Lynn of CocoDelirious shows us how to temper chocolate - in a microwave! - in this delicious-looking video. She reveals that a sophisticated double-boiler setup is unnecessary; all that you need is a microwave, a candy thermometer, a microwave-save bowl, and a spatula. Glass and ceramic bowls - or any material that will retain heat - are a bad idea when dealing with chocolate. Lynn demonstrates melting the chocolate bit by bit, with short duration microwaving, no more than a minute at a time, stirring periodically. This short-duration heat is to prevent the chocolate from burning - burnt chocolate is unrecoverable. When the chocolate reaches a little over a hundred and ten degrees and all the chocolate crystals have melted, the chocolate is ready to be tempered. Chunks of unmelted chocolate are added gradually, stirring regularly, to slowly lower the temperature of the chocolate in a process known as "tempering", which serves to stabilize the cocoa butter crystals destabilized by the initial heating. This process allows the chocolate to set properly when it cools and recover the "snap" we're accustomed to in chocolate candy. Once the chocolate is brought down to just above eighty degrees, it's ready to be poured into molds and cooled more rapidly in the refrigerator. If everything has been done right, the chocolate should be a rich dark color on the outside, and have that signature snap. Bon appetit!
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