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

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

262 Comments View Comments

  1. Hi Ann,

    You do like what you are doing, don’t you ? Keep going !
    I would like to make something special, but not too difficult, for my girlfriend.
    She is a classic ballet teacher, and besides making some of your nice chocolate garnishes designs, I was thinking of making something related to classic ballet. However a 3D figure, will be quite hard. If you can get some time to reply, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or ideas. Thank you.

    • Hi silvio, You can purchase ballet shoe molds for chocolate. They are only little and not super detailed but if you need something easy they could be good. Or if you’ve made cake pops before these could be good

  2. hi ann where can I get that stencil from thank u

  3. Very interesting turorials 🙂 could you please explain how to temper chocolate without microwave (yes I do not have one, as I do not like them). How long chocolate decorations can stay in a room temperature? I love your white and brown chocolate flowers, they are great 🙂

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Erika, Without the microwave it is very difficult to keep it in temper as the heat of a double boiler for example is going to make it too hot. So then you will actually have to temper it yourself which involves heating, cooling and reheating to exact temps (google search them as they are different for dark, milk and white). Most chocolate companies use a tempering machine to do this but some people do it over a double boiler on low heat it is just harder than the method shown here.

  4. hi ann
    how are you? . just wanted to know if I could use nestle white chocolate melts and what do I do I if I want to make pink chocolate its going to me my my friend birthday and he little girl loves butterfly so I thought I will try and make pink butterfly I really need your help and any tips you have thank you

    • Hi beth yes you can use the nestle white chocolate melts to colour it you will need to buy some candy colouring by wilton or powdered food colour for chocolate available at cake decorating stores. As small amount of the red will give you pink.

      • Your post is a timely cornoibutitn to the debate

      • At last! Someone with real exreptise gives us the answer. Thanks!

  5. Hi Ann i love your videos so much honestly i am an avid fan. i live in the Netherlands and i just can’t find a real chocolate for my chocolate flowers. I have seen candy melts bu wilton can i used that for my chocolate flowers? if not which one is the best? thank u so much.


    • Hi Mel, thanks for watching the videos, yes you can use the candy melts 🙂

  6. I am trying to make choco decorations and never actually tempered my chocolate befor…so im gonna give this a try….just one question…do i put my decorations in the fridge or the freezer and for how long? Also, how long do they last..say can I do them a week in advance?? Thank for ur help, your videos are so easy to follow!!

    • Hi Yael, with the tempered chocolate leave it to set up at room temp and then place in the fridge to store. They will last for as long as the use by date on the chocolate that you purchased, or until you eat them. I store in an airtight container with nonstick baking paper between layers if I am stacking them.

  7. Thank you for this. I had to make a helicopter out of chocolate to put on top of my dad’s birthday cake and it wouldn’t have worked without this (it was still very tricky though, hehe).

    • Wow a helicopter, that does sound tricky, is he a pilot? My dad used to dad helicopters.

  8. Thanks, but I am unable to make much use of your videos as the automatic captioning is useless – it doesn’t pick up your words in a way that make sense. It will talk about airforce and all sorts of weird things. I don’t know how, but maybe you can arrange for better captioning as there are many deaf or hard of hearing people that would benefit from the many video tutorials that you offer. I watched two: one on chocolate tempering and another on cakepos and had diffficulties following either, though the cake pops was easy to work out most of it except what are the lego blocks go to do with it??? I am sure you explain it for your hearing clientele. Oh well that’s my lot in life!

    • Hi Michelle, Thanks for the feedback, the captioning is fairly new to youtube and I try to type it in for all my new videos, but the old ones are on my list of thing to do, as you can imagine captioning requires not just typing in the words but also the times for each snippet which takes a while. Eventually it will be done though.

  9. Hey Ann..

    Uuh i don’t know where to start 🙂

    Valentine’s day is coming and i really want to make that heart shaped chocolate box, and i don’t want to mess it up, so can u please tell me do i have to use tempered chocolate, i mean is it better, or if its not, what is te best way?

    Thank you very much, and im truly hoping you will see this before February 14. 🙂

    • Hi Maria, how did it go, sorry I sit down and read through and answer all the questions once a week so valentines day is over. Yes you do need to use tempered chocolate, otherwise it will melt within about 5 minutes of taking it out of the fridge. If you don’t want to temper chocolate then you can use ‘fake’ chocolate. The difference is explained in this post here

      • These topics are so connfsiug but this helped me get the job done.

  10. I love, love your videos and how you explain everything clearly and so easily. I’m so happy I came across your videos on YouTube.

    However, is there a way to temper chocolate without a microwave, say using stove top? Believe it or not, I don’t own a microwave :-S lol My boyfriend hates them and so do I really.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Hi lili, My mum and dad don’t have one either so I totally understand. If you go to youtube and do a search there you will see a couple of vids demonstrating it on the stove top.

    • I can’t believe you’re not playing with meath–t was so helpful.

  11. Finally! You explained this so well. I have had trouble in the past with chocolates falling apart and now I’ll even better chocolate decorations. Thank you so much!

  12. Hi Ann!

    Thank you so much for the tutorials! i tried tempering a chocolate before but it was a disaster! I placed it in the microwave for 60 seconds without stirring. haha i’m going to try your method this weekend. just some questions: is chocolate compound good for melting? the ones available here has a tender texture and non glossy type, so i don’t know if that will do. Also, how long will the chocolate set in the freezer? i’m planning to place the chocolate garnish on a non-bake cheesecake. should i put the chocolate garnish on top of the cheesecake on the fridge or just before serving the cheesecake?

