Homemade chocolates can seem like a daunting task to make, but in reality with the correct tools and a little know how, they can be pretty simple to make. The first step is making sure your chocolate is the right consistency. That is where tempering chocolate comes in.
Tempering is the process that ensures chocolate is smooth and shiny, and not dull and greasy-looking and it’s the process that will help you on your way to making chocolate molds. Have you ever left chocolate out and it melted and then put it in the fridge to firm it back up? Then when you go to eat it, the color was murky and became a crystallized brick that looked nothing like the original product? Well, tempering will prevent that from happening.
So how do we temper chocolate? Luckily for us all, it’s actually a very simple process.
Before you start, you’ll need to get hold of a thermometer that can measure in the range of 25°C to 50°C.
- Start with your favorite chocolate. The process is the same whether you use White, Milk or Dark Chocolate.
- Make sure you keep about 3 or 4 pieces of chocolate aside. Heat the rest of your chocolate over low heat to 46-48°C. I have found the best way is over a double boiler. Make sure to stir constantly.
- Make sure you keep the heat very low, so you do not melt the chocolate too fast.
- Once your chocolate is melted and reaches 46-48°C all the chocolate crystals have melted, and can now be cooled to form a new crystal structure.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and add your 3 pieces of chocolate you set aside. These blocks will provide what is called the ‘seed crystals’ for our new chocolate structure. As the chocolate cools, the melted chocolate will ‘copy’ the structure of these seed crystals, forming those beta crystals we mentioned earlier.
- Continue to stir the chocolate gently until it has all melted.
- Once the chocolate is melted, keep an eye on the temperature. Let the chocolate cool to 30-31°C*, gently stirring it all the time.
- Once you have reached the ideal temperature you are ready to pour your chocolate into molds!