Science Behind Tempering Chocolate

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The science behind tempering chocolate comes at the cellular level between breaking and reforming bonds of crystals.

When chocolate is in a solid brick form, the fat particles of the cocoa butter are in a crystalized hard form. 

When the crystals are warmed, the cocoa butter makeup breaks apart these hard bonds to create a liquid state. 

Once the chocolate is allowed to cool, the bonds will form a more solid structure again.

Science Behind Tempering Chocolate

Types of Crystals in Chocolate

There are 5 different types of crystals that can form and allow the chocolate to have different properties. 

If the melting temperature is too low, the chocolate will be crumbly and melt very easily. (Crystal type I)

If the melting temperature is too hot, the chocolate will be too hard. (Crystal type VI)

Chocolate that contains more cocoa butter will melt at a lower temperature.

Chocolate varies in their fat content, milk fat content, and shape of the fat molecules at a cellular level.

The best chocolate is made with Crystal type V.

Melting temperature for tempered chocolate

The melting temperature for Crystal type V in tempered chocolate is 34 degrees Celsius.

Tempering chocolate with Crystal type V will give the chocolate that shiny and solid chocolate you’re looking for.

After chocolate has been tempered, chocolate will melt around 37 degrees Celsius.

How long does tempered chocolate last

Tempered chocolate should last up to a year.

Tempering chocolate temperatures

  1. Chocolate is warmed to 45 degrees Celcius to melt all of the 6 types of crystals apart.
  2. Chocolate is cooled to 27 degrees Celsius. This process forms Crystals type IV and V. 
  3. Chocolate is heated to 31 degrees Celsius. This gets rid of Crystal type IV chocolate and leaves Crystal type V chocolate only.

How to tell if chocolate is tempered

To tell if chocolate is tempered, look at the appearance of it. If the chocolate looks shiny and glossy it is tempered.

The chocolate should hold well at room temperature, and only begin melting at around 37 degrees Celsius.

How to tell if chocolate is tempered

How to store chocolate in summer

Store chocolate in the summer by placing it in an area that is between 15-17 degrees Celsius. You might store it in a crawl space, your basement, or a lower floor of your house. 

The ideal humidity for chocolate storage is <50%. This can be difficult in the summer, so try to put it in an airtight container to lower the humidity in the air around the chocolate.

How to use silicone molds for chocolate

Use silicone molds for chocolate by placing them right side up on your counter.

  1. Once your silicone molds are in a clear work space, temper your chocolate.
  2. Pour the chocolate into the molds. 
  3. If you’re filling the chocolates with a filling, only pour the chocolate molds half full. Tip the chocolate mold around to get the entire mold covered in chocolate. Place the mold in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
  4. Remove the chocolate from the fridge. Gently spoon or pipe the filling into the molds, leaving a small gap to add more chocolate to the mold.
  5. Retemper your chocolate. Pour the tempered chocolate overtop of the filling. Scrape the excess chocolate using a knife. Place the chocolates in the fridge until hardened.
  6. Remove the chocolate from the fridge. Gently push the chocolate out of the silicone mold from the opposite side. 

How to store tempered chocolate

Store the tempered chocolate at 15-17 degrees Celsius in humidity of <50% for your chocolate to stay good up for a year. Place the chocolate in an airtight container. Chocolate can absorb aromas around it, so this will keep the chocolate from tasting anything like it should.

How to store tempered chocolate

Why does chocolate turn white

Chocolate turns white from absorbing moisture in the air from refrigeration or freezing the chocolate. This causes the fat particles in the chocolate to come to the surface, giving the chocolate a white look to it.