    Thank you so much! pardon my silly questions. :p

    • Hi Qoqo If your chocolate is soft and not shiny then it is not in temper to start with. You could still use it but it will not hold its shape for long at room temperature. If using chocolate that is in temper let it set at room temp then refrigerate to store. If using ‘fake’ chocolate – watch the video on what chocolate to use for an explanation – then you can put int he freezer straight away.

      • Thanks again! I will experiment and temper the chocolate compound I have here with me for now. if it’s good enough then i’ll use it but i’ll purchase a beryl chocolate as well to compare the two. thank you! 🙂

    • The voice of raynoialitt! Good to hear from you.

  13. Hi, just found your site & can’t wait to make some choc boxes & decorations!! Please can you tell me how long the tempered chocolate stays melted for? You seem to melt quite a lot and as I will be a lot slower at making the decorations at the beginning, I was wondering how long the choc stays melted for as I dont want to be wasting it or it setting in the piping bag before I have finished using it! Thanks Sam x

    • Hi Sam, it depends ont he temperature of your room. My bench top is quite cold so I put the bowl of chocolate, or the bag if I ma putting it down on a wooden board or a tea towel so that it doesn’t cool too quickly and set. You can melt in smaller quantities if you like but I find larger amounts easier to work with.

  14. Hi Ann
    I love your videos, there is so much I want to try making & have learn so much already from them thank you so much for sharing all your tips & recipes I will for sure be using the simple syrup on my cakes.

    I am Currently Planning my 30th birthday Cake & would like to make the Chocolate flowers from one of your videos to go on the top.
    However I would love them to be pink.
    I am having trouble finding Pink chocolate to use & was wondering if I could use white then add pink colouring paste but thought would this effect the temper?
    The other idea I had was to paint food colouring on the petals once the chocolate has set
    Are any of theses ways possible?

    • Hi Zoe M, you could either use oil based food colouring to colour the chocolate or use powdered colour and brush it on afterwards – there is a chocolate feather video going up this saturday that demonstrates that technique. Happy 30th : )

      • Thank you 🙂
        In the end I decided to leave them white here is the cake I added some Ediable Silver balls to the centre of the chocolate flowers before they set.

        • Wow that looks lovely Zoe, great job.

          • that cake looks amazing and so beautiful and it gives the lesson that anyone can make a cake. and ann you are amazing and so talented and I have watched all of your shows on youtube and I love them all congradulations on being so great!!!

    • Grade A stuff. I’m unqatseionubly in your debt.

  15. Hi Anne,

    Just came across your website and I must say I love how you explain things in such a detailed manner.
    It’s so easy to understand the process because of that 🙂
    Im really into cake pops at the moment,but they have been giving me a bit of grief.
    I got some mercen candy melts and Wilton too. I’ve tried melting them in the microwave several times but they seem to burn. I’ve gone through so many packets with the same result.
    When I did get it right the one time, they were too thick for me to dip my cake pops in. Is there anything I can add to to make them more liquidy?


    • Hi Cubes, I melt them in the microwave by 30 sec stir well event hough they don’t look melted at all – microwaves heat unevenly so one section will be getting hot while others are cold. 20 sec stir again, 10 sec stir again then repeat eh 10 sec stir until completely melted. I have never added anything to them to make them thinner because I want them to set hard and not be soft.

  16. Hello Ann

    Thanks for so much for those tips how to temper chocolate and how to make chocolate flowers. I think I will try to make some chocolate chrysanthemum flowers.

    You explanation are so good.

    Thank you again.


    • Hi Luanna, Make sure you take a phot you can upload a picture here int he comments section : )

      • Hi Ann, I am a bit confused as I saw another video on your website about chocolate with cocoa butter and without cocoa butter. So how long do I melt the chocolate without cocoa. Thanks Luanna

        • Hi Luanna, without cocoa butter it is not real chocolate so does not need to be kept in temper you can just melt it either over a double boiler on the stove top or in the microwave 30sec stir, 20 sec stir, 10 sec store repeat 10 sec bursts until its done. It will set firm

          • Hi Ann

            Thank you very much will try and try out the flowers and send you a photo. How do I preserve them and for how long. Thanks Luanna

  17. I also love cake and I’m a boy Ryan again
    Ps awesome techniques

  18. Can u make a Chinese new year cake please I’m in love with china well… I’m Chinese I can’t can’t help it and I’m like 10 years old thanks


  19. Hello Ann,

    You really do a wonderful job of breaking down the steps into ‘digestible’ parts. Your explanations are simple, yet tell us everything we need to know. I have learned so much from your videos! Thank you!

    • Thank you Laura for taking the time to leave such beautiful feedback.

      • You are so welcome! How lucky I am to have run across your videos! Do you ever do classes or workshops in the US? Are you a member of ICES (International Cake Exploration Societe)- they host instructors from around the globe at their amazing annual conferences. I went to my first one last summer, and it was wonderful. I would love to learn from you in person! Thanks again for your efforts and your willingness to share your talents!

        Laura Michele

        • Hi Laura, I am in Australia and have three wonderful children so I do not currently run any classes.

        • If inotamrfion were soccer, this would be a goooooal!

        • Wow! Great to find a post knncikog my socks off!

  20. Thank you so much for all your wonderful tips. You’ve really inspired me to experiment with things I knew nothing of before.

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