Tempering chocolate for molding or dipping
Tempering chocolate is an essential step for making a smooth, glossy, and evenly colored coating with a good snap for dipping or decorating chocolates.
While working with chocolate, room temperature should not exceed 20°C - 24°C.
Tempering chocolate with a microwave
You will need a candy thermometer, a spoon or rubber spatula, and a microwave-safe bowl.
Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe container. A good quantity for this method is 500g; any amount less than 250g may scorch or burn in the microwave.
Put chocolate in microwave and set power to high for 1 minute (30 seconds if using less than 500g of chocolate), paying careful attention that chocolate doesn't scorch or burn. Take the chocolate out of the microwave and stir well to distribute the temperature. The chocolate may start to melt or just warm up (depending on the power of your microwave or the temperature of your chocolate).
Repeat the same procedure until the chocolate is half-melted, but reducing the time to 30 seconds or less.
Once chocolate is half-melted, reduce the microwave time to 10 second intervals on high, stirring thoroughly at each interval. Do this until only small pieces of chocolate are still visible in the bowl, then remove from microwave and stir well until all of the pieces of chocolate have melted and a smooth consistency is obtained. It is best to remove the chocolate from the microwave early and stir very well than risk burning the chocolate by keeping it in the microwave for too long.
The correct tempering temperatures are about 32°C for dark chocolate, about 30°C for milk chocolate and about 29°C for white chocolate. If the room is warm, work the chocolate at 1-2 degrees cooler.
To check if the chocolate is correctly tempered, dip the tip of a teaspoon into the chocolate or spread a thin layer of chocolate on a sheet of parchment paper. If the chocolate hardens quickly and is shiny (in 2-3 minutes) then it is tempered.