Like driving a stick shift, tempering chocolate is about giving the vehicle just enough of gas to get going but not so much that you can’t control the rate of speed.

The magic temperature for us is 78°F. At that, we take the chocolate off the heat.

This recipe will coat 16 oz chocolate ganache.
Makes: 32 ganache truffles
Keeps: 1 week at 65°F
Time : 30 minutes

10 oz of chocolate, finely chopped.

3 tsp = 1 TBSP
2 TBSP = 1 ounce
1 cup = 8 oz
1 cup = 1/2 pint
4 cups = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
16 cups – 1 gallon


Make a bain marie using a pot of lightly boiling water and a bowl that fits the mouth of the pot. Some people use another pot. If you are uncomfortable with heat, skip this technique and roll your ganache in powdered cocoa.

Put the stainless steel or tempered glass bowl over a pot of water and let warm.

When the bowl is warm to the touch (not hot), add 8 oz of chocolate. Reserve 2 oz of chocolate for tempering.

Use a spatula (not wood) to stir the chocolate. temp the chocolate often. At 78°F, take the bowl off of the heat and add 2 oz of tempering chocolate.

Mix well but not vigorously.

Once the chocolate is melted, you are ready to dip your balls of ganache.

This is where every utensil in the house will fail you. Forks are too ungainly and spoons are disastrous. Cocktail forks are too short.

Invest in a chocolate dipping utensil set or if you have a pair of Korean metal chopstick (and who doesn’t?) and you have mad chopstick skills (and who doesn’t?) use those.

Metal skewers work, kind of well too.


The true and correct temperature for tempered chocolate is about 89°–body temperature. This recipe aims you toward 78° because the chocolate will continue to warm even when taken off the heat.

If the ganache is cold and not at room temperature, keep the tempered chocolate warm by putting the pot of hot water on a trivet on the counter.

If you have put your ganache balls in the freezer to hold form, be aware that at a certain point, the tempered chocolate is going to seize. Ice crystals are water. Water and chocolate wrestle.

If the tempered chocolate coating turns chalky after it cools, your chocolate was too hot. The best solution is to eat the truffles in the dark with your eyes closed.


A cup of strong coffee and a little whiskey never hurt anyone.