Take a minute to imagine your favorite chocolate bar. The smell of the cocoa. The fillings of the bar. The snap of the chocolate. It’s sheer perfection. But have you ever wondered how you can create that sweet sensation at home?

We were joined by master chocolatier, and owner of Prairie Cocoa and Confections, Keyes Clemmer. She taught us how to temper our own chocolate perfectly. Even if Prairie C is closed for the night.

Chocolate is “tempered” to extract its properties and qualities which, when done correctly provide a finished product that is easy to work with, shiny and smooth and has a crisp snap when you break it.

Chocolate that has streaks of a whitish, dull coloring is the result of temperature abuse. Creating beautiful chocolate desserts, confection garnishes and molded chocolate bon bons can only be achieved by mastering chocolate tempering.

Equipment & Chocolate for Tempering Chocolate:

                                    *Couverture Chocolate (contains at least 31% cocoa butter)

                                    *Thermometer that can reach 130*F (55*C)

                                    *Bain Marie (can be a quart pan & stainless-steel bowl)

                                    *Marble Slab & Metal Bench Scraper

Each type of chocolate contains different properties & thus requires different ranges of melting temperatures.

Temperatures for melting & successfully tempering chocolate

TemperatureDark chocolateMilk ChocolateWhite chocolate
Temp #1122°F (50°C) – 131°F (55°C)113°F (45°C) – 122°F (50°C)113°F (45°C)
Temp #282°F (28°C) – 84°F (29°C)81°F (27°C) – 82°F (28°C)79°F (26°C)
Temp #388°F (31°C) – 90°F (32°C)84°F (29°C) – 86°F (30°C)82°F (28°C)

Methods for Tempering Chocolate

Bain Marie ~ Seeding ~ Marble Slab (tabling)

Bain Marie:

                        *Caution: you must keep all water away from chocolate. Water causes chocolate to sieze.

            *Step one: Heat water; place chopped chocolate in metal bowl, stir slowly & consistently until the chocolate            rises to the correct temp. Ex: Dark Choc: 122*-131*  Remove bowl as soon as it reaches this temperature. 

            *Step two: Place bowl into bowl of ice-water; stirring regularly; bring the temp. of the Chocolate down to   approximately 90-95*

            *Step three: Remove bowl from ice bath; continue to stir until the chocolate reaches the correct cooled temp.  Ex: Dark Choc: 82*-84*

            *Step four: Last step; place the chocolate back on the bain marie & bring the temp of the chocolate up to the final resting stage temp: Ex: Dark Choc: 88*-90*

            This is now the working temperature for the chocolate. 

          **Note: it is important to maintain this temperature throughout the chocolate working process.