Bold Baking Basics, Informational Articles

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

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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Comments & Reviews

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Member
Dhuha Rashid
5 months 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
Guest
Megha
10 months 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.

Katie. Moubray
Guest
Katie. Moubray
11 months ago

I just want to thank you for helping me with my chocolate I love your show I watch it on my phone every day when it’s someone I think you are the sweetest kindest person I’ve seen in a long time thank you

Linnea
Guest
Linnea
1 year ago

Hi! Thank you for showing me an easy way to temper chocolate:) I’m looking forward to trying it out! I have a small question: do I have to use a bowl made out of glass? I don’t have any glass bowls, but I have bowls in both steel and porcelain, will one of those work?

NOOR UBAB
Member
NOOR UBAB
1 year ago

can i use dark chocolate compound instead of chocolate?. can i make chocolate ball from it?

candybox
Member
candybox
1 year ago

Hi Gemma
I’m from India… I recently started chocolate making and I really like your videos…. I’d seen your videos on chocolate tempering n I did try it out … But I noticed ones I unmould the chocolates n start wrapping they tend to melt soon … A kinda water vapour occurs on it… Y does this happen??? I use Morde chocolate compound… And another confusion I had is whether chocolates containing cocoa butter only requires tempering???? What bout the substitute chocolates which are prepared at home using cocoa powder, icing sugar and butter…..
Thanks
Apeksha

Liz
Guest
Liz
1 year ago

Hi Gemma,

Enjoy your videos! I can’t wait to try this. Question on your chocolate you use. I live in a area that doesn’t have a lot of fancy stores. So wondering what brand you recommend? I may need to order online.
Thank You

Al
Guest
Al
1 year ago

Hi Jemma just came across your recipe. Just a question what is the difference between adding the final part of chocolate to bring down the temperature as opposed to heating the chocolate to the desired heating stage and just letting it cool down naturally before using it.
Cheers Al

Carol Abnett
Guest
Carol Abnett
1 year ago

Hi Gemma,
I have just used your recipe and it worked a treat, I am just wondering as I have some left over and wish to use it at a later date do I need to temper it again or just reheat it in the microwave and if so to what temperature.
Thanks Carol

WilliamSucaidy
Member
WilliamSucaidy
2 years ago

Hi Gemma!I have a questions to ask.I have a melting pot and I want to dip my cake pops on my tempered chocolate.Can I use the warm setting on the melting pot so that my chocolate won’t cooled quickly after it’s tempered?Thx ?!

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for a FREE profile and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new dessert recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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