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Chocolate Sinsation II by ChandreYou don't truly need a tempering machine for occasional or extremely low volume candy production in the home, but you won't ever go back to hand tempering once you have one. There are a lot of ways to temper chocolate and I have tried most of them. The marble slab technique (I'll spare you the messy details) has to be the worst. Adding finely chopped chocolate to a bowl of melted chocolate and letting sit for a few minutes is easier, but there is little guarantee that the chocolate is truly tempered. With a tempering machine, the threat of chocolate bloom appearing on your truffles after you have dipped a couple dozen will no longer be on your mind.

Not Cheap—expect to spend $350 (USD) for a new base model
If you are looking to start making candies on a regular basis, I believe it is worth the investment. I bought my chocolate tempering machine for about $329 ten years ago. It is a Chocolate Sinsation II by Chandre. This company is now long gone, but there is another company, Chocovision that appears to have a comparable model, but with LED screen instead of LCD. Check out the Other Resources box to the right for information about different models on the market today.

Not Foolproof
Even with a quality tempering machine, there is no guarantee that your chocolate will wind up perfectly tempered. Conditions such as room temperature, humidity and the chocolate you are tempering can conspire to take your chocolate out of temper. I don't have air conditioning in my house and so I don't temper chocolate on hot days.

Your attention, please
My machine is a bit noisy—not as loud as a blender or mixer at full speed, but similar to an electric citrus juicer or stand mixer at low speed. You really notice it after turning it off when you have been dipping for several hours—it is sort of like coming home after a loud concert. Loudness aside, my little tempering machine has cranked out candies without trouble since 1996, typically during the winter holidays.

Bigger may not be better
Be sure to note the minimum amount of chocolate that may be melted in the unit you choose. Larger units may require several pounds to accommodate any volume of dipping, large or small. With the smaller units, you have to pause between dipping runs to melt and temper more chocolate, but this usually gives you time to clean up, do other preparation work, or just take a break from the monotony of high volume dipping.

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