The art and science of melting chocolate is a two step process. The goal of this tutorial is to show you step by step how to melt chocolate properly so your final chocolate covered goodies have a crisp texture, shiny surface and a professional look so that when you give them as gifts folks will really think you are a genius. This DOES take practice so don’t get discouraged if it takes you a few times to do this. And if it does not temper correctly the first time, just add more chocolate and bring the chocolate mixture back to 88-90 degrees add more chocolate and keep stirring to melt it off the heat and it should restore the temper you are looking for.
- Double boiler or sauce pan and heat safe bowl/double boiler insert (metal, heat safe glass)
- 1-2 candy thermometers.
- heat safe rubber spatula or metal spoon
- 1lb high quality chocolate chips, chunks or a bar cut into small pieces.
Please remember this takes practice, lots and lots of practice to do it by eye! So use at least one thermometer and keep the chocolate in range. When possible I like using TWO thermometers. One for the water and one for the chocolate. Overkill? Maybe, but no matter what YOU DO NOT want to get WATER in your chocolate because it will seize and you will have to toss that batch of chocolate out. So I don’t like to risks when it comes to high quality chocolate!
Fill a pot half way with water
Bring water to a simmer which is about 116-118 degrees F
Place your double boiler/bowl/insert over the pot of water
Fill your double boiler with 2/3 of your chocolate chips or pieces.
Stir occasionally to help the melting process
Once most of the chocolate has started to melt, check the temperature with your thermometer and make sure it is between 90-110 degrees F. Most chocolate websites will say its ok to go up to 115 for semi-sweet chocolate and 110 for milk chocolate, I like to keep it lower then that to prevent any possiblity of burning or scotching. Do not go higher then this b/c you risk burning/scorching your chocolate and while this is repairable (by adding shortening or coconut oil), but it will not create the shinny, crunchy finished dried chocolate we are looking for to use to make chocolate bark, candies and other confections
Once the first batch of chocolate is fully liquid add your remaining chocolate pieces. Remove the top boiler from your steaming water, wipe the bottom with a clean towel. Keep your thermometer in the chocolate and make sure the remaining melting chips do not exceed 85-95 degrees. What we are doing in this second step is what is called “seeding” chocolate. What seeding does is it rebalances the sugars and the fat molecules together so that you won’t get white streaks in your finished and dried chocolate product. Keep mixing, mixing and more mixing until the chips are fully melted and set it aside to let it cool.
Once cool place the chocolate over the steaming water again for 5-10 seconds at a time until it heats up to 88-89 degrees F for semi sweet and 87 for milk or white chocolate. Do not leave the chocolate over the hot water, or allow it to exceed 91 degrees. And there you have it! Tempered chocolate. This melted chocolate will be VERY thick! But also VERY YUMMY!