Tempering Chocolate The Easy Way (No Thermometer)

Chocolate Tempering Equipment

To temper chocolate you will need some basic equipment. Don’t worry, nothing fancy schmancy; 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!

Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Chocolate (Candy) Bar by Sweet2EatBaking.com

How to Temper Chocolate

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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. You can always re-use the leftovers later (or eat… chef perks).

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 by Sweet2EatBaking.com

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 by Sweet2EatBaking.com

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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29 Comments on “Tempering Chocolate The Easy Way (No Thermometer)”

  1. BlessedMama — June 22, 2013 @3:23 am Reply

    I love this tip, thank you! The hard part is not "tasting" the chocolate too much before making it into a recipe!

  2. Joy @ Baking-Joy — June 22, 2013 @8:36 am Reply

    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!)

  3. Victoria Lee — June 22, 2013 @11:12 am Reply

    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

  4. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — June 22, 2013 @3:37 pm Reply

    eeee I've always been so scared of chocolate tempering!

  5. Allie @ BakingAMoment.com — June 22, 2013 @5:10 pm Reply

    So, so, simple! I can't believe it can be done so easily! What have I been so afraid of??? Now I have to come up with some candy recipes so I can try out this method... ;)

  6. Shel @ Sweet Petite — June 22, 2013 @8:42 pm Reply

    Wow! I'm definitely doing this!!! I have a load of moulds but the tempering never works for me, I think they'll be coming out again soon enough :)

    Thanks!

  7. Shel @ Sweet Petite — June 22, 2013 @8:42 pm Reply

    Wow! I'm definitely doing this!!! I have a load of moulds but the tempering never works for me, I think they'll be coming out again soon enough :)

    Thanks!

  8. CCU — June 22, 2013 @10:03 pm Reply

    Simple and delicious my friend :D
    Love your chocolate moulds!

    Cheers
    CCU

  9. Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage — June 24, 2013 @12:10 am Reply

    Now I understand what I've been doing wrong!

    I pinned this on Pinterest. Thank you!

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  10. Loretta — June 24, 2013 @11:35 pm Reply

    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 :)

  11. Loretta — June 24, 2013 @11:35 pm Reply

    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 :)

  12. Tenns @ New Mama Diaries — June 29, 2013 @5:50 pm Reply

    So informative! I've always been pretty good a tempering chocolate, but I do have to admit that I haven't been conventional and followed any real guidelines when doing so.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tenns

  13. Sarah — November 29, 2014 @1:00 am Reply

    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. :) :)

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — December 2, 2014 @7:26 pm Reply

      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.

  14. yuva — March 27, 2015 @10:03 am Reply

    Really useful tips for those like me who is Nt able to buy a candy thermometer. This sweety

  15. Vee — December 11, 2015 @7:24 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for these tips, they were so helpful! I've worked with chocolate before and never could get it to set right or have the finish I needed it to, and now it's obvious what I've been doing wrong. I used this method to dip some coconut macaroons and they came out great today, so thank you!

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — December 19, 2015 @6:02 pm Reply

      You're welcome, Vee. I'm glad this method worked perfect for you. It's so easy isn't it? :)

      Have a wonderful Christmas.

      1. Ash — January 28, 2016 @5:18 pm Reply

        Sorry to ask the obvious...(perhaps) but this method will only work for already tempered chocolate which includes a dark couverture slab?

        Thank u so much!

        1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — January 30, 2016 @5:13 pm Reply

          Hi Ash, this method should work for all chocolate in slab form that's in temper. To check, you can always look closely at the chocolate to see if it has a glossy sheen and has a crisp snap when you break it before melting.

          I've used this method on lots of different types of chocolate from cheaper supermarket own brand chocolate to more expensive high cocoa butter type chocolate - works fine for me!

          I hope that helps. Good luck.

  16. Linoy — March 5, 2016 @11:39 am Reply

    Hello! This post is extacly what I looked for! I will let you know if my try will be succesesful. (Also, your chocolate bar looks great!).
    Would this method will also work with white or dark chocolate? Thank you!!

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — March 5, 2016 @8:26 pm Reply

      Hi Linoy! Yes, you can use the same method here to temper dark, milk and white chocolate successfully. I've tried this with all, and no problems. However, with white chocolate, make sure you buy a good quality bar as some white chocolate bars are named 'chocolate' when really it isn't chocolate at all! Crazy huh?

      If the ingredients at the back of the specify cocoa butter (sometimes known as cacao solids in certain parts of the world), then you should be good to go. Chocolate is only real chocolate when it contains cocoa butter. Cheap chocolates use vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter which makes them compound chocolate or candy coating (like candy melts and chocolate chips).

      i hope that helps. Good luck with your chocolates. :)

  17. Aleeha — November 21, 2016 @2:54 pm Reply

    I just wanted to ask that can we make decorations with it like feathers , leaves etc ? And can we use any type of chocolate like dairy milk etc

    1. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking — November 21, 2016 @5:15 pm Reply

      Hi Aleeha,

      Yes, you can make whatever you like with tempered chocolate. Just ensure that the chocolate is real chocolate and not compound chocolate by checking the ingredients for cocoa butter or may be listed as cocoa solids, depending on location. Cadbury Dairy Milk is fine, and what I used myself - you can see I used that in my photos.

      Just ensure when tempering that your chocolate doesn't get too hot. If you dip your finger into the melted chocolate and it feels hot, it has been overheated. If it feels warm like just above body temperature, you're good to start the seeding process. It might take a few tries to get the hang of but once you get the hang of it, it will become easier.

      I hope that helps. I'd love to see what you create. Feel free to tag me on my social media accounts with your creations. Good luck. :)

  18. M — December 15, 2018 @12:47 pm Reply

    You save my life

  19. Barbara Hogue — August 10, 2021 @12:58 am Reply

    Do you need to butter a metal mold.

  20. Zaa — April 8, 2022 @6:51 pm Reply

    Hi there!

    I'm very into making candy chocolates and the like. Came across this write up on tempering and wow you make it look so easy ! I use Cadbury dairymilk chocolate as well but recently have been finding it a little sweet so in the last month I tried a different recipe for my moulds. I also included cadbury bournville when melting as well as baking chocolate to lesson the sweetness. Do you think using all three types at once would be okay when tempering ? I'm a little afraid to try this tempering chocolate out and have been putting it of for a while but after coming across your method I think I would love to try it out sooon xx
    Thank you so much 💕

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