The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in the chocolate, which is related to the working temperature of the chocolate. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate changes into a stable crystalline form. It ensures the hardness, shrinking force and gloss of the finished product after it has cooled. If the chocolate is melted in the normal way (between 40 and 45 °C) then left to cool to working temperature, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the effort of using a special way of bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that is what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature so that there are sufficient stable crystals. The 3 factors which are important during tempering are time, temperature and movement.
Melt the chocolate in the tempering machine (setting the thermostat to 45 °C) then lower the thermostat (± 32 °C for dark chocolate / ± 30 °C for white and milk chocolate).
Immediately add 15% to 20% Callets at ambient temperature.
The machine mixes the Callets into the melted chocolate, dispersing the stable crystals throughout the already melted chocolate. Are the Callets melting too quickly? That is because the chocolate is still too hot. Add more Callets and continue stirring.
That's it! The chocolate has thickened, but has remained even. For tempering systems other than wheel-type machines, we recommend you contact your supplier.
All chocolate should be tempered before you use it to
mould/pour, to use for creating blown figures, for coating cakes or
pralines. In short, whenever chocolate needs to have a perfect
sheen and be hard.
When you add chocolate to dishes to add flavour (when preparing mousses or Bavarian creams for instance), it usually suffices to melt the chocolate. Tempering is not required in these instances. All recipes will indicate clearly if the chocolate should be tempered or not.