When you melt chocolate in order to dip and decorate homemade candies, pretzels, and strawberries, you may notice that sometimes the chocolate doesn't harden back up. It stays a little soft and melts when touched, which can get messy. Tempering chocolate restabilizes it so that it will harden as it cools. This is done by heating and cooling the chocolate to specific temperatures, which varies depending on the type of chocolate you're using. Once the chocolate has melted, it is heated to around 120 degrees, and is then cooled to around 80 degrees. Again, this varies depending on the type of chocolate, so you may need to do some research first.
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