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Tempering chocolate is a long and complicated process, even the so-called quick tempering method takes 20 minutes of stirring. That is why I would never become a chocolatier, no matter how much I love chocolate.

Still there is a simple way to make that melted chocolate drip and dip-able. Add shortening. Not butter or margarine, add shortening only. For every 1/4 cup of melted chocolate add 1 tsp of vegetable shortening, heat a little longer and stir. The velvety dip-able consistency should remain for quite sometime. If you have to leave it for a longer stretch, just add a bit more shortening, stir, heat and the chocolate will be dip-able again.

Chocolate does not heat evenly. So break up large chunks into small bits and stir it frequently, otherwise, portions can begin to burn before others begin to melt. The same result can occur if you try to melt too much chocolate at a time.

Never add liquid, do not touch it with anything wet, do not let steam get into it. Those things are your enemy when you are melting chocolate. I sometimes make a quick chocolate sauce from melted chocolate by adding water or cream. But that’s just sauce and you cannot use it for dipping or for decorating. For decorating, you need smooth, shiny drip-able melted chocolate.

Never refrigerate a chocolate dipped item to speed up solidification. Refrigeration not only kills the wonderful shine of chocolate, it can actually reverse the solidification process. As soon as you take those dipped strawberries or cookies out of the fridge, the chocolate will be soft again. It can take between 1-2 hours for melted chocolate to solidify at room temperature. Ah but it is well worth the wait!

Always use good quality pure chocolate and make sure there is no vegetable shortening in it already, because for sure along with the shortening there will be a long list of less desirable ingredients.

1/4 cup good quality chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vegetable shortening [do not substitute]

• Place the chocolate pieces in a small bowl and microwave.
• Melt the chocolate and stir smooth.
• Add the shortening and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds longer.
• Stir smooth again. If chocolate does not drip easily, add a little more shortening.
• If you melt chocolate in a double boiler, make sure NOT to heat it beyond a certain temperature.

Maximum Temperatures For Melting Chocolate:

Dark Chocolate(no milk content) 88-90°F (31-32°C)
Milk Chocolate 86-88°F (30-31°C)
White Chocolate 80-82°F (27-28°C)



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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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