How To Temper Chocolate: A Foolproof And Easy Method From Kirsten Tibballs

Tempering chocolate has become the villain of season 13 of MasterChef Australia, so we asked an expert for some easy tips.

After the shock elimination of Therese Lum this week during a pressure test set by none other than the queen of chocolate, Kirsten Tibballs, tempering chocolate once again became a hot topic. 

So far, multiple contestants have fallen victim to the woes of tempering chocolate, including Trent, Maja, Kishwar, Sabina and now Therese.

"Tempering chocolate is so important, but it's so easy once you know how," Kirsten promised.

In the recent Pressure Test Kirsten set for some of the contestants, she required them to temper not one but four chocolates, juggling them to make sure they were all at the same consistency throughout.

The process is notoriously tricky and requires some form of temperature control, but results in perfectly shiny chocolate that sets with a smooth unblemished finish.

"If you haven't tempered chocolate it won't come out of a mould or it can take up to three hours to set and it will have that, what we call 'fat bloom', that white-greyish finish on the surface," Kirsten explained to 10 play.

Those white blemishes that can sometimes rise to the surface of chocolate is the cocoa butter separating, giving you a streaky finish if you haven't successfully tempered your chocolate.

While we've seen contestants rushing to an ice bath or trying to cool the chocolate down by hanging half their body in a nearby fridge, Kirsten explained that tempering can be a relatively easy process so long as you have one piece of equipment: a microwave.

"I use a method, and that's the method I used on the show," she explained. "I always use a plastic bowl, I put the full amount of chocolate that I need in there and I melt it in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until I've got half liquid, half solid chocolate."

Once you've reached that half-half state, Kirsten says you simply need to continue stirring until you're left with a fully melted bowl of chocolate.

Kirsten even sells tempering bowls on her website, Savour, where she has also been offering online classes where you can learn to create some of her incredible products.

Due to COVID restrictions, Savour's hands-on classes have been closed for over a year now, but the online class subscription base doubled in almost a month.

"We've added a new video every week for seven years, so the value of the subscription is really quite amazing," Kirsten said.

Alongside tutorials like how to temper chocolate, Savour offers classes ranging in difficulty from tarts and cakes to some of the more advanced products Kirsten has brought into the MasterChef kitchen over the years like her Lemon Meringue Tart or her Apple Pie.

And if you're still hanging half your body out of a fridge attempting to avoid streaky chocolate, check out Kirsten's super easy tempering instructions in the video below.

Watch the new season of MasterChef Australia, Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 or watch on demand on 10 play