This is a great method as it requires no marble. All you will need is your porringer pot, double-boiler or bain-marie (water bath) and a thermometer. You will always need at least this amount of chocolate for dipping and moulding.
500g (1lb 2oz) dark (bittersweet) chocolate (65% cocoa solids), ﬁnely chopped (or use chocolate buttons)
1–2 Place two-thirds of the chopped chocolate into a porringer pot, double-boiler or over a bain-marie (water bath). Do not boil the water, as it may scald the chocolate. Stir regularly until the chocolate has completely melted and reaches 45–50°C (113–122°F) ensuring all the fat and sugars have melted evenly.
3–5 Gradually add the remaining chocolate – this is the seed. Stir vigorously and continue to stir until all of the chocolate has fully melted and the chocolate cools to 28–29°C (82–84°F) and thickens. Warm back up to 31–32°C (87–89°F). The chocolate is now tempered and ready to use. If the temperature drops below this, simply warm it up over the bain-marie again.
When the chocolate reaches 31–32°C (87–89°F) this is known as the working temperature. The chocolate is tempered and ready to use. To test this manually, dip the end of a palette knife into the chocolate, then leave to set. If the chocolate is smooth and glossy when set (see below), you have successfully tempered your chocolate.
Be careful when using a bain-marie (water bath) that none of the water or steam gets into the chocolate. Chocolate is made up of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and possibly milk powder. A small drop of water will moisten the ingredients and make the cocoa solids clump together and separate from
Tempering chocolate correctly is the key to re-creating your own bars, says Curley
the butter (in the same way that oil and water do not mix). You should never cover melting chocolate with a lid as the steam will condense and drop into the chocolate.
Over heating separates the cocoa solids and the other dry ingredients from the cocoa butter; it will begin to burn if over heated, the result being a dry, discoloured paste. There is no retrieving burnt chocolate so be careful when tempering and melting.
For milk chocolate, follow the same as above and melt to 45–50°C (113–122°F), cool to 26–27°C (79–81°F) and temper at 29–30°C (84–86°F). For white chocolate, follow the same as above and melt to 45°C (113°F), cool to 26–27°C (79–81°F) and temper at 29–30°C (84–86°F).