When it comes to using chocolate, some people just don’t realize how difficult and finicky it can be. A lot of people don’t even know the difference between tempering and melting chocolate. So if you’re dying to know about chocolate, this guide is for you.
Tempering and melting are two different processes. When you melt chocolate, you’re taking it from a solid to a liquid state, but you’re doing so in a way that creates unstable sugar crystals, which means it’ll look matte and might not be a totally smooth texture.
When you temper chocolate, you’re trying to control the temperature the chocolate gets to which, when done correctly, results in a liquid chocolate that has stable sugar crystals, which looks shiny and when hardened is very crisp.
Tempering chocolate takes a really long time, sometimes close to an hour, for just one element of a dish. But, luckily, you don’t have to do it all the time.
The only times you really want to temper chocolate is when you’re going to cover something and you want it to look super pretty and shiny.
If you’re making brownies or using chocolate in any other baking situation, melting it is just fine. But if you want to give something an extra touch of elegance, tempering is the way to go.