One of the questions we get asked is when you need to temper and when you don’t. I’ve created the following table to help identify when chocolate needs to be tempered and when it does not.
Need to be tempered?
|Frozen bananas||No||Any time the object dipped is frozen and will remain (be served) frozen the chocolate does not need to be tempered|
|Making cakes, brownies and such||No||When the chocolate is added to something that is going to be baked you don’t need to temper|
|Making ganache||No||There are secondary sources of fat in the recipes for ganache, so it never really sets up the way solid chocolate would.|
|Dipping Strawberries, raspberries, or other fruits, or other non-frozen items (pretzels, cookies..) that need to set up||Yes||These set up and be served at room temperature, and the finish should look right.|
|Molds, truffles and such||Yes||These are room temperature chocolates, the chocolate needs to set up correctly to be handled at room temperature.|
|Fondue||No||Adding more cocoa butter is recommended unless you have a chocolate that is made for fondue/chocolate fountains. A cocoa butter based chocolate fondue tastes a whole lot better than when someone makes one by adding vegetable oil.|
|Frosting||No||The chocolate is a minor component in frosting mixtures, the sugars and other ingredients control the consistency.|
|Anything else||?||Just ask|
Do you have some chocolate that has been knocked out of temper?, a little seazed up from steam, water, or other mishaps? Use it for baking: it will work fine and beats tossing it out. Chocolate used to bake a cake or used in frosting does not need to be in temper.