Tempering Chocolate with Cocoa Butter: A Quick How-to Guide

Your favourite baking recipes will taste better with chocolate. Working on it shouldn’t be too difficult. And that’s when you need to temper chocolate with cocoa butter. Tempering chocolate with cocoa butter is easy, yet it can be challenging for a beginner. It’s all about paying attention to the details, using the right ingredients and tools, and trying again and again.

When you need to make a lot of chocolate pieces at a time, you don’t have time to melt small batches at a time, like some people do use the microwave method, or when you can’t use the traditional tempering methods.

There’re still some time-saving techniques you can adopt using the tools we’ll discuss below. Tempering chocolate with cocoa butter works best on smaller quantities of chocolate, and it’s best to use chocolate that’s pre-crystalised or tempered.

What ingredients and equipment do you need for tempering chocolate with cocoa butter?

EZ-Temper Machine

ChocoVision Revolation 3Z Chocolate Tempering Machine
  • Fully automatic chocolate tempering
  • 45 lb. capacity
  • Extended Temper Mode
  • Stainless Steel Design
  • NSF Certified
  • Manual Temperature Adjustment (up to 120 degrees during the Melt Cycle, 100 degrees in Temper Mode)

The EZ-Temper machine is a terrific compact gadget that melts cocoa butter to the precise temperature necessary for the formation of excellent crystals in cocoa butter. It can be kept at that temperature indefinitely, so whenever you need tempered chocolate, simply add it to your melted chocolate and you’re set! It’s quite simple and time-saving.

Cocoa Butter Drops

I recommend using pure cocoa butter drops because they contain all the necessary nutrients to make your chocolate tempering a success. You’ll love these natural cocoa butter drops because they are really small and melt perfectly in the EZ Tempering Machine.

All you have to do is add 1-2% of this natural cocoa butter to your melted chocolate at 89ºF (32ºC), stir, and your chocolate is tempered!

Waring Chocolate Warmer

This is a must for big chocolate projects. The working chocolate warmer keeps your chocolate at the perfect temperature so that you don’t have to worry about your chocolate getting too cold and falling out of the temperature before you can use it.

Waring Commercial Chocalate Melter
  • Housing rim designed to prevent chocolate from seeping under the pan
  • Lid cutouts accommodate a ladle and probe
  • Temperature range from 68° F/20° C to 140° F/60° C
  • Probe and probe clip included
  • UL, NSF

The Waring Chocolate warmer precisely controls the temperature of the melted chocolate, making it easy to temper the chocolate. This is the most important feature of the product you’ll love.


You simply can’t temper chocolate without a trusty thermometer! I love the Eventek Infrared Thermometer because it’s super accurate and you don’t have to touch the chocolate to get a reading. 

Food/Meat Instant Read Thermometer
  • NECESSARY FOR FOOD SAFETY - Thermometer displays true food temperature instantly to ensure safe food preparation
  • EXTREME TEMPERATURE RANGE - Thermometer reads between 0° and 220° degrees Fahrenheit
  • PERFECT FOR ANY KITCHEN - Designed for professional kitchens with the highest quality in mind; works perfectly in any home or commercial space
  • EASY CLEAN - Nearly seamless glass and metal material makes cleaning simple and easy

You’ll also find it to be very precise and often spot on. It makes a couple of clear beeping noises when it has the temperature. It locks in the temperature reading on its easy-to-read screen, and then it shuts itself off about 20 seconds later.

Cold Spray

A good, food-safe cold spray is a must for quickly setting your chocolate.

Why Do You Need to Temper Chocolate?

When you melt chocolate, you are separating all of the components that comprise chocolate : cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, milk, etc.   If you simply let this chocolate firm naturally, you’ll find that it has some streaks in it (cocoa butter separation). It won’t be shiny, and it’ll probably have a gritty feel or untempered crystalline structure.

Tempering chocolate manages how the cocoa butter solidifies so that only the desired crystals develop and all of the components reassemble to make a smooth, solid, and glossy chocolate.

If you keep liquid chocolate in the form at a normal room temperature, it will solidify, but during the melting process, all types of crystals, both strong and weak, will be formed at the same time and will all be built into one disorderly crystal lattice.

