If you’re an avid baker or chocolate lover, you’ve most likely tried making your own chocolate truffles. And sure, they were good, but they were probably soft and had to be refrigerated. Once you get the hang of tempering chocolate, you'll be able to not only make truffles but your other chocolate confections will be shiny, smooth and have a nice snap to them.
Working with chocolate correctly requires technique, but it's not something you have to be afraid of. With practice, you'll be tempering chocolate in your sleep!
Tempering is the melting and cooling down of chocolate to achieve a shiny and smooth chocolate confection. It allows us to achieve great results with minimum steps and temperature control. A thermometer is helpful when tempering chocolate. After some practice, you'll be able to tell the temperature of the chocolate with your wrist. One of the most used and best thermometers on the market right now, preferred by chefs and chocolate makers alike, is the ThermaPen.
There are some general precautions to take into account if you want your results to be great. While melting your chocolate, keep it away from water. Even a drop can cause it to seize, so make sure that all your tools, bowls and table tops are dry. Another friend/enemy of chocolate is heat. Sure, heat is used to melt chocolate, but overheating will cause it to thicken and turn grainy, so always try to keep your dark chocolate below 120 degrees F and milk and white chocolate under 110 degrees F.
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