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How to Temper Chocolate in the Microwave

Learn how to temper chocolate in the microwave with my easy techniques that will give you lovely chocolate to bake with every time!
How to temper Chocolate in the microwave- tempering chocolate should not be a daunting task. It is really easy to do in the microwave

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Hi Bold Bakers!

When it comes to my baking I am all about technique. But there are just some things I think life is too short for and Tempering Chocolate is one of them. Rather than do it over a bain-marie, I make it quickly in the microwave. It’s easier and you get the same result. Be sure to watch my video below for the method and get the written recipe and rationale below.

Why does chocolate need to be tempered?

Tempering chocolate is used mostly in Chocolate making or creating chocolate decorations. Tempering chocolate yields you a silky smooth product that gives your chocolate a glossy sheen and a nice bite to it. Tempering also makes chocolate more pliable and easier for pastry chefs to manipulate for dessert decorations and edible art. You know that kind of chalky, dusty color you can get on chocolate sometimes? Tempering will stop that from happening.

Here’s the science:

Chocolate is made up of various crystals. If they are not aligned correctly, chocolate will not have that nice, glossy snap when it sets, and will streak and “bloom,” developing a white, sandpaper-like exterior made of cocoa butter. Tempering chocolate by heating, stirring, and cooling aligns the chocolate crystals so that the chocolate sets up correctly when it hardens. Traditionally, one step involved melting chocolate over a double boiler, which adds time and runs the risk of moisture — chocolate kryptonite — getting on the chocolate.

This time, it’s easy. With little more than a bowl, a spatula, and a microwave, you can have perfectly tempered chocolate, every time.

Here’s how to temper chocolate in the microwave:

You will need: a spatula, glass bowl, microwave, and a good, accurate thermometer with a range as low as 70°F (21°C). Since you have to end up in a very specific temperature range, a good thermometer is key.

Now, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Divide the chocolate into 2 batches: 3/4 of the chocolate in 1 bowl and then the leftover 1/4 in another to be used later. 

Put the bowl with the large amount of chocolate into the microwave and melt on high in 20 to 30 second bursts, stirring gently, until it is melted and glossy, in between 114 to 118° F (57oC-59oC). You may even need to microwave in 5-second bursts toward the end. The goal is to hit the temperature “sweet spot” and not burn or overheat the chocolate. 

The temperature range is different for milk and white chocolate. Milk chocolate should be melted to between 108 and 113° F (42°C-45°c); White chocolate’s range is 105 to 110° F (40°C-43°C). White can burn very easily — be careful.

Next, begin “seeding” the melted chocolate by adding the reserved (1/4 amount) chocolate pieces, a bit at a time, stirring gently. The seeding and stirring will realign the chocolate crystals into temper. Stir and seed until the temperature of the chocolate is 88 to 89° F (31°C-32°C), and the seeding pieces are fully melted. Milk and white chocolate should cool to 85 to 86° F(29°C-30°C). Done! 

Your chocolate is now in temper. Work with the chocolate in its tempered range. If it starts cooling too much, you can microwave it at half power to bring it back up. 

I used FOOD52.com as a reference for this method. If you would like to read their full article on Microwave Tempered Chocolate click here.

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You can make Homemade Chocolate Bars and Chocolate Truffles just like these with Tempered Chocolate.

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Recreate some of your favorite chocolate like I did here. I made Rolos.

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Watch The Recipe Video!

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Ayan08
Ayan08
4 months ago

Hi chef, could this recipe work for coating any kind of dessert? Thank you..

Kalpesh
Kalpesh
10 months ago

Hi Gemma

With tempering does the same rule apply, when you use cocoa powder and cream and heat in a saucepan so create like a shiny chocolate layer ?

thanks
Kalpesh.

Stacey Roe-Moore
Stacey Roe-Moore
1 year ago

Ok, let me just start by saying THANK YOU!! I have been trying to temper chocolate for.montha on end and have only managed to do it with your guidence. All the other ones was telling me to heat it up to 88f other wise it will ruin, so I have really struggled thinking it was me as I just couldn’t get it to melt more than a paste. Realising the mistake after reading your simple blog was mind blowing, chocolate will not be wasted no more, honestly I’m so happy once I heard that snap I went crazy and had… Read more »

annonomous
annonomous
1 year ago

hey gemma i LOVE your work its amazing i want to temeper some chocolate to make a chocolate heart. would it be better to use cooking chocolate or can i just use a regual tesco brand chocolate bar. and also if i do milk chocolate can i put glitter in it or will it just ruin the temper

Colleen Austin
Colleen Austin
1 year ago

Hi Gemma could you help me please what chocolate should I be using for tempered choc I have tried the callebaut ( it had only to tear drops) someone said it needs to be 3 I have also tried the tesco cheap one I spending so much money trying to get this right I just want yo give up x thank you.
Colleen

NinjaGirl2
NinjaGirl2
2 years ago

I’ve watched your videos for years and they have really helped me. I was just wondering if there was a way to temper chocolate without a thermometer as the one I have isn’t very accurate. Also, if I was going to make peanut butter cups, would I need to temper he chocolate? It’s father’s day soon and he really likes them. Thanks. ❤️

Bold baker
Bold baker
2 years ago

Hi Gemma,
can you pour tempered chocolate all over a cake as if it were a glaze?

Bold baker
Bold baker
2 years ago

Hi Gemma,
I was wondering if you can make a video on how to make a chocolate mirror glaze. I really want to try it, and was hoping you can help us by doing a walk through of it. Thanks!

Dhuha Rashid
Dhuha Rashid
3 years ago

Hie gemma. With a query again(????????). I tempered a 55% choclate to make some leaf designs with it which i had to put over a cake. But the design could not stand room temperature and melted as soon as got it out of the refrigerator. How can i fix it?
Thankyou.

Megha
Megha
3 years ago

Hi Gemma, i tried melting the dark compound and used it to wrap banana peanut pops but it started seizing just after i wrapped my second banana pop. How do i prevent melted chocolate from seizing?
And i love your videos.

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook