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Sorry to bring up this issue yet again, but I cannot find any reference to the problem that I am having.

I am trying to produce simple chocolate bars from commercially provided couverture.

The instructions from everywhere I read, basically say to melt the chocolate at around 45C, cool whilst adding seed chocolate to around 27C  then raise again to 30-31C

My problem is that as the chocolate cools, at around 29C it becomes so stiff that it is almost impossible to stir, and I simply cannot get the temperature to drop further without is solidifying.

What am I doing wrong? 

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Julie- It sounds like you are cooling the chocolate too much. You are simply over tempering. If it is dark chocolate the coolest temperature to come down to could be 30-31C. For milk chocolate 28-29C could be cool enough. Remember that if you have an efficient way to cool and then re-heat the chocolate you might not need to add seed. Adding seed is to help form the correct crystals, cooling and re-heating does the same thing. If you are doing the tempering by hand, I would cool to about 32C add seed and you should be good to go. Every chocolate is different but once you find what works for you it should be easily repeated.

Thanks Robert,

So the temperature profile given by the maker is only a guide? 

Yes. Remember cooling and re- heating creates seed, so be careful how much you add. The seed should slowly melt with stirring. If it melts too quick, the chocolate is too warm, if it doesn't melt the chocolate is too cool.


The process of tempering your chocolate can be confusing.  There are so many unclear methods out there explaining how to do this.  I believe in keeping things simple, so here is my suggestion:


Melt ALL of the chocolate you are going to work with to 45C.

Then cool it all to approximately 27C (if it starts to get thick like pancake batter you have gone far enough)

Gently reheat it to 31C.


Stir it all the time, and you will be fine.  It's really that easy, keeping in mind that you may not need to go as low as 27, and you may even need to go as low as 26.5.  The pancake batter comparison seems to work for those people I train.

You may also need to go as high as 32 or 33 depending on the accuracy of your thermometer, and how thick your chocolate is.  31 is a good start though.


Hope that helps.


Thanks Brad,

That is the answer I am hearing from the experts, that the temperature is actually just a guide.  Pancake batter consistency, sounds like a far better description.. that is what I had at 29C. 

The thermometer is accurate, but since I am working with tiny amounts of chocolate, it is incredibly easy to overshoot on the way up.

Julie, If you are seeding you DO NOT need to bring chocolate down to 27 and then back up.  Cool it down to 30-31 for dark (WHILE SEEDING) or 29-30 for milk/white (WHILE SEEDING)

Cooling it to 27 then raising to 30-31 is for tempering without seeding.

Most couvetures available in distribution(That I have worked with)  will not solidify at 27 in their untempered state.

If you want to follow the 45-27-30 guideline then STOP SEEDING.

Brilliant... thanks... will try it this weekend.

I agree with Chocotoymaker.

Keep in mind that with the seeding method, you have to stir the heck out of it to get the tempered chunks to melt, and even then if you need a smooth couverture quickly, you may still have lumps.


One method (dangerous but quick) is to hand temper by heating to 45, and then use a cold water bath to bring the temperature down to your bottom target.  I can hand temper 10-15 lbs of chocolate in a few minutes this way.  Keep in mind however, that a few drops of cold water can potentially ruin all of that chocolate.  You have to be VERY careful. 


Most large commercial (continuous) tempering machines work using cold water - kind of like running the chocolate through a radiator just like coolant in a car.  The difference obviously is that the water never has the potential of touching the chocolate, and it's a continuous flow of chocolate through the radiator.

Hi there this is my first post :-) I am a home chocolate maker, I have been doing it for coming up to a year now. I haven't yet joined any forums but I chose this one as it looks like its full of nice friendly choccy people!

I temper using the seeding method. I heat 2/3 of the full amount to 111 degrees, add half the remaining 1/3 till it melts, then the last of the remaining 1/3, and hope that the temperature is around 80 degrees.

I have done this with an excellent success rate until the last 2 weeks when I have started encountering problems :-( My chocolate is streaking and blooming. Some is perfect, some is not, and I do the same thing every time. I have seen a lot of conflicting information regarding temperatures etc so tend to stick to the ones I have just quoted.

I realised today that the last twice, the chocolate has not cooled down quick enough, therefore must have been too warm as the seed melted very quickly. Today I seemed to rescue a large batch by weighing out another 1/3 of the total yield, melting to 111 degrees again, then adding the seed, and it worked.

I have figured that if I can recognise while the chocolate is still melted, that it isnt going to work, that I have a chance of rescuing it rather than realising this when its set. 

I need my chocolate mojo back! My confidence is getting lower. I know I CAN do it! I am having a hard time at the day job just now and I am thinking the bad vibes are rubbing off when I come home and do what I love.

Sorry this is so long-winded, some tips and a confidence boost are much needed.

Love & Peace



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