Hello again Food Fanatic fans. I'm happy to be back again this month with another chocolate recipe for you. I just happen to be the resident Chocolate Fanatic here.
I've always been a huge fan of chocolate. Since I was a wee little whippersnapper I've been chowing down on chocolate and loving every single bite.
I'll admit I'm a milk chocolate fan first and foremost. That being said I've never turn my back on any other kind of chocolate. I love them all. I've never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like.
One of my favourite things to do with chocolate is to dip fruit in it. Nothing looks prettier than strawberries dipped in chocolate. Or candies made with beautiful tempered chocolate.
I learned how to temper chocolate from a friend many moons ago. I used to babysit for her, and we became fast friends. She became like a big sister to me, mentoring me in so many ways.
She taught me how to make ice cream from scratch, how to can fresh fruit and also how to temper chocolate like a boss. We loved making our own candies, especially around holiday time.
You can temper chocolate multiple ways. Personally I'm a bit old school and prefer using the double boiler method. It's my absolute favourite way to temper chocolate.
I'm not a huge fan of doing it in the microwave, only because everyone's microwaves are vastly differently. So I worry people would ruin the chocolate too easily.
You can use a thermometer for tempering, and I highly recommend doing so. Particularly for beginners. Using a candy thermometer is going to ensure your chocolate stays smooth and glossy, which is always the goal with tempering chocolate.
For those of you who don't have a thermometer there's a great tutorial for tempering chocolate without a thermometer on The Kitchn. I use this method more often than not because I tend to break candy thermometers often.
Not even kidding. I seem to have a gift for breaking and losing candy thermometers. They never last long in my house. Either myself or my hubby seem to smash them to smithereens.
I highly recommend chopping your chocolate up roughly before starting. Especially for the portion referred to as seed chocolate. It makes the melting process easier. Definitely worth the effort.
I wanted to do step-by-step photos but the day I tempered this batch it was a dark day in Ontario. My kitchen is old and dark, with horrible natural lighting. So process shots were impossible.
I'm going to be visiting a friend who lives on the waterfront; she has beautiful natural light flowing into her kitchen. I asked her if I could shoot a video at her place on how to temper chocolate.
Would a video on tempering chocolate make it easier for everyone to understand the process better? I know it can be confusing with seeding and whatnot. So I think a video would be super useful.
Until then here's a guide to how to temper chocolate using the double boiler method and a thermometer. Hope it helps. Make sure you save this so you have it handy for holiday baking.
- 1 pound chocolate, good quality, 60 to 70% is highly recommended, or chocolate discs
- Fill a saucepan about 1/2 way with water. Turn temperature to a medium-low and allow the water to being to simmer. You can adjust the temperature up or down to get the water precisely how you want it.
- Place 2/3 of your chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the saucepan. Turn heat off. Allow the chocolate to melt. Don't stir until you see it start to melt around the edges.
- Stir the chocolate until smooth and allow it to reach desired temperature. Dark chocolate and milk chocolate melting temperatures vary. Milk is typically about 105°F, while dark chocolate is typically about 120°F. White chocolate should also never go past 105°F.
- Once your chocolate reaches the desired temperature you can toss in the remaining 1/3 chocolate. Stir until all the seed chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Allow the chocolate to cool slightly so you don't cook the things you're dipping.
- Now you can dip fruit or candies in your tempered chocolate.
- Be sure not to allow water or moisture to come in contact with the chocolate. It will ruin it.
- Be sure to buy good quality chocolate, tempered chocolate should be shiny. If the chocolate appears dull or grey do not use.
- It also makes a really nice bark if you like chocolate bark. You can add nuts if desired, I love pistachios in mine.
Le Creuset 3-quart Stainless Steel Saucepan
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls