Why do I need to temper my chocolate?
When it comes to baking, cooking or melting, there are two types of chocolate that you can use – real chocolate and compound chocolate.
Chocolate that you buy from the supermarket has already been tempered, giving it that perfectly hard and shiny look that snaps crisply when broken. Once it’s been melted, you will need to temper it again. Tempering ensures that your chocolate will regain its shine while stopping it from appearing cloudy or blotchy when it does finally set.
The only time you really need to temper chocolate at home is when you’re making your own chocolates or perhaps to give your desserts a glossy, hard chocolate finish.
So what happens once tempered chocolate is melted?
The cocoa butter crystals are in suspension with the cocoa solids until the chocolate is warmed. Once you have warmed the chocolate, this suspension is broken and when the chocolate cools, the cocoa butter crystals rise to the top, making white streaks on the tops of your chocolate sweets. This is called ‘blooming’. It won’t affect the flavour, but it doesn’t look very good!
Tempering returns the cocoa butter crystals to suspension within the chocolate and produces a chocolate with a deep shiny gloss.