How To Temper Chocolate For Cake Decoration?

Temper Chocolate For Cake Decoration

Chocolate is one of the most popular cake flavours. Apart from infusing chocolate flavour in a cake, chocolates are also used for garnishing and decorating the cake. Chocolates are often tempered for cake decorating purposes. But do you know what is chocolate tempering? Tempering is a technique that stabilises chocolates by creating a glossy, sheen and smooth coating that is used in confectionaries. To elaborate further, it is a process that re-established the cocoa butter crystals that are found in real chocolates (not in compound chocolates).

Are you confused about re-establishing cocoa butter crystals? Well then think about liquids becoming solids like water becoming ice. When water turns into ice, we think that occurs due to temperature which is true. But when the water temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water molecules come together to form crystals and those crystals attach themselves together to form ice. Just like that, a snowflake is an individual ice crystal.

Before delving deeper into the proper way of tempering chocolates for cake decoration, you need to know a bit more about the stages of tempering chocolates.

The cocoa butter present in chocolate can crystallize in six different forms and the principal purpose of tempering chocolate is to assure that only the best form shows up.

Check the crystal melting temperature notes below along with characteristics:

Type 1: 17 degree Celsius – soft, brittle, and melts very easily.

Type 2: 21 degree Celsius – soft, brittle, and melts very easily.

Type 3: 26 degree Celsius – firm, poor snap, and melts very easily.

Type 4: 28 degree Celsius – firm, great snap, and melts very easily.

Type 5: 34 degree Celsius – glossy, shiny, firm, most amazing snap, and melts near body temperature (37 degree Celsius)

Type 6: 36 degree Celsius – hard and takes weeks to form.

Among all these stages, proper tempering is all about the “Type 5”. This type provides the best appearance of chocolate and the steady crystals don’t degrade over time.

Here Is The Easy Way To Temper Chocolate For Cake Decoration:

  1. You will need 3/4 pound or 340 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate of your choice and chop it well.
  2. Now place ½ pound or 226 grams of chocolate in a metal bowl or any other heat-proof bowl.
  3. Take at least 2 inches of water in a saucepan and simmer it and then turn off the heat.
  4. Set the bowl of chocolate over the hot water in the saucepan. But don’t let the bottom of the bowl to touch the water and slowly let the chocolate melt.
  5. Use a spatula and stir it gently until the chocolate enters 118 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer.
  6. Now, you can remove the bowl and cover the saucepan to keep it warm.
  7. Add the remaining 1/4th pound of chocolate to the bowl and keep stirring continuously until the chocolate registers 82 degrees in thermometer.  
  8. Remove those pieces of chocolates that didn’t melt.
  9. Now, line the bottom of your bowl with a kitchen towel and return to saucepan.
  10. Keep stirring the chocolate until the temperature reaches 88-90 degree Fahrenheit.
  11. The towel will help the chocolates not to cross more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Now, you have to use it immediately to decorate your cake and while doing so, you need to stir also so that the temperature is maintained.
  13. In case the chocolate starts to thicken too much during use, you can place it again over simmering water and stir for 2-3 seconds.

Your cake will look super shiny and the taste would also enhance. Additionally, when you click a picture and share on social platforms, it is surely going to get many views and likes. In fact, if you are a foodie and love to cook, you can share a short video of yourself tempering chocolate for cake decoration.


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Rima Ghosh

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