Tempering -- a technique that stabilizes chocolate -- creates a glossy sheen and a crisp snap in the finished confections. For tempering tips, see How to Temper Chocolate. You can also faux-temper the chocolate, which is quicker and simpler but then requires that you keep the finished candies refrigerated, to prevent softening and "blooming." See the method in the Cook's Notes below.
- Total Time:
- Yield: Makes 1 cup
Photography: Bryan Gardner
Source: Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2017
- 3/4 pound bittersweet or semisweet couverture chocolate, such as Valrhona or Callebaut, chopped
Place 1/2 pound chocolate in a metal (or other heatproof) bowl. Bring a saucepan containing 2 inches of water to a simmer, then turn off heat. Set bowl of chocolate over saucepan (don't let bottom touch the water) and let melt, stirring gently with spatula until chocolate registers 118 degrees to 120 degrees on thermometer. Remove bowl; cover saucepan to keep water warm.
Add remaining 1/4 pound chocolate to bowl, stirring constantly until chocolate registers 82 degrees on thermometer. Remove any unmelted pieces of chocolate with spatula. Line bottom of bowl with a kitchen towel and return to saucepan, stirring constantly until chocolate registers 88 degrees to 90 degrees. (The towel will help ensure the chocolate does not climb above 90 degrees, which would cause it to "bloom" when set.) Use immediately, stirring frequently while using to maintain temper and prevent streaking once chocolate hardens. If tempered chocolate thickens too much during use, place over simmering water again, stirring, 2 to 3 seconds.
Bring a saucepan containing 2 inches of water to a simmer. Turn off heat; place a metal bowl containing chocolate over saucepan; stir until chocolate melts. Remove bowl from saucepan, stir in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or shortening, and use immediately. Transfer finished candies to the refrigerator to harden when done, and store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.