plate of dipped treats

Tempering melted chocolate

Tempering melted chocolate for dipping treats requires time and patience, but it's worth it. Here's an easy method for making tempered chocolate.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: General
Keyword: Candy, Candy Making, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
Author: Tammy Spencer, Scotch & Scones

Special Equipment


  • chocolate dark, semisweet, or's up to you (see Recipe Notes)


  • Chop the chocolate block into small pieces using a serrated knife (I break the chocolate into chunks if I can).
  • Put ¾ of the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, then melt in 20-30 second bursts until the chocolate is almost melted. Using a digital thermometer, make sure the melted chocolate doesn’t go over 120°F (for milk and white chocolate, that limit is 105°F).
  • Once the chocolate is melted, add the reserved chocolate (1 piece at a time) and stir until the chocolate cools to 91°F. This is the step that takes the most time and is the most aggravating...I’ll check the temperature and react the same (“it’s not cool enough yet?!?”). Have patience…it’ll get there. When (finally) the chocolate reaches the correct temperature. it’s ready for use.
  • Keeping the chocolate in the correct temperature range (86° to 91°F for dark chocolate; 84° to 86°F for milk and white chocolate) requires a bit of ingenuity. Again, there are numerous ways to go, but I use a neat trick I found on the interweb…place your bowl on a regular heating pad turned to low/medium heat and covered with a dish towel. Check your temperature occasionally to be sure you’re still within range.


You might be tempted to use chocolate chips instead of chopping a block chocolate but try to avoid that impulse. Many types of chocolate chips have ingredients (stabilizers and preservatives) that interfere with tempering. Best to stick with high quality baking chocolate and leave the chips in the pantry this time.
Updated July, 2018: Instead of a heating pad to keep the temper in chocolate, try using the KitchenAid Precise Heat Mixing Bowl, an attachment for the Kitchen Stand Mixer. It works wonders!
Did you try this technique? Please share your pictures with the world on your social media outlets, tag me at @scotch_scones (on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter) or @scotchandsconesblog (on Facebook), and use the hashtag #scotchandsconesblog. I can’t wait to see your creations!