How To Temper Chocolate

Easily temper chocolate in the microwave! The easiest way to temper small amounts of chocolate.
tempering chocolate tutorial

Tempering chocolate in the microwave is so easy and results in a glossy, shiny tempered chocolate!

Tempering chocolate doesn’t have to be hard! I used to temper my chocolate by the seeding method but once I learned how to do it in the microwave, I’ll never do it another way again! This is a great way to temper your chocolate for hot chocolate bombs

tempering chocolate tutorial

What does tempering chocolate mean?

When you temper chocolate, you are heating and cooling the chocolate in a specific way. When you correctly temper, the crystals in the cocoa butter arrange themselves in a specific order when they chocolate cools.  Properly tempered chocolate is shiny, set’s firm at room temperature and has a sharp SNAP when you bite into it. 

What happens if I don’t temper my chocolate?

When you melt chocolate and the temperature goes above 95ºF, your chocolate will be out of temper. If you try to use this chocolate it will be dull, soft in your hands and will not set. 

chocolate that has not been tempered and has bloomed

If you’re baking, you don’t need to worry about tempering chocolate but if you’re making candies or dipping strawberries, the chocolate must be tempered. Same thing with making molded chocolates. Chocolate has to be tempered otherwise it will not release from a chocolate mold. 

What tools do I need for tempering chocolate in the microwave?

The great thing about tempering in the microwave is it’s extremely simple. You only need a few tools to successfully temper chocolate in the microwave. *this list contains affiliate links*

tools for tempering chocolate

  • Silicone or plastic bowl for melting chocolate in the microwave.
  • Glass or metal bowl for the seeding method
  • Pot for simmering water for seeding method
  • Thermometer spatula 
  • Bench scraper
  • Parchment paper

What kind of chocolate should I use for tempering?

There are two kinds of chocolate. Real chocolate and fake (compound) chocolate. The only way to tell the difference is to read the ingredients. If the ingredients say cocoa butter, then it’s real chocolate. You need real chocolate if you’re going to temper. 

You can use compound chocolate for flexible silicone or plastic molds or for dipping chocolates but it doesn’t have that SNAP that real chocolate has. It also won’t release from a polycarbonate mold. 

Compound chocolate also melts at a much higher temperature than real chocolate. Real chocolate melts at body temperature so it dissolves on the tongue when you bite into it. Compound chocolate has to be chewed. 

I like to use Callebaut semi-sweet callets. It’s pretty standard chocolate and not too expensive. This is a 54% cocoa solids and 36% cocoa butter. The higher the cocoa solids %, the thicker the chocolate will be. Milk chocolate and white chocolate will also contain sugar and dairy.  

Ok let’s get to tempering our chocolate! Choose the method that works best for you but I highly recommend you give tempering chocolate in the microwave a try!

How to temper chocolate in the microwave

To keep your chocolate in temper you MUST pay attention to the temperature of the chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate should never go above 88F-90F.  Milk chocolate should never go above 84F-86F. White or colored chocolate should never go above 82F-84F. The chocolate must contain cocoa butter for this to work. 

  1. Place 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate into your plastic or silicone bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on high, then stir. 
  2. Microwave one more time for 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 10 seconds. Stirring in between each heating. DO NOT RUSH THIS!
  3. Always check your thermometer to make sure your temperature is not going above 90ºF. 
  4. Once your chocolate is melted, it’s ready to use!

tempering chocolate

The secret to this way of tempering chocolate is controlling the temperature. As long as it doesn’t go above the proper temperature then the crystals inside the cocoa butter remain intact and the chocolate stays in temper. This is a great way to temper small amounts of chocolate. 

If you’re melting a big chocolate bar, make sure you chop it into small bits before melting to avoid over-heating and accidentally getting your chocolate out of temper. 

What happens if my chocolate gets too hot?

If you do happen to get your chocolate too hot don’t worry, you can still temper it using the seeding method. Transfer your chocolate to another bowl and add a little unmelted chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir until it cools to 97ºF.

