How to temper white chocolate

How to temper white chocolate

How to temper white chocolate
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 16
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g28%
6 mg2%
26 mg1 %
dietary fiber 0g0%
Total sugar 17g
Vitamin C 0 mg1 %
Calcium 56 mg4%
iron 0 mg0%
Potassium 81 mg2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

While white chocolate still comes from the cocoa plant, it's made simply from cocoa butter and often with added sugar. Contrast this with dark and milk chocolate, which, in addition to cocoa butter and added sugar, contains cocoa solids, the part of the cocoa bean that gives chocolate its distinctive bitter flavor and dark color.

Tempering is a process of heating and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures before using it in recipes. When done right, it gives the chocolate a nice shine and a nice bite typical of chocolate bars and candies.

So we know a little bit about white chocolate and a little bit about tempering, but how do these two work together? Here we'll cover two methods for tempering white chocolate, along with a few general tips and tricks to help you nail your next recipe.

How to choose white chocolate

White chocolate should consist of only two ingredients: cocoa butter and added sugar. Many white chocolates, especially chips, are not real white chocolate at all but are made with oils and flavorings. It's important to choose real white chocolate as it's the only variety that will actually temper. There is no benefit in attempting to temper artificial white chocolate. You should also make sure that the chocolate you buy is already well tempered before using it in a recipe. That means it should be shiny and have a firm hold, not crumbly or streaky. Callebaut is a popular brand of chocolate for tempering, but it's by no means the only option.

The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati


While tempering chocolate is a fairly formulaic process, there are a few problems you may encounter. First, it is important that absolutely no water comes into contact with the chocolate, otherwise the chocolate will freeze solid or become a crumbly mass. Unfortunately, if this happens to your batch, there's not much you can do other than use it in other ways. If only a small amount of water came into contact with the chocolate, you may be able to make a white chocolate mocha or white chocolate ganache instead.

If the tempered chocolate has cooled below 81F, you can easily solve the problem by restarting the tempering process – it may take longer, but it's good to know that the damage is reversible. However, if your chocolate rises to 145 F or more, the chocolate will burn. At this point, your stack cannot be recovered. White chocolate is more prone to burns than milk or dark chocolate. Therefore, treat them with special care and attention when tempering.

“Tempering white chocolate can be tricky, but if you follow this recipe carefully, you will definitely make it! I recommend using high quality white chocolate as it makes a difference in the taste and the end product. Make sure you cut the chocolate into small and relatively equal pieces so they melt at the same time.” –Bahareh Niati

  1. Gather the ingredients and craft a water bath. If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one using a heatproof bowl that fits in a saucepan or large saucepan without touching the bottom.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. Finely chop the white chocolate (the pieces should be the same size so they melt evenly). Divide the chopped white chocolate into 3/4 and 1/4 portions.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. Place 3/4 of the chopped chocolate into the top of the double boiler or heatproof bowl. Set aside the remaining 1/4 portion.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Fill the bottom of the bain-marie or saucepan with water to about 5 inches and set over low heat. When the water begins to steam, place the bowl of white chocolate in the saucepan. Make sure the water is just steaming, not boiling, and that the bottom of the pot isn't touching the water.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Stir the white chocolate constantly as it melts. Once the temperature rises above 27°C (80°F), occasionally remove the bowl from the pot, stirring constantly to allow the residual heat to continue to melt the chocolate until it reaches 50°C (45°C). Watch the temperature as white chocolate melts quickly.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Remove the lid of the double boiler or bowl and add the remaining 1/4 portion of the chocolate. This is often referred to as “seeding” the chocolate, which lowers the temperature of the melted chocolate and helps bring it to the right temperature.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. Stir constantly until the white chocolate has cooled to 30°C. Use the tempered white chocolate immediately. To maintain the temperature while processing the melted chocolate, set the bowl over a saucepan filled with warm, not hot, water.

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Test the temper

To ensure your white chocolate is properly tempered, dip a knife into the white chocolate and allow to cool to room temperature. It should dry, shine and break cleanly in about 5 minutes once removed from the knife.

How to temper white chocolate using the microwave method

Chop the chocolate, divide into 3/4 and 1/4 portions as above, and place the larger portion in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the white chocolate in 15-30 second increments, removing after each increment to stir and check the temperature. Depending on how powerful your microwave is, you may need to increase or decrease the duration of the steps.

Once the white chocolate has reached 110 F, add the remaining quarter of the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate continuously, measuring its temperature occasionally until it reaches 30°C. Use the tempered chocolate immediately.

How to store white chocolate

The high cocoa butter content in white chocolate means it has a shorter shelf life than dark chocolate but can still last up to 6 months if stored properly. So if you have any leftovers from your baking escapade, simply lay out some parchment paper and pour small, thin slices of tempered chocolate on top. Once they've cooled, you can wrap them up, place them in an airtight container, and store them in a cool, dark place (avoid the fridge or freezer).

How can I use tempered white chocolate?

Similar to milk and dark chocolate, tempered white chocolate can be used for dipping, enrobing, or making candy.

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