Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 15, 2007 10:41 PM

Couverture Chocolate

does couverture choclate have to be tempered before using to coat cookies etc? i hate trying to get the tempering right but refuse to use that chocolate "prduct" they sell. thx in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is the couverture from a particular brand? The reason I ask is that I've been using the chocolate discs that can be found at candy making suppliers, Wilton is probably one brand. I think I first started using them about 25 years ago. I find that they are not a high quality chocolate, (we know the brand names) but they do cover, for example, uncooked fondant Easter eggs, and work well in molds. I remember my mother using all sorts of methods, including adding paraffin to melted chocolate chips, but it never really worked well. (The melting temp of the 2 are so diverse, that they do not mix well) They taste fine, and they last a long time. Maybe that's all a couverture chocolate is.
    I'd like to see other input on this.


    1 Reply
    1. re: violabratsche

      Couverture is high quality chocolate that has a minimum of 32% cocoa butter. The higher percentage cocoa butter gives the chocolate more sheen and a firmer snap. It's used mainly by professionals for dipping, coating and molding because it gives a smooth, thin coating. It must be tempered to stabilize the cocoa butter.


    2. Yes, it does need to be tempered, if you want that glossy finish, snap & quick firming of the chocolate at room temp.--- that only comes from tempering chocolate. If that isn't so important, you could just pop them in the fridge for a a few minutes to set up the untempered chocolate...

      Please don't ever touch that chocolate product they sell----I did once & wow it was pretty darn bad. Mind you it was only for decor, but none the less. Yuck!

      This may be some what informative as well:

      11 Replies
      1. re: dbug31

        It IS?
        Coulda fooled me.
        It may not be the same quality, but at least it consistent.


          1. re: dbug31

            First off, sorry spinach, but I just have to say....

            Sorry there AnnieG, didn't mean to offend, but in my opinion those chocolate discs are sub par for anything ear edible. Life is a matter of taste afterall.

            I also have a feeling that the OP didn't want to use chocolate product (aka chocolate discs or candy melts as on the wilton website).

            1. re: dbug31

              it is Guitard chocolate...the real deal. anyone got any EASY methods to temper the chocolate, i don not have a marble slab or a bakers kitchen...just a dinky apartment kitchen and an instant read thermometer.

              1. re: spinach

                Tempering chocolate can be done easily in a microwave or on the stove but you do need a thermometer. You need to get it to the right temperature.


                1. re: chowser

                  And in purchasing some so-called GOOD chocolate and attempting the so-called easy tempering, I lost a LOT of money on a VERY tight budget at Christmas to some tempering gone awry. Thanks, I'll stick to the cheap crap and have people love the results they receive as gifts, from me, and they can go pay the big bucks for professional chocolates from the overpriced retail outlets made by professionals, who can afford to toss out spoils, on the revenues of those who are willing to pay the exorbitant prices.


                  1. re: violabratsche

                    I use Trader Joe's big blocks of chocolate. Not too expensive but I'd never practice any new cooking techniques on expensive products anyway. I'd practice on the cheap stuff first, especially on a strict budget.

                    1. re: chowser

                      I'm glad to hear that there are options now...25 years ago, when I first started working with it, there weren't


                      1. re: violabratsche

                        You know, I took my first truffle making class about 15 years ago--it was fairly expensive (about $75 for couple of hours), and offered by one chocolate store that everyone raved about. There was no talk of using couverture, or of tempering chocolate. They melted disks w/ a little vegetable shortening for the coating and we made different types of ganache. I've learned far more from Chowhounds than I did from that first class. Honestly, most people can't tell if I've tempered the chocolate or not, so I can get lazy about it, depending on who I'm making it for--a classroom full of kids, I don't bother. But I love those Trader Joe big blocks.;-)

                  2. re: spinach

                    A few tips:

                    You can always "warm" the chocolate if it cools too much by putting it over the open flame/coil of the stove in a bowl for 5 seconds at a time, if you constantly stir it.

                    If you touch the chocolate to your lip & it feels warm, it's out of temper. You'll need to add more unmelted chocolate at this point.

                    If it doesn't temper the first time, simply melt it down again & start over. Just don't get any water in it or burn it.

                    Use a spoon to test the temper. It should set up in a few minutes at room temp, have a wonderful shine & no swirls to the finish.

                    Good luck!

                    These directions are fairly easy...

                    Seed Method

                    Chop chocolate blocks into small pieces. Finely grate chocolate equal to 25% of the weight of the chocolate to be tempered.
                    Fill bottom of double boiler so the hot water does not touch the bottom of the upper pan. Do not let the water boil. Stir the chocolate while melting to ensure even heating. Try to avoid creating air bubbles. Heat chocolate to 120 F. to 122 F.

                    Replace the hot water with 70 F. water, no cooler. Stir in finely grated chocolate a tablespoon at a time until the chocolate cools to 79 F. to 80 F. Be sure the grated chocolate is melted and well mixed.

                    Now replace the 70 F. water with warm water (about 92 F. to 93 F.) and raise the temperature of the chocolate to 88 F. to 89 F. for dark chocolate, or 84 F. to 86 F. for milk chocolate or white cocoa butter coating (white chocolate). Maintain the appropriate temperature while dipping. If the chocolate exceeds 90 F. it will be necessary to repeat the tempering process. Test the temper.

          2. thanks to all who offered help. the guittard site has a couple of fairly simple seeming methods and since they made the chocolate i think i'll try one of those..thanks again for offering the site, guess i was too flummexed to notice the site info on the box.