Tempering Chocolate

tempering chocolate

Learn to temper chocolate flawlessly with these simple steps.

Tempering chocolate is a science. It is the process of melting chocolate to a specific temperature to crystalize the fat in the cocoa butter. Tempering the chocolate perfectly is the key to shiny, hard formed chocolate. A food thermometer is essential to the process.

Here are 2 different methods to temper the chocolate at home instead of the traditional marble slab method used by pastry chefs. The preferred method is to melt all the chocolate at once and then cool down over an ice bath. Method 2 is a bit quicker. For this method, you melt 3/4 of your chocolate and cool it down by mixing the remaining chocolate together with the melted chocolate.


large glass bowl & sauce pan
(or double boiler)
food thermometer


400g minimum of couverture chocolate


1. Break the chocolate into small pieces.
Method 1: Add all of the chocolate to a large glass bowl.
Method 2: Add ¾ of the chocolate to a large glass bowl.

2. Add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan. Gently begin to warm the water over low heat.

3. Place the glass bowl with chocolate on top of the saucepan. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. If you prefer, you can use a double boiler.

4. Continue to gently warm the water. Make sure it does not boil. If it does, lower your heat. The chocolate will start to melt. Every 1-2 minutes use your spatula to stir the chocolate.

5. Melt the chocolate until the thermometer reads the following:
dark chocolate, 50-55 C/ 122-131 F
milk or white chocolate, 45-50 C/ 113-122 F

6. Then remove the bowl from the heat.
Method 1: Place the bowl in an ice water bath.
Gently continue to mix the chocolate with the spatula.
Method 2: Add the remaining chocolate.
Gently mix the chocolate with the spatula until completely melted.
During this time, the chocolate will begin to cool.

7. Cool the chocolate to the exact temperate;
dark chocolate, 28 C/ 82 F
milk or white chocolate, 26- 27 C/ 79-80 F

8. Using the previous method, gently reheat the chocolate to the exact temperature:
dark chocolate, 32 C/ 90 F
milk chocolate, 28-30 C/ 82-86 F

9. This will be very quick. Continually stir the chocolate as it melts. It is now ready to use for French Chocolate Mendiants or as you like.