Tempering

Pieces of a brick of chocolate
Sebastian Koppehel / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Definition:

Tempering refers to a process of heating and cooling ​chocolate to prepare it for dipping and enrobing. The tempering process ensures that the cocoa butter in chocolate hardens in a uniform crystal structure. Chocolate that is tempered has a smooth texture, a glossy shine and a pleasant “snap” when bitten or broken. Chocolate that is not tempered might be cloudy, gray, lumpy, and sticky at room temperature.

Tempering chocolate can be accomplished at home with a chocolate or instant-read thermometer and a double-boiler.