Tempering Chocolate The Easy Way (No Thermometer)

Chocolate Tempering Equipment

To temper chocolate you will need some basic equipment. They’re all cupboard staples anyway. :)

You will need…

  • Good quality chocolate in bar form only. Not chocolate chips or candy melts.
  • Heat proof bowl.
  • Rubber spatula.
  • Sharp knife.

Depending on your method, double boiler or the microwave method, you may also need a few extras. For the double boiler method, you may also need…

  • An ice bath, or
  • A cold wet kitchen towel (cotton towel)

Those items are necessary to cool the bowl down after using a double boiler to stop the chocolates temperature raising further.

If you use a water bath, ensure that no water will come into contact with your chocolate. If it does your chocolate will seize undoing all your efforts and rendering it useless. Bad times!

How to Temper Chocolate

Print Recipe

Are you ready to get started? :)

Make sure you’ve got everything to hand and close by because things can move a little fast.

First of all, break off enough chocolate you feel will be enough for your recipe. It’s better to have leftovers than not enough chocolate.

Chop into segments using the ridges as guides, there’s no need to chop the chocolate smaller. In fact, the size of the chunks helps. Reserve slightly over a ¼ of the chocolate and set aside. Place the remaining ¾ into your heat proof bowl.

If using the double boiler method, ensure that your heat proof bowl does not touch the water before starting. If it does, empty some of the water. Allow the water to come to a simmer before starting then place your heat proof bowl with the chocolate over the pan and continuously stir until approx. ¾ melted, and there are chunks ¼ in size remaining.

Immediately remove from the heat and place the heat proof bowl onto the cold wet kitchen towel or sit in the ice bath for approx. 20 seconds (still stirring) to prevent the chocolate temperature from rising further. Remove from the ice bath or wet towel and set on a sturdy surface.

If you’re using the microwave method, setting your microwave onto half power for 30 second bursts to start with, then reducing to 10 second bursts, stirring between each burst until the chocolate is approx. ¾ melted, and there are chunks ¼ in size remaining.

How to Temper Chocolate

Working quickly, stir the chocolate with your rubber spatula until the small chunks remaining have completely melted.

Quickly add one chunk from the chopped chocolate you set aside earlier and add it to the chocolate and continue stirring continuously until that chocolate chunk added has melted. Once melted, repeat adding the set aside chocolate chunks one by one until the chocolate chunk will not melt any further. This is called ‘seeding’.

Once you reach this stage, your chocolate is at the optimum working temperature. Remove the chocolate chunk that will no longer melt. You can now use the chocolate for whatever you wish to use it for, like dipping, making truffles, and creating décor for cakes. :)

Cadbury's Dairy Milk Melted Chocolate
If you wish to test whether the chocolate is tempered correctly, coat the back of a teaspoon and place it in the fridge. If it hardens within 1-2 minutes, it should be tempered. Don’t worry if it looks a little streaky, it’s probably in temper but needs to be stirred a little more.

If you run out of chocolate chunks, you have heated the chocolate too high of a temperature, and will need more chocolate chunks to hand. Then repeat adding the chocolate chunks one by one.

The key to success is not to heat the chocolate to too high of a temperature where the fat crystals become unaligned, this way the chocolate will stay ready tempered. If you do heat it too high, don’t worry by adding the chocolate chunks one by one you are ensuring that the already tempered chocolate mixes with the chocolate not in temper and will seed the chocolate back into temper.

That’s it! Wasn’t so scary now was it? 😉 The whole process should take between 5-10 minutes.


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  1. says

    Very pleased with these tips Lisa as I don’t have a sugar thermometer! I went on a chocolate making course a while back, science of chocolate is fascinating (I would say that as a science teacher/baker!)

  2. says

    This is a really great tutorial Lisa, especially for the girl that attempted to make Easter Eggs this year and ended up just crying in the corner of the kitchen. Thanks for a great post

  3. says

    I tried this once, but I didn’t have the right thermometer, so I figured I could ‘wing it’…Yeah…not successful! So thanks for your tutorial! Pinning for next time :)

  4. says

    I tried this once, but I didn’t have the right thermometer, so I figured I could ‘wing it’…Yeah…not successful! So thanks for your tutorial! Pinning for next time :)

  5. Sarah says

    Great work! Very easy to follow and convenient! :) Thanks for sharing this, Lisa. And oh, one more thing, could you please let me know what that thermometer spatula is called and what is its brand? Thank a lot, again. :) :)

    • says

      Hi Sarah! I’m glad you loved the tutorial. Tempering chocolate has never been so easy :)

      As for the chocolate tempering thermometer, you don’t need it if you follow the tutorial above. I included it to show the temperature of the chocolate for the purposes of the tutorial, but if you’d still like to purchase it, the brand is Taylor Connoisseur. Unfortunately, it seems they’re only available to import from the US, but Amazon.com do international shipping. Here’s the link to the Taylor Connoisseur Chocolate Spatula Thermometer if interested.

      I hope that helps? If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

      Thanks for stopping by.