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Melting chocolate: How to melt and temper chocolate

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Published on Feb 24, 2009

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Melting chocolate: How to melt and temper chocolate

If you want to make chocolate candies, you need to know how to properly melt and temper the chocolate. Here, the world-renowned chocolate maker Jacques Torres shows how to melt and temper chocolate.

Tempering chocolate is the key for making chocolate candies. When you properly temper chocolate, when cooled, it will have a shine and will have a slight snap when broken. Also, when you temper chocolate properly it will shrink away from the surface of chocolate candy molds, which aids in easy removal.

How to melt chocolate (Double boiler method)
1. Place a saucepan half-filled with water over medium heat and cover with a heatproof mixing bowl large enough to snugly rest on the rim of the saucepan. Bring water to a simmer.
2. Chop a block or bar of chocolate into small pieces.
3. Place about two-thirds of the chopped chocolate into the bowl.
4. Use a rubber spatula to stir occasionally until the chocolate reaches about 100°F. Make sure that the water in the pan does not boil or you may burn the chocolate.
5. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan. Stir in the remaining chocolate.

How to melt chocolate (Microwave method)
1. If you would rather use a microwave to melt the chocolate, chop the chocolate into small pieces, place into a glass bowl and heat for 15 seconds and stir. Continue to heat for 15 seconds and stir until melted. Make sure the chocolate does not smoke, as this will ruin the chocolate.

How to temper chocolate
1. As the chocolate cools to a temperature of about 83°F-84°F, you will see the chocolate start to crystallize (harden) around the outside edge of the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to stir the crystallized chocolate into the melted chocolate. If the chocolate is tempered, a knife tip dipped into tempered chocolate will set with a nice shine after 60 seconds in the refrigerator.

Using tempered chocolate
1. Being careful not to overheat it, place the bowl of tempered chocolate over simmering water until the chocolate reaches the ideal working temperature of 88°F-90°F.

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