How to temper chocolate using the seeding method

  1. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate that you need over a double boiler until it reaches 115ºF. Stir constantly to prevent hot spots. Make sure the bowl fits firmly over your simmering water to prevent steam or drops of water from getting in your chocolate
  2. Remove chocolate from the heat. Add 1/2 of your remaining un-melted chocolate back into the bowl. Stir to melt. This cools down the chocolate. Transfer melted chocolate to another bowl to speed up the cooling process. Continue stirring until the chocolate reaches 100ºF
  3. Finely chop your remaining chocolate. At 96-98ºF, add in your chopped tempered chocolate and stir it into your warm chocolate. 95ºF is were the crystals in the cocoa butter start blooming so adding tempered chocolate in right before you reach this temperature ensures the proper crystals will grow and temper the rest of the untempered chocolate. 
  4. Continue stirring the chocolate every 5 minutes until it cools to 79ºF
  5. Warm chocolate VERY carefully over the double boiler for 5 seconds until chocolate reaches 86ºF-90ºF which is a good working temperature for using in molds or making candies. 

melted chocolate on spoon

How to temper chocolate using cocoa butter beta crystals

Another way to temper chocolate is to use tempered cocoa butter crystals called beta crystals. This is a little bit more expensive but pretty much full-proof when it comes to tempering.

  1. Melt 2/3 of your chocolate until it reaches 115ºF
  2. Add your remaining 1/3 of chocolate back into the melted chocolate to cool it down
  3. At 96ºF, add in 1% beta crystals (1 tsp per 7 ounces of chocolate) Stir well
  4. Cool chocolate to 79ºF then warm to 86-90ºF for workability

How to use tempered chocolate

Now that your chocolate is tempered you can use it to make chocolate spheres using a chocolate sphere mold, piped chocolate decorations and lots of other fun things! Tempering chocolate is a great skill to have and once you know how you’ll be surprised how much more you’ll use chocolate in your decorating. 

 

 

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tempering chocolate tutorial

How To Temper Chocolate

Easily temper chocolate in the microwave! The easiest way to temper small amounts of chocolate.
5 from 55 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Serves: 12 oz
Calories: 144kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340 g) chocolate must contain cocoa butter

Instructions

Tempering Chocolate Instructions

  • Place your chocolate in a plastic or silicone bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Then stir
  • Heat again for another 30 seconds, stir, then 15 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds, stir. Make sure your temperature never goes above 90ºF for dark chocolate. 86F for milk chocolate and 84F for white chocolate. DO NOT RUSH THIS
  • If your chocolate is not fully melted then only do another 5 seconds until it is melted
  • Now your chocolate is in temper and ready to use!

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal (7%) | Carbohydrates: 17g (6%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 10g (15%) | Saturated Fat: 6g (30%) | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 82mg (2%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 15g (17%) | Calcium: 7mg (1%) | Iron: 0.8mg (4%)

tempering chocolate the easy way pin

 

77 comments on “Tempering Chocolate The Easy Way

  1. 5 stars
    Will this method work aswell if my chocolate has bloomed? The callebaut dark choc i have has bloomed and before i was able to temper it pretty easily (it was my first time) with the microwave method but now im finding it difficult ☹️

    Thank you!

    1. Blooming is from the chocolate being heated too hot and then cooling without being tempered. If you temper your chocolate again (using the traditional seeding method) then the bloom will go away and you can temper using the microwave once again. bloomed chocolate is not tempered so you cannot use the microwave method until it is tempered. Here is my post on traditional tempering. https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/tempering-chocolate/

  2. So I know you said milk chocolate is tricky, I did try the microwave method with lindt piccoli couverture. It worked better than the stove (I couldn’t get it to temper even with a thermometer). But at 86 I found that it wasn’t fluid enough and I really had to paint it into the molds. I wanted to try it with a polycarbonate mould, but the consistency seems like it would be impossible to swish around to cover everything. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

    1. Not all chocolate is fluid enough at the right temperature. I would look for a milk chocolate couverture chocolate that you can buy online which is formulated to be fluid at the proper temperature

  3. Hi Liz!! Your help has been amazing to me! Thank you so much! I’m wanting to make little chocolate bars for my family, I’m using callebaut 823 would that be ok to melt down and set again in plastic moulds

  4. Awesome article I learned so much as a new baker. I been spending lots of hours trying figure where I did wrong. I am using the callebaut chocolate in the chip form. I also tried semi sweet. The chocolate sets in the mood but when I remove it the top is chipped off . Any suggestions? I thought maybe I am using the wrong chocolate brand but you use the same. Please help. After reading your article I think it may because my chocolate may not at the right temperature. I will attempt it again on the temper you recommend n hopefully that helps. Thanks so much.

    1. The problem is you’re using chips, not a chocolate that is made to melt. It needs to be a bar or couverture chocolate. Chips are formulated to have less cocoa butter in them so that they hold their shape.

  5. Hi Liz,
    Does this tempering method work the same for milk and white chocolate too?

    Many thanks
    Jo
    (I am a sugar geek member)
    Xxx

    1. Hi, for the microwave method, milk chocolate shouldn’t go over 86ºF and white chocolate shouldn’t go over 84ºF.

  6. 5 stars
    This is amazing! I had no idea all the science behind it. Thank you!!

