Heating chocolate melts all the stable cocoa butter crystals, which are needed to create the shiny, snappy chocolate we expect. To counteract this, chocolatiers have to ‘temper’ their chocolate. The main aspects of tempering chocolate are temperature, time and movement After melting, chocolate has to be constantly moved to ensure that a sufficient amount of stable ‘beta crystals’ are being formed, whilst the chocolate is being cooled down to the required working temperature, which is slightly different for Milk, Dark or White Chocolate.
There are various ways for chocolatiers to do this. I use a ‘seeding method’, which is where I add additional chocolate calletts to the melting chocolate at the correct time, to introduce new crystals and speed the cooling.
Here’s another way it’s done - the ‘table top method’. Fancy a go?