The process of tempering chocolate always
works best at normal room temperature, i.e. where the temperature is between
20-22°C (68-70°F) and the relative humidity below 50%.
Check the conditions before you start and again while you work.
Water and Chocolate
Never mix water with the chocolate if you
wish to temper it. Even the slightest amount of moisture can cause the
chocolate to seize. For this reason, make sure that the machine and utensils
are thoroughly dry, that the chocolate is no more than 10°C (17°F)
colder than room temperature and that any pieces to be coated are free
from surface moisture. If the chocolate is more than 10°C (17°F)
colder than room temperature, condensation will form on its surface as
soon as it is exposed to the warmer conditions.
the Melt Temperature
Most chocolate will temper perfectly if it
is initially melted at 43°C (109°F), the default setting. Cocoa
butter, the ingredient affected by the tempering process, melts completely
at this temperature. If, however, the chocolate manufacturer recommends
a higher melt temperature 55°C (131°F) for example you can raise
the thermostat setting, if you wish, using the button for
Every touch of the +Heat or -Heat
buttons moves the thermostat setting 2°C (4°F). The thermometer
symbol on the display indicates the direction of change. The
maximum melt temperature is 61°C (144°F). The thermometer
symbol disappears when the thermostat setting is returned to normal,
If you are going to need more than 700gm
(1.5 lb) of tempered chocolate, you can replenish the pool of tempered
chocolate as you use it. Melt the extra chocolate in a bain-marie and let
it cool to just below 34°C (94°F). If you plan to use a lot of
chocolate this may take some time. As you use the chocolate you have tempered,
replace it gradually with untempered melted chocolate. Add the melted chocolate
the baffle and let it blend with the tempered chocolate already in
the machine. It takes only a few seconds for the mixture to become fully
tempered. We recommend that you start to replenish as soon as you have
used 100cc (4 oz), using a ladle of this capacity to replace the quantity
used. If the melted chocolate is too hot or too cold when you add it, the
mixture will not temper properly. If this happens press the button Melt,
wait for the cursor to return to the
central position indicating that the mixture has reached 43°C(109°F),
press the button Temper and add more
'seed' chocolate. Proceed in the normal way.
the Viscosity of the Chocolate
Tempered chocolate is slightly viscous.
The degree of its viscosity determines how much chocolate will cling to
a dipped piece. If the chocolate is very viscous the coating will be thick and if the chocolate is runny the coating will be thin. In most
circumstances the tempered chocolate you produce with your machine will
give satisfactory results; however if you need to adjust the viscosity
this is what you do:
If the chocolate pool is slightly too thick,
you can add a small amount of cocoa butter (½ - 1 teaspoon) to thin it.
Manufacturers of couverture vary the percentage of cocoa butter depending
on the use to which the chocolate will be put. If the chocolate you are
using is a bit low in cocoa butter, adding a few grammes will alter the
characteristics of the end product noticeably. Either add the cocoa butter
using the technique for Tempering Large Quantities
or place the cocoa butter behind the baffle and go through the whole cycle
again: press the button Melt and, when
it is thoroughly incorporated, press the button Temper
and add more 'seed' chocolate. Proceed in the normal way.
Most chocolate will temper satisfactorily
at the default settings: make a couple of test samples to be sure. If the
finish is slightly streaky, the chocolate is either a bit too hot or took
too long to cool. Make sure that the temperature and humidity of the room
are correct. Otherwise, either lowering the temper temperature slightly,
or cooling the finished product with a fan, or refrigerating it for a couple
of minutes should put things right. If the finish is too matt, raising
the temper temperature or adding a touch of cocoa butter as described in
the section Tempering Larger Quantities
can help to bring up the shine.
The temperature of the tempering process can be
adjusted by pressing the buttons marked +Heat
and -Heat at
the end of the tempering cycle when the sign for Ready
is displayed. Pressing these buttons
lowers and raises the temperature in this mode, in 0·05°C (0·1°F)
steps. The thermometer symbol
shows the direction of change. You should only make this adjustment at
the end of the tempering cycle when the sign for Ready
If you would like to know more about the reasons for the formation of bloom on untempered chocolate read the ChemBytes e-zine on "Chocolate in Bloom".
If the 'seed' chocolate you are using is not
fully tempered, either because it has been stored in a warm place or because
it has been melted and allowed to go cold, use the slower Temper
2 option. This cycle includes a longer cooling phase. It should
be used in the rare event that the faster
cycle fails to work.
If the chocolate over-tempers and becomes
thick the presence of pieces of cool or solid chocolate in the bowl will
cause this you can correct the error. Press the Reset buttom followed by the Melt button. Wait
for the cursor to return to the central
position, indicating that the mixture has reached 43°C(109°F), then
press the Temper button and place 85gm
(3oz) of solid chocolate behind the baffle. Continue to temper in the usual
If the chocolate has seized by coming into
contact with water and becomes very thick, like porridge, you will have
to start from the beginning with fresh chocolate. The seized chocolate
can be saved and used in any recipe which calls for chocolate melted in
a liquid such as cream or milk. For example, you can use it to make Ganache.
