With Ann Reardon

How to temper chocolate in the microwave

tempered chocolate how to temper milk chocolate

Why Temper Chocolate

Have you ever melted chocolate to make decorations only to find once it sets it is soft, dull and bends over when it is not in the fridge?  That is because it is not tempered.

why temper chocolate

LEFT-not tempered, RIGHT – tempered After five minutes out of the fridge

Chocolate manufacturers use equipment to precisely control the temperature of the chocolate during processing to cause the fat molecules in the cocoa butter to align neatly and tightly together.  This is called tempered chocolate.  It is firm at room temperature and has a crisp snap when you break it.  When at home and you heat the chocolate to melt it, you undo that process and so it is no longer in temper.

How to temper chocolate in the microwave

If you want tempered chocolate then the easiest thing to do at home is to simply keep the chocolate in temper, see the video below for details on how to do that.

You only need to temper chocolate if it is real chocolate. Candy melts and some other melts are not real chocolate and so do not require tempering. Watch the video below for an explanation of how to tell if it is real chocolate.

You may also be interested in You may also be interested in:

* How to make chocolate bowls
* How to make a box out of chocolate
* chocolate decorations for desserts

244 Comments View Comments

  1. Hello Ann, please can you help me with thinning the chocolate? Thanks to your great videos I succeeded in tempering (once in a while I still get white spots for blooming, but it’s ok), my problem is that I want to make a thinner coating and I’ve tried adding cocoa butter (not the freezer one because they don’t sell it in Italy), I added 4-5% of cocoa butter but the consistency didn’t change. What can I do to make it thinner? Anyway congrats for all your great videos, you explain everything so well. Thanks.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Conchita, For thinning chocolate always add cocoa butter – but you do need quite a bit to make a difference. Experiment with a small amount of chocolate to see what ratio works for the chcolate you are using. Alternatively you can buy chocolate specially formulated for coating which tends to have a higher cocoa butter percentage. Places like Cacao Barry sell this. Search online for a local supplier.

  2. Hi from the UK. Please bear with this long one.

    I have a few questions…..

    I bet you’re tired of being asked this one but just in case you’re not:

    I have some dairy milk. The ingredients say it contains cocoa butter and vegetable fat (milk solids 23%, cocoa solids 20% min, contains veg fat in addition to cocoa butter).

    I’ve seen a number of people ask whether this needs tempering… I was going to but then saw a post that said I didn’t need to. I then saw another that said I did. Confused.

    Looking at different chocolates, for example, Tesco ‘Every day value’ chocolate….. That says Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, Whey Powder (Milk), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithins), Flavouring, Plain Chocolate contains Cocoa Solids 49% minimum

    No mention of veg fat and seems to have a higher cocoa content than Cadbury’s.

    Tesco plain cooking chocolate doesn’t say veg fat (does say milk fat) and has a 54% min cocoa solids content.

    A Tesco ‘finest’ dark cooking choc has 85% cocoa content.

    Should I use cooking chocolate? Is it as nice as the likes of Cadbury’s, for example? Bournville had cocoa butter and veg fats too.

    I’m so confused now I don’t even know where I am or what my name is . 🙂

    In a video, you said that you shouldn’t use gel or liquid colouring (use oil or powder). On your starry nights page you have one colour down as being gel. I’m finding the colouring quite hard to come by (probably because I don’t want to get the wrong one).

    If I heat/temper chocolate and don’t use all of it, shall I put it in the fridge and is it then safe to reheat as long as it’s below the recommended temp (32 Celsius etc)? I presume I’d have to grate it again.

    Thanks

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Sean, I feel for you! It is tricky and I think it is a shame that most companies are not consistent and explicit about their ingredients. To make it more complex the guidelines for ingredient reporting and the the actual brands vary from country to country, so if I test the same brand here as you want to use, the ingredients may differ. In most cases the ingredients are listed in order of the % of content. So if sugar is listed first then it has more sugar than anything else. If it has vegetable oil, then it is compiunfd choclate and you dont need to temper it. Here is a simple guide: be careful with anything marked as ‘baking’ chocolate. It make have stabilisers in it or a higher fat content than usual. If you want to make crisp, shiny chocolate decorations that snap when you bite into them, then What you want is a cohcolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter and no vegetable oil. How can you tell if chocolate has a high percentage of cocoa butter? Look for the word “couverture”, regardless of whether it is milk, dark or white. You will usually be safe with Couverture chocolates as they should have a high % of cocoa butter. The Cocoa Solids % tells you how much of the chocolate actually comes from the cocoa bean. It is a percentage by weight of the final product and includes any extra cocoa butter that may have been added to the chocolate. The percentage of cocoa solids and sugar combine to determine the tast and quality of the chocolate. The higher the cocoa content and the lower the sugar percentage, the better the taste. Based on the limited details you have given above, the tecso dark chocolate would be great for tempering. I get best results with anything around 60-70% .

      • Hi. Thanks for the reply. After sending that long message I felt like a bit of a nutter.

        You don’t get far without experimenting, so, I bought some Dairy Milk and tried that. It worked somewhat but I quickly realised it wasn’t the thing to use if you want it to set.

        I then tried the Tesco cooking chocolate. Tasted pretty ewwwwwww. However, it set.

        I then tried Green&Black high cocoa. Much better.

        I’ve caught the bug….. It’s messy, but fun. So, I’ve bought some Callebaut couverture chocolates. One reason is that I got absolutely sick to death of grating the chocolate.

        It’s not the cleanest of hobbies. It’s not the cheapest either. After looking more into it I wish I’d bought some good poly-carbonate moulds but they’re more expensive.

        One thing I would like to know. I’ve seen a number of videos where people bring the chocolate up to abt 45 deg C. Then bring it down, then up a bit to 29-34 deg C (depending on chocolate). However, on the Callebaut training vids, they don’t do this. I’m not sure if this is only required when using the tabling method.

        Thanks again.

        • Admin HowToCookThat

          Hi Sean, If you are actually tempering chcolate using the tabling method then yes, then adjusting the temperature helps the bonds form. Mostly when we are grating chcolate, we are trying to keep the chcolate in temper rather than actually tempering in.

  3. What is the best way to store chocolates in hot, humid weather? I will be moulding chocolates for Halloween and storing them at room temperature is not always ideal at this time of year in Qld. Your suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Debra, If you can keep them cool it works best, but if you are concerned, pop them in the vegie draw of your fridge in an airtight container.

  4. HI Ann I’ve been making your desserts but I wanted to know can I use Hershey chocolate for the chocolate strawberry block.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      HI Abigail, there are a lot of types of Hershey chocolate and most are not real chocolate. If you are after real chocolate that you can temper, then choose a different brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

ADD JPEG TO YOUR COMMENT