Hardening chocolate to make candies, to coat cookies or pastries and to dip items such as strawberries requires a process called tempering. Tempering chocolate creates a firm consistency and reduces the propensity for it to melt upon touch or when exposed to room temperature. Tempering and hardening chocolate necessitates cooking it over indirect, low heat with the use of a double boiler to prevent burning. After it is tempered, chocolate hardens when cooled.
Things You'll Need
Chocolate bar or chocolate chips
Add water to the bottom pan of your double boiler and place it on the stove burner.
Chop a chocolate bar into half-inch pieces using a serrated knife. Place 2/3 of the chopped chocolate in the top of your double boiler. Use chocolate chips or chocolate coins as an alternative.
Heat the chocolate on low. Do not allow it to boil. Stir the chocolate frequently with a spatula to smooth it out.
Check the temperature of the chocolate periodically with a food thermometer. Remove the chocolate from heat when it reaches 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Allow the chocolate to cool to 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the remaining 1/3 of chocolate pieces to the top of the double boiler. Stir the pieces in until they melt into the rest of the chocolate.
Dip or coat cookies, pastries or fruit into the tempered chocolate or pour the chocolate into candy molds. Allow the chocolate to set for three minutes. The consistency should be firm and not sticky. Cool chocolate in refrigerator, if desired, at 60 degrees Fahrenheit to harden it faster.