Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quick Tempering Chocolate

If you've ever decorated with chocolate and had the chocolate turn streaky-white, you've seen first hand the effects of untempered chocolate. Untempered chocolate also never hardens properly and takes forever to firm up at all. Without going into a very long explanation, the problem is the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter. Here's what untempered chocolate can look like as it cools:

cheesecake 017

Not very pretty if this happens to your decorations.

The following method isn't 100% if you don't have a thermometer, but for little decorating jobs, where you will be using the tempered chocolate quickly ( like for decorating or dipping a dozen
macaroons) it will, hopefully, do the trick:

Start with 4 ounces of chocolate, finely chopped. Place 3 ounces in a microwave-safe bowl that won't get hot - plastic or Pyrex is a good choice.


Heat the chocolate on defrost (#3) for 1-1/2 - 2 minutes. This should be sufficient to get the chocolate melting. If it hasn't started to be liquidy, you'll need to give it a little more heat ( if you have a thermometer, you want to keep the temperature under 110 degrees F.). Add the remaining chopped chocolate and keep stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (The temperature of the chocolate should have dropped down to about 85 degrees). Now, reheat the chocolate for 10 seconds on defrost (#3). This should bring the temperature to between 88 and 90 degrees F. QUICKLY, decorate or dip your baked goods..


doggybloggy said...

I can learn from you - you are going into my reader immediately

Junglefrog said...

Thanks for this useful tip on chocolate Penny! I keep struggling with chocolate... It can be such a hard ingredient to treat well.

Penny Wantuck Eisenberg said...

It's really a challenge in the South (US) where it's often very humid. But this quick method seems to work for small batches that will be used right away. I hate having my cookies or pastries ruined because the chocolate bloomed.

Penny Wantuck Eisenberg said...

Thanks, doggybloggy

Anonymous said...

what if you dont have a microwave