Courtesy of Chef Stephany Buswell: www.chefany.com
This is one of the easiest methods of tempering chocolate. The chunks of tempered chocolate “seed” the melted chocolate with crystals of cocoa butter that help your molded and dipped chocolate pieces set up shiny with a snap.
Take one pound of high quality chocolate (higher in cocoa butter is best), chopped into pieces or in wafers and melt 2/3 of it over a double boiler using hot not boiling water stirring slowly. Being sure not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize up.
Dark chocolate melts at between 115 degrees – 120 degrees F.
White and milk chocolate melts at between 105 degrees – 110 degrees F.
As soon as it reaches the correct temperature take it off the heat and continue to stir until chocolate reaches 95? – 100??. Add the remaining 1/3 pound of chocolate and stir continuously making sure all the chocolate comes in contact with the seed. When the dark cools to 88 degrees and the milk or white cools to 86 degrees the chocolate is ready to test to make sure you reached a temper.
Test chocolate for temper by dipping a small piece of parchment or the tip of a spatula into the chocolate and let it sit at room temperature. If your room is warmer than 69 degrees then put it into the refrigerator for a couple minutes. At room temperature you will notice that it becomes cloudy in just one or two minutes. Out of the refrigerator you should have glossy and firm chocolate. If it is not then you may need to cool further or add a bit more seed and continue to stir. If it still doesn’t work then you reheat the chocolate and start over.
If the chocolate passes the test then you are ready to use it for molding or dipping.