Because there are unstable weak crystals on the surface that break down at temperatures below 30°C, they will not crack on a break; instead, they will rapidly melt and leave your hands dirty.

So all you have to do  is temper pure chocolate. Counterfeit chocolate, which may contain wax or palm kernel oil in place of cocoa butter and cannot be tempered, does not contain cocoa butter and is derived from the cocoa pod.

What Chocolate Should I Use For Tempering?

Some products on the market are referred to as chocolate yet are not. Tempering should be undertaken with pure chocolate.

Callebaut Belgian Dark Couverture Chocolate Semisweet Callets, 54.5% - 5.5 Lbs
  • Whole bean roasting guarantees its full taste with a solid cocoa body and fine top notes.
  • Loved by chefs all over the world, the 811 54.5 is Callebauts all around chocolate for confectionery, ganaches, mousses, biscuits, sauces, drinks and many other applications. It is simply made to help you achieve perfect end results every time
  • Smooth flavor with subtle vanilla note
  • Crafted in Belgium from whole roasted beans

Cocoa butter and cocoa beans are used to make pure chocolate. Tempering chocolate that does not include cocoa butter is a waste of time.

Callebaut Belgian Dark Couverture Chocolate  is the ideal chocolate for tempering and dipping. It’s perfect for making dark chocolate eggnog truffles, dark chocolate peppermint bark, chocolate-dipped madeleines, and  ganache for truffles, bonbons, and other fine chocolate candies.

So it’s great for aspiring chocolatiers.

These chocolate chips offer a well-balanced bitter flavour with a delicate sweetness and medium intensity, thanks to their 54.5% cocoa content. Because of their medium viscosity and liquidity, these chips are ideal for enrobing and moulding pralines, hollow figures, fillings and ganaches, and decorating.

Imitation chocolate can be used for some applications, but real chocolate, such as Callebaut Belgian Dark Chocolate, is best for tempering.

What is tempering chocolate with cocoa butter?

Another word for tempering is pre-crystallise. The surface and texture of chocolate are hard and glossy, they don’t melt instantly in your hands, and they can be stored for quite a long time as well. 

Whenever you find these qualities in your favourite chocolate, you can be sure that it has crystallized correctly. And cocoa butter is the unique ingredient that makes this possible. 

In the process of forming crystals, cocoa butter molecules begin to form bonds with each other. And it melts due to heating because the temperature breaks the bonds between the molecules.

Conversely, tempering chocolate with cocoa butter is simply going over the basics of chocolate composition. 

How To Temper Chocolate With An EZ Temper Machine

Tempering chocolate may appear difficult, especially if you’re a beginner, but it’s quite simple. You have to heat and cool the chocolate to certain temperatures to generate good, strong crystals in the cocoa butter form and to bring all of the components back together.

Some people struggle with using the wrong chocolate or not knowing what temperatures their unique chocolate requires.

If you’re a beginner, I highly suggest using pure chocolate that is 54-70% cocoa content.

Note that you must switch on your EZ Temper the day before you intend to use it so that your cocoa butter can melt down to the proper temperature and be ready to use.

Step-by-step guide

Step 1 – Melt 600 grams of bittersweet chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler to 113ºF (45ºC) It’s important to melt the chocolate at this temperature so that all the crystals in the cocoa butter are broken down properly and new crystals can re-form successfully.

Step 2 – Add in a few handfuls of tempered chocolate to bring the temperature down. While stirring occasionally, cool your chocolate to 95ºF (35ºC). This will be your working temperature.

Step 3 – When your chocolate is at 95ºF (35ºC) add 6 grams (1-2% of total chocolate weight) of your tempered cocoa butter paste from the EZ temper machine to the melted chocolate. 

You can also use Mycryo: a cocoa butter powder which is made by Callebaut and is very convenient to use.

Step 4 – Stir and cool the mixture to 32ºF. At this point, the chocolate is tempered, but make sure you do a test to ascertain your chocolate is tempered before using it. 

How Do I Know If My Chocolate Is In Temper?

It’s usually a good idea to test your chocolate to check if it’s correctly tempered before using it because it’s simple to do. What is difficult is scraping untempered chocolate out of your mould and starting over.