Many items can be completely or partially
dipped in tempered chocolate. For perfect results follow these simple rules:
Make sure the piece is completely dry. Dust
the piece with cornflour if there is any chance of surface moisture.
Use good quality couverture with a fat content of 34-36%. The fat percentage is the major factor effecting the thickness of the coating. Too little fat will result in a thick coating, too much fat may make the coating a bit transparent. The ideal thickness of coating is a matter of personal taste, but many believe that a thin coating of approximately 2mm is ideal.
If the piece is to be covered completely,
select a suitable dipping tool.
Prepare a sheet of unwaxed paper or parchment
for placing the dipped pieces.
To dip you may either:
Stop the machine briefly while you dip by
pressing the Pause button
or, keep the machine running.
Sturdy items can be dropped into the moving
chocolate pool and fished out when they are completely covered. This
process works best if the pieces are dropped in on the right hand side
and fished out on the left, so that they float through the pool from one
side to the other.
When the piece is satisfactorily covered,
drain it thoroughly by skimming the surface of the chocolate pool with
it to draw off any excess liquid chocolate or scrape the excess on the
edge of the baffle clip. Drop the piece gently onto the paper. If you are
using a tool, you can decorate the top of the piece by pressing down lightly
or by using the tail of chocolate that falls from the tool to mark a swirl
or other design on the surface. Store in a cool dry place. Allow 24 hours
for the pieces to be fully set.
If a dipped piece cracks, the centre you
used was probably too cold. Allow plenty of time to bring refrigerated
centres to room temperature.
Fruit must be thoroughly clean and dry before
dipping. Use a paper towel to dry each piece and handle with care to avoid
releasing any moisture. Pieces of fruit that are to be completely covered
may be dusted with cornflour first.
Additional bowls and baffles are available
to allow two or more different types of chocolate to be worked on one after
the other. Cooled pieces dipped in one type of chocolate can be dipped
again to produce a contrasting finish.
Squares, Sheets, Curls and Cups
Tempered chocolate can be spread on any clean,
dry, non-absorbent surface to cool and harden. Acetate sheets are ideal
for this purpose.
For Leaves and Squares, spread the chocolate
evenly over the acetate sheet with a fluted spreader or offset spatula in order to achieve
the desired thickness. Score the chocolate in the shape of your choice
before it is fully set.
For more complex shapes, you may bend the
and hold it in place with a paper clip or a staple. When the chocolate
is cool and hard, peel the acetate away, and store the chocolate shapes
in a cool, dark, dry place.
Tempered chocolate spread evenly on a hard
surface, such as a marble counter, can be formed into decorative curls
by drawing a knife or scraper along the marble once the chocolate is sufficiently
firm. If the chocolate has the correct consistency, it can be rolled up
into tight tubes or gathered into loose fans.
Perfecting these techniques requires practice.
Many different shapes can be moulded using
tempered chocolate. For perfect results follow these simple rules:
Make sure the mould is completely dry and at room temperature.
Use good quality couverture with a fat content of 39-40%. Or add additional cocoa butter to the couverture. If the fat content is lower than 39% the fine detail on the mould may not transfer on to the finished article.
Ladle the quantity of tempered chocolate required
into the mould. For solid objects shake the mould gently to release any
air bubbles and make sure the mould is perfectly full. For hollow objects,
coat the inside evenly, pour out any excess, and stand upright on a rack
For the best results use a vibrator table to remove any bubbles - see the Products page for details - alternatively paint the
mould thoroughly with tempered chocolate before you start to reduce the risk of small
bubbles being trapped between the chocolate and the mould. Allow to cool
and harden before proceeding.
Set to harden in a cool place. You may
use a small electric fan to speed the process. Allow 24 hours for the pieces
to be fully set. Unmould and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
There are two basic ways to use tempered chocolate to decorate cakes:
Use any of the different shapes from the section 'Leaves, Squares, Sheets etc' and stick these to the cake surface using butter cream, jam or traditional icing.
It is important to plan your design in advance. Using transfer sheets to decorate sheets or squares is particularly effective.
Since pure tempered chocolate sets rock hard, it is not a suitable 'icing' for anything larger than a bite-sized item. However an excellent icing can be obtained by stirring into the tempered chocolate up to 10% by weight of a neutral, tasteless oil. This is best added by very slowly pouring it in behind the baffle. Ensure that the oil is not cold - 30ºC is ideal. Place the cake on a wire rack over a sheetpan and pour the thinned tempered chocolate evenly over the cake. When the chocolate sets, trim around the base. The chocolate will set with a tempered chocolate sheen, but with a softer texture.
Important Tip: make sure the cake is at room temperature before being iced and to protect the finish do not store the cake below 10ºC/50ºF - a normal refrigerator is not suitable. If you are obliged to store the finished article below 10ºC/50ºF then transfer the item to a cool place for an hour before exposing it to room temperature. If the difference between the item and the environment is greater than 10ºC/18ºF it is likely that condensation will form on the cold surface.
| Tempering | Products
| Assembly | Controls
| Use |
| Tips | Information | Feedback
1998-1999 Chocolate Tempering Ltd.