Do you love that crisp snap of chocolate when it’s perfectly tempered? I do too! If you are new to chocolate, tempering is when you melt and reform the chocolate crystals in a way that makes hard at room temperature. Tempering gives it that crisp snap when you break it and tempering gives your chocolate a gorgeous glossy finish too. It’s perfect for truffles, candy bars, and chocolate covered strawberries too.
Now what if I told you: never follow instructions that use a candy thermometer and never follow instructions that tell you to hit a long series of different temperatures. Would you believe me?! Well here’s the tea. This recipe to make tempered chocolate without a thermometer is the easiest of all the recipes. This is how people have been tempering chocolate since its creation. So let’s get started!
A Double Broiler
A Wooden Spoon (or anything big for stirring)
Any kind of chocolate (white, milk, or dark)
And You Will Also Need:
First of all, get your double broiler ready. If you don’t have one that’s okay. All you need is a small stock pot and a bowl that fits nicely on top. The upper bowl needs to be heat safe and should not touch the bottom of your stock pot.
Add a small amount of water in the bottom pot – perhaps 1 inch or less. And be sure that there is water the entire time. If you need to add more water. And last, don’t ever let the water touch the chocolate directly. Water will cause chocolate to seize and it can ruin this process.
Heat the double broiler on low. I do mean low – not medium! Place 2/3 of your total amount of chocolate in the top bowl of your double broiler. Stir and allow it to melt. Once the chocolate is ALMOST completely melted, remove the top bowl from the double broiler. You are removing it just a touch early because the heat will continue to rise and your chocolate will continue to melt.
Once all your chocolate is melted, begin to add your remaining 1/3 chocolate in small amounts at a time. Continue to stir. Once it is melted, add more. Continue this process until the chocolate stops melting. Pull any pieces of chocolate out if they won’t melt.
Now you are ready to dip, swirl, drizzle your chocolate as needed! Tempered chocolate is perfect for coating candies, caramels, making chocolate bars, and making chocolate truffles like these. Yum!
And here are a couple more tips.
1. Use high end chocolate: Much like wine, chocolate has a unique flavor palette depending on where it was made. It can be sweet, nutty, or spicy. It’s incredible! For a perfect finished chocolate, use a nice or even high end chocolate. My go to is Valhrona, hands down. Here’s a 66% dark chocolate and they make a fabulous 70% too.
2. About Chocolate Bloom: Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dark place like a cupboard. Over time, it will start to develop a bloom or a gray, dark color and will loose its glossy finish. This is not the same as the normal scuffs you may see on chocolate. If your chocolate has bloomed, be sure that your last 1/3 of chocolate that you add to temper it is not bloomed. Only use the bloomed chocolate in the double broiler and you can still get that snap you are looking for.
How to Temper Chocolate without a Thermometer
- A Double Broiler
- A Wooden Spoon or large stirring utensil
- Any Kind of Chocolate White, Milk, Dark
- Water for the double broiler only - be careful to not get any chocolate wet
- Set up your double broiler. Add a tiny amount of water on the bottom - less than 1 inch. Be mindful that the bowl on top does not dip into the water or touch the bottom of the pot.
- Measure your total volume of chocolate and divide into 2/3's and 1/3. Set aside the 1/3 for later.
- Add 2/3's of your total volume of chocolate to the double broiler on LOW. Not medium. Low.
- Stir and allow it to melt. Once your chocolate is close to being completely melted, remove it from the double broiler.
- You should remove it early, because the bowl will be warm and the chocolate will continue to melt after you remove it.
- Once all your chocolate is melted, begin to add the remaining 1/3 of chocolate into your melted chocolate in small quantities at a time.
- Stir in the chocolate and continue to stir until it's melted. Once melted, continue to add more. Keep repeating this cycle until you cannot get any more chocolate to melt. Remove any remaining unmelted pieces.
- Viola! Your chocolate is ready for pouring dipping, coating strawberries, pretzels, or making candy bars!
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