Dip a piece of parchment paper into the chocolate and place it on the table to test it. In around 5 minutes, your chocolate should have solidified. The surface should be glossy and smooth. The chocolate should readily snap in half and not melt in your hands.

If your chocolate has streaks, a dull surface, or is not solidifying, you may need to add extra tempered cocoa butter or re-temper your chocolate. Pay close attention to your temperatures and mix thoroughly to uniformly distribute the cocoa butter crystals.

The difference between tempered and untempered chocolate

No streaksshows streaks
Shiny surfaceDull surface
Resists meltingMelts easily

How to Store Tempered Chocolate

Now that our chocolate is tempered, you want to keep it that way. It’s best to keep your tempered chocolate in a warming machine set to 89ºF (32ºC) so that it’s ready to use at any time.

You can keep the chocolate in the warmer for as long as you choose.

When you’re finished with your chocolate, pour it out onto parchment paper to prevent it from solidifying in your warmer. Then cut it up and store it in a container for later use when you need some tempered chocolate.

When you don’t need to temper chocolate

You should keep in mind that if you purchase a professional chocolate couverture, such as Callebaut, the chocolate has already been crystallised.

It means that if you melt the chocolate gently and bring it to the working temperature, you can use it as is.

This is ideal for quickly making rolled chocolate truffles, covered chocolate strawberries, or anything small and flat. It’s a little more difficult if you want to make anything large, such as an Easter Egg, or something that needs to be firm and round – for those chocolates, always temper your homemade chocolate correctly to strengthen the chocolate structure.

How To Make A Chocolate Dessert Bowl With Tempered Chocolate

A drippy chocolate bowl decoration is a great centrepiece for a dessert table. Fill the inside with heaps of whipped cream and fruits, or ice cream and cake. Share the dessert, and in the end, you can eat the bowl too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you temper chocolate with cocoa butter?

Yes, tempering or pre-crystallizing chocolate couverture using cocoa butter. Use 1% of cocoa butter to pre-crystallize or temper the chocolate couverture. For example for every 2lb 3 oz (1 kg) of chocolate couverture, you will add 1 % 1/3 oz or (10 gram) cocoa butter.

What happens if I add cocoa butter to chocolate?

Cocoa butter is added to enhance the texture of the chocolate and is responsible for chocolate’s melt-in-your-mouth quality. Manufacturers use varying amounts of cocoa butter to create their desired mouthfeel.

Does cocoa butter need tempering?

Because the stearic acid content of the cocoa butter is high, products made using cocoa butter can develop cocoa butter “beads” if the cocoa butter isn’t tempered to break up excessive crystallization.

Can you temper cacao butter?

Tempering is all possible thanks to the fat found in chocolate: cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is almost always in a crystal form, and what’s really special is that as a crystal, it has the ability to exist in many different shapes and sizes depending on its temperature.

At what temperature does cocoa butter burn?

Overheating separates the cocoa solids and other dry ingredients from the cocoa butter. Chocolate solids and dry ingredients will burn if heated to 130 degrees. The result is a dry, discoloured paste. There’s no retrieving burnt chocolate, so be very careful when heating in a double boiler or microwave.

What is the correct temperature for tempered chocolate?

Tempered chocolate can be tempered over and over again. You want to keep the working temperature to about 95°F when working with it. If it goes far below that temperature, set it back over the double boiler until it is 95°F again. If it goes much above that temperature, add more seed chocolate to drop the temperature.

Now it’s your turn

Now that you know all you need to know about tempering chocolate with cocoa butter, I bet you’re eager to experiment with it. If you do, you’ll love the results and would try again. 

Tempering chocolate with cocoa butter will be much easier if you pay attention to the details, and use the right tools and ingredients.

To start with, get all the basics I shared in this article. I look forward to reading from you how it turns out.

Till then, have fantastic tempering chocolate with cocoa butter experience! 

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From chocolate craving to winter hot cocoa drinks indulgence - I've being through it all. In as much as I'm always learning about the awesomeness of cacao/cocoa beans, there's one thing I know for sure. Quality cocoa product always comes tops. The devil is in the details. That's why you should listen to me. I've done the research. I've made all the mistakes in the books. Yes, I'm just like you but I know a thing or two that can help you make a better choice.