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Temper Couverture and use Coating Chocolate

Using correct time, temperature and movement to bring chocolate to the right working temperature with sufficient stable crystals.

Temper Chocolate in the Microwave

  • Microwave the chocolate pieces at half power for about 30 seconds.

  • Stir the pieces a bit to even out the heat then microwave again for 30 seconds. 

  • Stir and repeat a few more times using shorter intervals (10 - 15 seconds) until the chocolate just begins to melt. 

  • Then, taking time and care, microwave at half power for just a few seconds at a time until the pieces are about 2/3 melted. 

  • It is important not to rush as the chocolate will overheat and then will not temper. 

  • The end temperature should be barely warm and not at all hot (90°F).

When chocolate is the right temperature it feels like “nothing” (neither hot or cold) to most folks. It also looks cohesive and will show a path as it is stirred.

  • If your chocolate is tempered and ready to use it will pass this simple test: a little dribble or dab on a clean plate will set up within a minute or two with even consistency. 

  • As you use the chocolate it may become thick and cold.  Rewarm carefully for just a few seconds at a time to keep it tempered and flowing without going over 91°F.  

  • If you end up with untempered chocolate -  there is a back-up plan!  

Back-up Plan:  
How To Turn Chocolate (couverture) into Coating
(no need to temper this way!)

Couverture chocolate is called real chocolate because the only fat in couverture is cocoa butter (no other oils).
When the only fat is cocoa butter, the chocolate must be tempered or it will not set up properly, as cocoa butter is a crystalline product.

Coating chocolate is the kind of chocolate that includes other fats and because of this does not have the hard crystal structure of couverture.

  • It is simple to use (just melt using very low heat) and great for dipping and making small molded decorations and simple chocolate candies.

  • You can turn any delicious couverture into a coating by simply adding some additional fat!  

  • Stir in about 2 Tbsp of melted fat for each cup of chocolate (any sort of shortening or oil like coconut or canola oil will work).

  • The more you add, the runnier it will be - if you want to have a thin coating add a little more oil!



  • This is another way to give it a cohesive quality and keep the crystals from separating.  With this method you still need to gently warm and stir it as it is used. 

  • The downside here is that the coating will not be quite as hard or durable as tempered chocolate, so take care to keep your finished candies cool.  

  • One more note:  Coating does not retract from molds the way that tempered chocolate will, so it might be necessary to put the molded chocolate into the freezer for a few minutes to get really solid and cold before un-molding them.

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