°F

    2. Melt dark chocolate or milk chocolate to just below body temperature (yes, I just will stick my finger in to see if feels right). If I overheat the chocolate, I just take it off the heat and leave to cool.

  5. This is the crucial step: seeding. When the temperature is perfect, stir in the reserved pieces, little by little. I say about a handful. This process allows the chocolate to recrystallize around the “seed” so it can harden back into place

  6. Right when the chocolate seems like it’s beginning to cool too much, you’re ready.

  7. To test, smear a bit of wax paper and pop in the freezer for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Take it out and leave at room temperature for a minute or two.

  8. If it remains hard, voila. Success!

  9. If not start over from step 3

  10. Done.