When tempering chocolate, there are many things that you need to pay attention to. First, you need to understand what tempering is and how to do it right. And second, you need the proper tools to temper chocolate.
However, not everybody has all the tools to do this. You might not have a candy thermometer or an instant-read thermometer at home. But don’t worry! This article will teach you how to temper chocolate without using a thermometer.
two ways to temper chocolate without a thermometer
There are two easy ways that you can use to temper chocolate without a thermometer.
1. creating crystals
Using any chocolate melting method you want, melt all of the chocolate until it is very liquid. When you lift the chocolate on a spoon or ladle and pour the chocolate back, the chocolate immediately gets incorporated back into the rest of the chocolate without leaving any marks on the surface.
Cool the chocolate down until it has a thick texture, with bubbles forming as you mix the chocolate. At this stage, some bits of chocolate might clump due to over-tempering. But don’t worry, as we will bring the temperature up again.
Next, we re-warm the chocolate. You can either use a water bath or a heat gun to do this. Using a microwave is not recommended because there’s a risk that you’ll heat the chocolate up too much. Heat the chocolate until it’s slightly cooler than your body temperature.
A way to know is by lifting the chocolate on a spoon or ladle. The chocolate dripping should form a small “mountain” of chocolate that does not directly get incorporated back into the rest of the chocolate.
Lastly, test whether the chocolate has been tempered correctly. Dip the edge of a spoon or a knife in it, then set it aside at room temperature.
If it has been tempered properly, the chocolate will set quickly (around 3-5 minutes) and become firm and shiny. When you touch it, your finger will not leave any streaks. If not tempered, the chocolate will have streaks or looks lumpy, and will not set firmly.
The first thing you need to pay attention to with this method is the chocolate you use. Use chocolate that has never been melted before. If the chocolate has melted before, there is no crystal inside that chocolate that you can use for seeding.
Melt ⅘ of your chocolate using your preferred method, whether using bain-marie, granite or marble tabletop, or microwave.
When the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and begin to add the remaining chocolate. Add them gradually, stirring rapidly each time until all the added chocolate has melted completely.
Check the chocolate’s temperature by taking a small amount of the melted chocolate, then dab it just below your wrist. It should be slightly cooler than your body temperature. If it still feels warm, continue to stir then test again.
Lastly, test whether the chocolate has been tempered correctly. Dip the edge of a spoon or a knife, then set it aside at room temperature. If it has been tempered properly, the chocolate will harden quickly (around 3-5 minutes) and become firm and shiny.
When you touch it, your finger will not leave any streaks. If not tempered, the chocolate will have spots or looks lumpy, and will not set firmly.
When you don’t have a thermometer available in your kitchen to rely on, you need to pay attention to other characteristics of the chocolate. This is something that you will get better at by practicing over time. And of course, remember to not stress over not getting it right the first time. You can always learn from your mistakes!
Do you have more questions about the tempering couverture chocolate? Feel free to leave us a comment down below or talk to one of our knowledgeable sales reps by visiting our contact page. And if you're interested in versatile couverture chocolate for your business needs, check out Embassy Chocolate products!