  7. 5 stars
    Do we have to tempering the chocolate every time we use
    Let say I make some bonbon then after an hour I wanna make again
    Do I have to timpring again thanks

    1. yes, each time you melt your chocolate it can go out of temper. So every time you melt it down you want to keep an eye on the temperature. As long as it doesn’t go above 90 degrees F, you won’t break the temper again.

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing this foolproof method!

  9. Can I temper chocolate chips? I did it today , it was a 93F , I pour into my mold I wait until got hard) , I pour my feeling and then I seal it . But it didn’t came out from the mold 😩

    1. The tutorial says that the chocolate cannot go above 90ºF so if you went to 93ºF then you broke your temper. You can definitely temper chocolate chips but they will be fairly thick at 90ºF. It’s best to use callets or chocolate bars.

  10. You’re awesome by the way,
    So I’ve been using the 811 bars but found 811 callets online and just received. I’ve had success with microwave technique using the bars.
    I see it said that chips are not good for tempering, is there a difference between ‘chips’ and ‘callets’ ?
    I hope so! Lastly do you use cocoa butter silk?

    1. Yes there is a difference. Chips have stabilizers added to keep their shape when baking. Callets are just little bite-sized pieces of tempered chocolate. I still like to chop them when tempering in the microwave or they take forever to melt

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Liz thank you for sharing in depth details and easy to understand, I have watched your tampered chocolate video 100 times but never got it right but after reading your blog it was easy for me to follow I understood where I make mistake today I corrected and achieved the perfect tampered chocolate design the shine and the snap was no words to express my happiness thank you so much…

  12. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! Thank you so much for all the information you give us. I’ve learned so much! I had no idea I had to temper chocolate ha ha! So I’ve been making cocoa bombs thanks to your video. But I’m running into a problem. I’m tempering using the microwave method using callebaut callets. The frustrating part for me is even when I’ve reached the stop point of 90f (and stirring and stirring) I still have bits of chocolate and goopy texture. What am I doing wrong? If I heat it any more I end up losing the temper. Yikes! Thank you so much ☺️

    1. Make sure you are chopping your chocolate finely or if you need to temper a lot of chocolate, use the seeding method.

  13. You mentioned melting the chocolate in plastic or silicone bowl, can I use a glass/ Pyrex bowl?

    1. Yes, just know that the glass will hold the heat from the microwave or double boiler. So if you’re doing the microwave method with dark chocolate, only heat it until it says 88 degrees, and stir until it reaches 90. The heat from the bowl will continue to bring the temperature of the chocolate up.

  14. Hii!! What should I do if my dark chocolate reached 92 ?

    1. If your chocolate still had some unmelted chunks in there when it reached 92, just keep stirring until all of the chocolate is melted and you should be fine. If everything is completely melted and it goes above 90F, then you can do the seeding method to get it back into temper. Check out my chocolate heart video to get more information about the seeding method: https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/breakable-chocolate-heart-tutorial/

  15. So excited to try this easy method! By how much should I adjust the heating times if I’m going to be tempering 32-40 oz. of chocolate?

  16. 5 stars
    Just wanted to say thanks- this was so easy to understand. I read other blogs that made it seem so confusing and I never really ‘got it’ and would get discouraged. I would just melt the chocolate but it would never be shiny. Today, I followed your method and I’m happy to report my geometric hearts are so shiny and perfect!

  17. Hi, how can we know that the Chocolate is out of temper?
    And which method should I go for if I’m making homemade chocolates in bulk? Like for a home business purpose?

    1. Hi! Do a test with your temper by placing a teaspoon of chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper and freezing it for 5 minutes. If it comes off the parchment cleanly and has a sharp snap when you break it, it’s tempered! If it bends when you try to break it and leaves a residue on your parchment paper, it’s not tempered. For large amounts, I would use the seeding method 🙂 Watch my breakable chocolate heart and chocolate-covered strawberry videos on YouTube for more info!

  18. Still missing a point I think… why would you go to 115 with seeding method but max 95 in microwave…. shouldn’t that be good for seeding method then? Still not breaking the temper?

    1. seeding is the process of re-introducing crystals into the chocolate. You have to heat to 115ºF to break down all the crystals so that they form correctly as the chocolate cools and you stir. Tempering in the microwave is not breaking down any crystals and is harder to do in large quantities because you can accidentally over-heat the chocolate. If you can melt the chocolate without going over 95ºF then your chocolate will stay in temper.

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