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What is a Chocolate Tempering Machine?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 16, 2024
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A chocolate tempering machine is a countertop electronic mixing and heating pan or appliance that is designed to take all the guesswork and manual labor out of tempering chocolate. It heats the chocolate to the correct temperature while constantly mixing it, allowing special crystalline shapes to form within the molecular structure. This gives the final product an attractive look and smooth taste.

Raw chocolate that is melted to make candy must be tempered to be crisp and smooth. If not tempered, chocolate dries to a very dull, unattractive and uneven color, streaked with gray. Moreover, it will be chalky and feel grainy on the tongue.

A chocolate tempering machine solves this problem by automating a process that causes the molecular crystals of the chocolate to take on a specific uniform structure, called a Beta V form. It heats the chocolate to a very precise temperature, then cools it slightly before reheating it, all while mixing the chocolate in a regulated manner. The combination of heating to the exact temperature — which is different for semi-sweet chocolate, milk, and white chocolate — and mixing just the right amount, causes the proper crystals to form.

A computer-controlled appliance can keep chocolate in the tempered, melted stage for hours at a time, allowing a chocolatier to make candies without tending to the tempering process itself. When the chocolate cools, it will be even colored, shiny, and crisp, yet will melt to a smooth, creamy consistency on the tongue.

To temper chocolate without a machine, a cook must use a double boiler, a candy thermometer that can register temperatures as low as 82.4°F (28°C), and a rubber spatula. Even tiny variations in the temperature of the chocolate will spoil the outcome, however, and over-mixing will cause the fats to separate, while under-mixing will prevent the Beta V crystals from forming. Even if the chocolate is tempered successfully, the chocolatier must keep moving it on and off the heat to keep it tempered, all while making the candy at the same time.

People who have made homemade chocolates without a chocolate tempering machine will likely appreciate the work this appliance does and how they are left free to enjoy the candy-making process.

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Discussion Comments
By musicshaman — On Dec 20, 2010

@closerfan12 -- Congrats on getting married -- and you are totally right to milk this opportunity to get a lot of expensive kitchen stuff ;)

I can't really help you as far as a brand or anything because I actually use a commercial chocolate tempering machine (the patisserie next to me was going out of business so I got it cheap!) but I have heard good things about both brands of chocolate tempering machine -- Revolation and ACMC -- that you mentioned.

Maybe you could get a demonstration with one of them? It depends on where you buy it from, but sometimes you can get the retailer to let you see it work first. Other than that, my only advice is to choose whichever one looks nicer, since you'll be using it a lot and don't want to look at something ugly.

Best of luck!

By closerfan12 — On Dec 18, 2010

OK, so I'm looking at asking for a chocolate tempering machine as a wedding present (maybe asking a few friends to go in for one), but I'm not exactly sure which one to go for.

Can anybody tell me what kind I should get, or maybe share some of your personal experience with one? I have been looking at a ton of chocolate tempering machine reviews, but it's hard to really know which ones to take seriously.

I've got it down to the ACMC chocolate tempering machine and the Revolation 1 chocolate tempering machine, but which one of those two should I choose? Or is there some other kind that I should go for?


By TunaLine — On Dec 17, 2010

You are totally right -- although a chocolate tempering machine is a rather cringe-inducing purchase when you first get it (unless you're used to spending hundreds of dollars on kitchen equipment, which I am not!) it really is worth it.

I got a few friends of mine to go in with me for a tabletop chocolate tempering machine a few years ago when we first got into baking with chocolate and making candy, and I can tell you, that was the best purchase I ever bought into.

I had tried to temper chocolate by myself before, but every single attempt ended in disaster. I would either scorch it or seize it or do something else to make it inedible. The only way I could ever get a decent tempered chocolate was with the close supervision of a friend who had been making candy for years.

But with the chocolate temperer, all the guesswork gets taken out of the process, and making candy can actually be...fun. Imagine that.

So seriously, if you don't have one of these things and you do a lot of work with chocolate, invest in one. It will save you tons of stress and annoyance.

By anon17230 — On Aug 25, 2008

I have seen machines at shows and it looks like the ChocoVision machines are the best out there.

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