Tempering Chocalate

Appears in

Real Chocolate: Over 50 Inspiring Recipes for Chocolate Indulgence

Real Chocolate

By Chantal Coady

Published 2003

Tempering (also known as pre-crystallization) is probably the most frustrating aspect of chocolate making, until you understand how it works. The principles are really very simple, and once mastered it is a very straightforward procedure. It is a bit like learning to drive: the sort of thing that you have to do by yourself a few times until you have mastered the technique. There definitely is a technique. The good news is that you can re-temper chocolate over and over again, so long as it has been melted correctly and does not have a sugar or humidity bloom (see Storing chocolate).

When I was showing a class of five-year-olds how tempering is done, I used the example of the school children running around in the playground (melted chocolate, all the crystals elements dispersed), when the whistle is blown, and all the children form into orderly lines (or perfect chains of cocoa butter crystals in tempered chocolate). Cocoa butter is intrinsically unstable and by tempering chocolate, you are stabilizing it.

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