Why is this necessary?
If you simply melt chocolate and let it cool down on its own, the resulting chocolate will likely:
- Lack shiny appearance
- Be soft when broken
- Rapidly have white color traces appearing
This will be due to the cacao molecules not being “aligned” because they will have cooled down gradually.
The process of tempering consists in bringing the chocolate to a temperature of 122F or 50C – well above melting temperature of 81F or 27C, then bringing it down to these levels, 80F – 28C and finally up to
the working temperature of 87F – 31C.
These temperatures vary depending on the percentage of cacao in the chocolate used. Many producers of “Couverture” chocolate provide the ideal tempering temperature.
Depending on the type of chocolate end-product you are producing, it may be possible to by-pass the tempering process. If after producing the bonbons or lollypops the chocolate is immediately put in the freezer at about 20F – 7C, for 15 to 20 minutes the chocolate wil solidify swiftly. It may not develop a shiny appearance but will be “crunchy” and will not have white lines.
However, I will not recommend not tempering because the shelve life will be shorter and a perfect appearance is not guaranteed.
There is a detailed description of the tempering process on page 100 of the CacaoSource book.