For the best flavour when making delicious treats like truffles, a ‘real’ chocolate is best. This type of chocolate is sometimes called couverture, but good quality eating chocolate may also be used. Tempering chocolate
Initial warming Cooling Re-warming
Dark Chocolate 50°C 27°C 31-32°C
Milk Chocolate 45°C 25°C 29-30°C
White Chocolate 40°C 24°C 27-28°C
‘Table’ method of tempering
1. Melt the chocolate to the temperature given in the chart above, depending on what type of chocolate you’re using.
2. Pour about 2/3rds of the chocolate out onto a worksurface to cool it down so the right sort of crystals start to form. The easiest way to spread it out is to use a palette knife and to use a paint scraper to scoop the chocolate back up to the centre of the board before spreading it out again. Repeat this spreading until the chocolate starts to thicken slightly. The chocolate on the table should then be at the 2nd temperature given in the chart above.
3. Scrape the chocolate on the table into the bowl with the reserved chocolate and mix. The chocolate should then be at the 3rd temperature in the chart. If it’s too warm then ‘table’ some of it again to cool it. If it’s too cool, then warm it gently. It’s a good idea to dip a knife into the tempered chocolate and lift it out to see how quickly the chocolate sets, this will give an indication to whether it’s been tempered properly.
It really helps to have a suitable thermometer. In the Woman’s Weekly test kitchen we use an infrared thermometer, so it doesn’t come into contact with the chocolate and stays clean. These can be bought from specialist chocolate equipment shops and also from electronic stores such as Maplin.