Seed Method
How to Temper Chocolate

What is a seed method regarding chocolate candy making.

Picture of Chocolate Curl and Pieces of Chocolate

Seeding chocolate to temper, is one of the easiest ways of tempering there is, since the inception of solid chocolate.

Seeding melted chocolate for tempering is a method of using a small amount pre-tempered chocolate to start, or enhance the crystallization process in cocoa butter.

This seed process is easy to accomplish as most any solid chocolate bars you buy are in proper crystal form (tempered) already.

Tempering can be interestingly fun, once you get the hang of it.

So keep practicing and you'll be tempering with style in no time.

This might surprise you to find that the first steps in the "tabling technique," is the seeding application.

It is pretty much the exact same thing..., but, a lot more forgiving.

Here's how!

Easy Instructions Seed Method

Using One Pound (16oz) of dark chocolate, break the chocolate into moderately small pieces

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler on simmering heat (not boiling),

Around 140-180 °F (60-82 °C) will work fine.

Step One: Heating the Chocolate

  • Melt about two-thirds of the Chocolate.

Stir & move the chocolate until the melted chocolate is a smooth liquid.

Note:

If you want to melt it quicker, simply grate or shave the chocolate

Dark chocolate: Bring the temperature to about 115-118 °F (46-47 °C).
Milk chocolate: Bring the temperature to about 112-115 °F (44-46 °C).
White chocolate: Bring the temperature to about 110-112 °F (43-44 °C).

To ensure the seed method is being properly sure to Check the Temperature of the Chocolate Regularly

Note: Even though it is possible, don't push the temperature of either type of chocolate.

Leave some room for error and alleviate risk of burning, or scorching altogether.

The goal here is to melt all of the cocoa butters structuring crystals, so we can later entice a stronger, more durable crystal formation.

Crystallization of cocoa butter is vital to the durability of solid chocolate. Crystals form in cocoa butter (strong or weak) depending on the temperature. Read more about cocoa butter crystallization here.

Money Savor Tip:
Chocolate loves movement! Use a spatula to squeegee melted chocolate from the sides of the pan.
You'll have less waste & less messy. (money saver),

Step Two: Cooling Chocolate

  • Remove Chocolate from the Heat.

Keep stirring and moving the molten chocolate until it cools to about 96-100 °F (35.5-37.7 °C).

  • Cooling Choices
Slow Cooling

Remove the double boiler from heat (burner), & leave it intact. Continue to stir until the chocolate cools. This will cool the chocolate gradually. It does take longer, but the results are more precise.

Medium Cooling (Recommended)

Remove the upper pan from the double boiler (wipe the water from the bottom), then continue to stir until the molten chocolate cools. This is a little faster cooling method, so be watchful on the temperature.

Quick Cooling (Temperature Drops Fast)

Remove the upper pan from the double boiler & place over a tub of ice, then continue to stir until the molten chocolate cools. This is very fast cooling for the seed method, so be watchful on the temperature.

Step Three: Add Remaining Chocolate - Seed Method

  • Add Remaining Chocolate

Stir in the remaining chocolate (A little at a time).

Stir until all the chocolate melts & the temperature gradually lowers to the target temperature of 88 °F (31 °C).

The addition of chocolate "seeds" the melted chocolate with properly crystallized cocoa butter.

Dark Chocolate; 88 °F (31 °C)
Milk Chocolate; 86 °F (30 °C)
White Chocolate; 83 °F (28 °C)

Step Four: Maintain the final temperature

  • Hold the temperature, move and mix the melted chocolate for a few minutes, it will help create crystals that are more durable.

Note: As needed, you may need to gently heat, or remove from the heat, to hold the temperature at 88 °F (31 °C).

TIP: Remember not to go above 90 degrees F, as it will take the chocolate out of temper

Your chocolate should now be in temper.

To be sure, test it by touching the melted chocolate with the flat of your chocolate trowel or knife then set aside for a minute or two.

Then check to see if it has a satin/shinny gloss to it without any whitish chocolate bloom.

Once you get use to the seed method, you can relax and take pleasure in chocolates, dipping strawberries, making chocolate candies and coating your favorite chocolates for all your favorite gift ideas.

Continue on to Tempramelt

Return from here to About Tempering Chocolate

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Tip for cutting chocolate into pieces

Try setting the chocolate on a cutting board (keep hands and other body parts away).

Insert the point of the knife (tip) into the chocolate (at a slant away from anyone), and apply a little pressure on the knife.

Depending on thickness of the chocolate bar, it should easily break into smaller pieces.


Mystery
Or incident...

You might see dark spots on your chocolate. Investigate it..., dark spots could easily be ganache.

For example, truffle centers are melting (just a little) while you are dipping them in warm, properly tempered chocolate.

"How to temper chocolate" might not have anything to do with those dark spots on your chocolate. It could be the chocolate itself..., a mold mark, or a few dark solid chocolate pieces inter-mixed unknowingly.

It all depends totally on the conditions set forth at the time. Search out the clues, and have fun experimenting with chocolate.