There are two ways to temper chocolate, but in both cases it means melting your chocolate, then returning it to a lower temperature. You may have seen chocolatiers pour melted chocolate over a marble surface. This is one way of tempering which we call tabling. The chocolate is then melted first, after which two-thirds of the melted chocolate is brought to a lower temperature on the marble surface. When it has cooled sufficiently and is poured back into the remaining melted chocolate, the chocolate reaches a perfect temperature and the cocoa and sugar crystals recover.
Since most home bakers do not have a marble plate, fortunately there is also another way to temper chocolate, called the seeding method. To do this, melt two-thirds of your chocolate au bain-marie (as always, make sure that the water and the bowl of chocolate don’t touch!). When your chocolate is completely melted, remove your bowl from the pan of water and add the remaining chocolate. This causes the temperature of the chocolate to drop again. Keep stirring until all your pieces of chocolate have melted into the hot chocolate. Then grab your thermometer and make sure that the temperature remains between 31°C and 32°C degrees for dark chocolate, or 31°C for milk chocolate and 29°C for white chocolate.
If you now fill a piping bag with the melted chocolate and use it to make chocolate bonbons or decorations, you are sure of beautiful shiny, crunchy chocolate. Chocolate as it should be.
Let’s get to work choco lovers!