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Maybe you have always been excited to experiment with chocolates. The smooth texture and shiny look of the melted chocolate are sure to attract you for use in your kitchen. But, if you are wondering will melted chocolate harden at room temperature or not, dive right into the article below to know more!
Melted chocolates will quickly harden at room temperature if they are appropriately tempered. Moreover, you have to be cautious about not overheating or burning your melted chocolate. In addition, even a little sprinkle of water to your melted chocolate can call for seizing. You have to take proper precautions to avoid such scenarios.
What Is The Key To Hardening Chocolate At Room Temperature?
The key to hardening chocolate at room temperature is proper tempering. Proper tempering offers your chocolate a smooth finish. In addition, it prevents the chocolate from melting instead of hardening. If your chocolate is tempered in the right way, it will easily harden at room temperature.
Well-tempered chocolate hardens easily all the while giving itself a glossy finish. Moreover, it sets quickly, even at room temperature. On the other hand, untempered chocolate needs more time to dry. In addition, it doesn’t harden completely at room temperature. Often, it has a dull finish with white streaks.
Tempering is the process where you maintain the temperature while melting and cooling the chocolate. If you don’t control the temperature, you will notice uncontrolled crystallization of varied sizes. In Addition, the chocolate surface won’t appear smooth.
Moreover, the tempered chocolate, after hardening, requires a higher temperature to melt. But, untempered chocolates tend to melt at a low temperature. So you will need to temper the chocolates for hardening at room temperature.
How Long Does The Melted Chocolate Take To Harden?
Melted chocolates don’t take much time to harden at room temperature. Usually, they require 3-7 minutes if you temper them properly. Depending on its texture, it might take a couple of minutes to set at room temperature.
In general, chocolates begin melting at 80 °F. Primarily, the melting temperature varies with the chocolate type. The melting point is low for white chocolate or milk chocolate. On the other hand, it is high for dark chocolates. Well-tempered chocolate solidifies faster at room temperature of range 65-75 °F.
What Are The Rules On Melting Chocolate?
For proper melting of chocolates, you must follow specific rules. In general, the two things you must remember are not to overheat or add water to the melted chocolate. Otherwise, the texture and appearance of the melted chocolate might be affected.
Never Overheat The Chocolates
If you heat your chocolates above 120 °F, the chocolates will overheat. As a result, you will lose the glossy shine that it had during the melted state. Moreover, you will find a dull and muddy appearance. In addition, it becomes prone to seizing or tightening up. The more you overheat, the more horrible the texture you will find.
All types of chocolates have their highest limit of enduring temperature while melting. For white and milk chocolates, the highest temperature is 110 °F. Furthermore, it is 120 °F for dark chocolates. So, any temperature above these marks will yield disastrous results for the melting chocolates. In addition, overheating makes them thick and mudding, ruining their smooth texture.
An ideal way to melt chocolates without overheating is by using a double boiler and candy thermometer. You can place the chocolates on a pan over the double boiler having hot water. It’s better not to use boiling water but hot water. Meanwhile, a candy thermometer can help you regulate an ideal temperature.
Never Add Water To Melted Chocolate
The enemy for melted chocolates is none but water. Melted chocolates can’t stand even a tiny drop of water. In addition, the steam from the double boiler can also seize your melted chocolate.
Furthermore, if you cover your pan with a lid, it will be of equal risk. Because the moisture inside dripping down will seize your chocolate. So, you must be careful in saving your melted chocolate from water.
When it comes in touch with moisture, the dry particles of melted chocolate turn into a dull, rough paste. Often it is not easy to take back the seized chocolates to their original shape. The added water acts like glue. It wets the sugar and cocoa particles. As a result, the particles stick together, making a clumpy mess.
Anything with a water base added to your melted chocolates can cause seizing. Even the water-based food colors can add moisture to your melted chocolates, causing them to seize. So if you want to color your chocolates, use oil-based food colors.
How To Fix Seized Chocolate?
You might be worried about fixing your seized chocolates. It might seem difficult but there are always ways out. You can add some more cocoa or vegetable oil to the melted chocolate after cooling it. Moreover, you can blend or strain it to smoothen it out.
In addition, you should always keep the following points in mind. These will help prevent the seized chocolate instead of fixing it.
Add More Cocoa And Vegetable Oil
Firstly, remove your pan from heat, transferring it to a cool and dry one. Since keeping it exposed to heat for a long time will also affect the texture. Next, you can add some more fresh cocoa to bring down the temperature. Then, keep on stirring until the new pieces dissolve.
If the thick and rough structure still persists, you can add little extra fat in the form of vegetable oil. You can add clarified butter, cocoa butter, ghee, or even coconut oil as an option. Then, keep stirring properly as long as it doesn’t integrate into the mixture.
Straining Or Blending
After removing the pan from heat, you can try straining or blending. If there are several lumps in the paste, you can strain them out. Additionally, you can use a hand blender to smoothen out the whole paste by blending.
Prevention Before It Seizes
The best way to save your melted chocolates from seizing is to prevent them from being so. You can adopt several useful measures for this purpose. Following is an explanation of what steps to follow.
Always keep the temperature in check. You can use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Since overheating melted chocolate will only ruin its texture, it’s essential to keep checking the temperature.
Under any circumstances, you have to keep your melted chocolates away from water. Even the steam from your double boiler is of entire risk. So you should use hot water in the boiler instead of boiling water. In addition, don’t cover your pan since the dripping condensed water will also initiate seizing.
Furthermore, do not use wooden utensils due to their capability of retaining water. As a result, it can alter your mix. In addition, you should keep in mind that you have to use dry utensils.
Why Is The Melted Chocolate Not Hardening?
If you don’t properly temper your chocolate, it won’t harden at room temperature. Often the correct temperature for melting the chocolates is not followed while melting the chocolates. Moreover, if there is a lack of seed chocolates in the tempering process, the melted chocolates might not harden.
Maintaining the proper temperature for different types of chocolates is important during tempering. You can ensure this using a candy thermometer. Otherwise you might find your chocolate not hardening after melting.
During the process of tempering, crystal forms after cooling the melted chocolate. Often there might be fewer seed crystals due to a lack of seed chocolates. Due to this, the melted chocolate may not harden.