What is the Seed Tempering Method?

Find out how to temper using seed chocolate now!

This method of tempering chocolate uses the assistance of already well-tempered chocolate as “seed”. The well-tempered chocolate can take various forms: chunks/blocks, finely ground, or wafer. Little equipment is required–a microwave, a plastic bowl, a spatula and a thermometer–but it can be difficult to control and if the seed chocolate is not well-tempered, the finished chocolate will not be either.

Using finely ground chocolate:

1. Melt untempered chocolate to between 105-115.

2. Allow the chocolate to cool to a temperature of 92-23 for dark chocolate, and 91-92 for milk and white chocolate. Always make sure the chocolate is stirred and uniform so temperature readings are accurate.

3. Add finely ground chocolate (4 oz. per 5 lbs. melted chocolate) and stir continuously.

4. As the finely ground chocolate melts, it cools the liquid chocolate and the temperature should drop to 88-90 degrees F for dark chocolate and 86-88 degrees for milk and white chocolate.

5. Allow 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to stabilize, continuing to stir for the duration, and the chocolate will be in good temper.

Using chocolate chunks:

1. Melt untempered chocolate to between 105-115.

2.  Place 3 or 4 large chunks of tempered chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir constantly. The solid chunks will cool the chocolate and provide “seed” crystals as they melt.

3. Continue stirring until the temperature reaches 86-88 for milk and white chocolate, or 99-90 for dark chocolate.

4. Remove the remaining chunks; these can be cooled and reused. The chocolate in the bowl is now tempered. Keep tempered chocolate mixed by stirring.

5. As production continues, chocolate should be warmed to avoid overseeding, 88-90 for milk and white and 89-91 for dark. Chocolate should be mixed occasionally to maintain a consistent temperature.

This method of tempering chocolate mimics the actions of some batch tempering machines. Many tempering machines use a rotating bowl with a baffle across the middle. The baffle separates the chocolate chunks from the liquid chocolate and the rotation of the bowl provides the agitation. A cooling fan and heating element keep the chocolate at the correct temperature.

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