Tempered chocolate is the secret to professional-looking chocolate treats. Tempered Chocolate is smooth, with a shiny finish.
There are two types of chocolate which can be used for baking, cooking or melting, real chocolate and compound.
When you are buying chocolate from the supermarket, it has already been tempered and therefore looks shiny, hard and snaps crisply when broken. However, once you melt it, in order for it to return to a shiny hard appearance and texture, you must temper it again.
Most likely you will only need to temper real chocolate at home if you are making your own chocolates using chocolate moulds or wanting to give your desserts a glossy hard chocolate finish. Tempering will ensure that your chocolate regains its shine and prevents it from appearing cloudy or blotchy when finally set.
The cocoa butter crystals are in suspension with the cocoa solids until the chocolate is warmed. Once you have warmed the chocolate, this suspension is broken and when the chocolate cools, the cocoa butter crystals rise to the top, making white streaks on the tops of your chocolate sweets. This is called ‘blooming’. It won’t affect the flavour, but it doesn’t look very good!
Tempering returns the cocoa butter crystals to suspension within the chocolate and produces a chocolate with a deep shiny gloss.