Tempering Chocolate


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The French Kitchen: A Cookbook

The French Kitchen

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2002

  • About

Note for all chocolates-lovers: never store chocolate in the fridge or cool it in the fridge.

Couverture is also called dipping or coating chocolate, and professional chocolate makers always use it. It comes in all varieties, but has a high cocoa butter content, thus making it ideal for hand-made chocolates. The best couverture comes from France, Belgium and Switzerland. Couverture needs to be tempered in order to give it a perfectly smooth and glossy finish.

Tempering is really very simple, and although it takes a little time, it is worth the effort to achieve a really professional gloss. You will need a sugar thermometer, and then all the process requires is to take the couverture to a certain temperature and then to cool it. This changes the crystalline structure of the chocolate and makes it shiny and manageable.

If the idea of tempering chocolate really doesn’t appeal, you can simply melt good quality eating chocolate using the bain-marie method. It tastes fine, although your chocolate will not have the shiny, professional texture or the ‘snap’ of tempered couverture.