How to temper chocolate using the sous vide method. A fool-proof method for tempering dark, milk, or white chocolate. No mess and no waste!
If you’ve spent any time watching a baking competition, then you know it starts to fall apart when it comes time to temper.
I friend recently told me you can temper chocolate using a sous vide machine. She would go to great lengths to not temper chocolate because it can be such a pain and messy, but once she learned how to do it this way, everything was tempered. It’s really brilliant if you think about it. You have complete control over the temperature and it’s really fool-proof.
Tempering chocolate is simply heating and cooling chocolate in a specific way that puts the crystals in the cocoa butter in order to set when it is stable. That being said, it was a really messy process that involved lots of bowls, thermometers, and occasionally tears. No more with the sous vide method.
There is a sous vide restaurant around the corner that we go to all the time and the burger is my son’s absolute favorite. He was so excited that we could try to make a burger the same way at home.
We also used to get chicken and waffles at a restaurant in Kansas and the fried chicken was sous vide and it was INSANE. So moist and tender from being sous vide, then flash-fried. So we are big sous vide fans around here.
So Why Temper Chocolate?
Why can’t you just melt chocolate and use it straight from the microwave? Have you ever melted chocolate and used it to coat something? Did it streak? Melt quickly under your fingers? Look sort of dull? It’s because you needed to temper the chocolate.
When you temper chocolate, you get a beautiful, glossy, chocolate that holds its shape, makes a distinct snap when you break it, and sets at room temperature. You can do so many things with tempered chocolate.
If you are baking with chocolate, there is no need to temper it. But if you are dipping strawberries or fruit, making hot chocolate bombs, chocolate decorations, candy bars, or need it to come out of any type of mold, it needs to be tempered.
How to Temper Chocolate Using the Sous Vide Method //
Tempering chocolate using the sous vide method is fool-proof. Follow a few simple steps and you will have perfectly tempered chocolate Every. Single. Time. (Seriously, this is a game-changer.)
- Add water to a large or plastic container, preheat water to 118°.
- Add chocolate to a vacuum seal bag.
- Put the bag in the water for about 15 minutes. Agitate the bag every few minutes during each step.
- After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 79° by adding ice or replacing the water.
- After 15 minutes, at 79°, increase the temperature to 86°. Cook for another 10 minutes.
The process should take about 40 minutes total.
Tips for Sous Vide Tempered Chocolate //
- Make sure to gently agitate the bag during the cooking process. This helps develop the crystals you need to get the chocolate tempered.
- If you have more chocolate than you need, or need to keep it warm during the process (like to coat the bottom of a mold) reseal the bag using the vacuum seal. Push the chocolate out of the corner and reseal. Put the bag back into the 86° water to keep it in temper.
- You can use this method with milk and dark chocolate as well. Please see the table for correct cooking temperatures.
- Use the highest-quality chocolate you can. Especially when dealing with white chocolate. If it has palm kernel oil or coconut oil in the ingredients, it will not temper. Candy melts or compound chocolate is not going to temper, so look for chocolate that has cocoa butter in it. This is my preferred white chocolate to work with.
|Dark Chocolate||Milk and White Chocolates|
|122°F/50°C for 15 minutes||118°F/48°C for 15 minutes|
|82°F/28°C for 15 minutes||79°F/26°C for 15 minutes|
|90°F/32°C for 10 minutes||86°F/30°C for 10 minutes|
Crunchy Strawberry White Chocolate Bars //
Now that we have some perfectly tempered chocolate, what should we do with it?
You can essentially make any kind of chocolate bar you like once you get the process down for tempering chocolate. You can buy some molds and fill them with anything you can think of. Homemade caramels? I’m here for it.
How about making mom a custom candy bar?
We are going to impress everyone with our Crunchy Strawberry White Chocolate Bars. They are so easy to make and you can package these and give them to all of the moms in your life.
- ½ cup cornflakes
- 12 ounces white chocolate
- 1 (1.2-oz) package freeze-dried strawberries, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread cornflakes out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Temper white chocolate according to the directions for the sous vide method.
When tempered, pour the chocolate into a bowl and fold in cornflakes and freeze-dried strawberries. Mix to combine and pour into molds. Alternatively, you could make bark and pour it onto a baking sheet.
Let chocolate set at room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Unmold bars or cut the bark into smaller pieces.
Final Thoughts //
Honestly, the hardest part of sous-viding white chocolate was getting all of the chips into the bag! It is a fool-proof, mess-free, no waste method. I’ll never temper chocolate another way ever again.
I’m really looking forward to making other things using the Anova Precision Cooker Nano. My husband has been sending me ideas of things to sous vide ever since I got my machine.
Tuesday 25th of May 2021
we use the sous vide for perfect poached eggs - 12 minutes at 167 degrees, ice bath for 1 min I keep meaning to try some sous vide cocktails
Tuesday 1st of June 2021
There is a place down the street that does sous vide cocktails. I'm intrigued.