Chocolate Tempering: The Art Of Getting The Right Flavour

White chocolate, while still derived from the cacao plant, is simply manufactured from cocoa butter and, in many cases, additional sugar. In contrast, both dark and milk chocolate contain cocoa solids, the component of the cacao bean that gives chocolate its characteristic bitter flavour and dark colour, in addition to cocoa butter and additional sugar. Tempering is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to specified temperatures before it is used in recipes. When done correctly, it imparts a gorgeous shine and delightful bite to the chocolate, as seen in chocolate bars and bon bons. 

So we know a little bit about white chocolate and a little bit about tempering, but how do the two connect? We'll go over two methods for tempering white chocolate as well as some basic tips and tactics to help you nail your next recipe. 

Buy The Right Chocolate 

White chocolate should only contain two ingredients: cocoa butter and sugar. Many white chocolates, particularly chips, are produced from oils and flavourings rather than pure white chocolate. It is essential to use real white chocolate because it is the only type that can temper. Attempting to temper manufactured white chocolate serves no purpose. You should also make sure the chocolate you buy is already at room temperature before using it in a recipe. This means it should be glossy and snappy, not crumbly or streaked. Callebaut is a popular chocolate brand for tempering, but it is far from the sole option. 

Right Temperature 

While tempering chocolate is a very simple process, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of. First and foremost, no water should come into touch with the chocolate, as this will cause it to seize or crumble. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do if this happens to your batch other than use it differently. If only a small amount of water has come into contact with the chocolate, you may be able to make a white chocolate mocha or white chocolate ganache instead. 


Collect the chocolate compound and a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, you can build one with a heatproof bowl that fits into a pot or large saucepan without touching the bottom. 

Chop the white chocolate finely (the pieces should be similar in size for uniform melting). Cut the white chocolate into 3/4 and 1/4 pieces. 

At the top of the double boiler or heatproof basin, place 3/4 of the chopped chocolate. Put aside the remaining 1/4 part. 

Pour the bottom of the double boiler or saucepan with about 2 inches of water and heat it on low. When the water starts to steam, place the white chocolate bowl in the pot. Check that the water is just steaming and not boiling, and that the bottom of the pot does not come into contact with the water. 

While the white chocolate melts, constantly stir it. Once the temperature has risen above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the bowl from the pot and swirl regularly to allow the residual heat to continue melting the chocolate until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Because white chocolate melts quickly, keep an eye on the temperature. 

Keep stirring the white chocolate as it melts. Remove the bowl from the pot and stir often to allow the residual heat to continue melting the chocolate until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on the temperature of the white chocolate because it melts quickly. 

Stir frequently until the white chocolate has cooled to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the tempered white chocolate as soon as possible. Place the bowl on top of a pan of warm, not hot, water to keep it warm while dealing with the melted chocolate. 

Dip a knife into the white chocolate and allow it to cool at room temperature to ensure it is correctly tempered. It should cure quickly, have a shine, and snap neatly when withdrawn from the knife.