How to melt and temper chocolate

After trying many tempering methods over my 23 year baking career, I found this method to be the easiest and the cleanest.

You will need a digital thermometer to temper correctly, they can be found in any kitchen supply store or online.

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  • 1. Place one third of the measure of chocolate you are using into a bowl and set aside.
  • 2. Place the two remaining thirds of the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place into a microwave on a low setting, stirring every 30 seconds; or over a double boiler on a slow simmer, stirring frequently.
  • 3. Gently melt the chocolate, checking the temperature until it reaches 43-46C (110-115F) for white and milk chocolate or 46-48C (115-120F) for dark chocolate.
  • 4. Once the chocolate has reached the correct temperature, remove from the microwave or double boiler and add a third of the remaining chocolate. If using a double boiler; be sure to wipe the bowl of any water when removing it from the double boiler.
  • 5. Gently stir until the added chocolate has melted. Check the temperature of the chocolate with a thermometer. This technique is called ‘seeding’.
  • 6. Continue seeding the chocolate by adding a little of the remaining chocolate at a time, stirring until it has all melted. Check the temperature of the chocolate regularly until the chocolate cools to 28- 30C (84-86F) for white chocolate, 30-31C (86-88F) for milk chocolate and 31-32.2C (88-90F) for dark chocolate.
  • 7. Now the chocolate is tempered and ready to use.
  • 8. If the chocolate starts to harden before you have finished using it, return it to the microwave or double boiler for a few seconds at a time, stirring continuously until fluid again. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate as it will come out of temper and you will have to start the whole process again.
  • 9. Note: If you are tempering large buttons, kibble or block chocolate, you will have to break down one third of the chocolate you are using into small pieces for the seeding process.
  • 10. If you are using block, break it into smaller pieces first using a small knife or chocolate pick.
  • 11. Place the chocolate into a food processor. Pulse the chocolate to break it into small pieces.
  • 12. Now it is ready for seeding.

About The Author


Elizabeth’s culinary journey started in her childhood home. Coming from Greek and English immigrant parents, food always seemed to be the main focus of everyday life. “Dad would come home from ...