Let’s face it, we all love chocolate and the many different ways it can be eaten, drunk and enjoyed.
So whether you’re a master baker or simply experimenting with melting and dipping fruit or pretzels, knowing the do’s and don’ts of melting and hardening chocolate is a must.
To make life easy, we’ve answered all the questions you need to know about setting chocolate!
How Long Does It Take For Melted Chocolate To Harden?
Using a fridge or freezer can significantly reduce the time it takes for the chocolate to set fully.
(Click here if you want to learn how to melt chocolate).
How to Tell When Chocolate is Fully Hardened
When melted chocolate sets, it should have a smooth, shiny and firm appearance.
If you touch it, your finger should come away clean, leaving no marks on the top of the chocolate.
The chocolate should also look and feel sold and hard rather than liquid or squishy.
What is the Best Way to Harden Chocolate After Melting It?
This depends on the type of chocolate used, its thickness, the application method, and where it is left to be set.
If time is not an issue, leave it to set at room temperature, as this gives the best chance of perfect results.
If you’re pressed for time, placing chocolate in the fridge can reduce the hardening time by half.
Alternatively, you can use a freezer, but be sure not to leave the chocolate in there for an extended period.
Avoid freezing the chocolate, as this can lead to blooming and discolouration.
(Blooming is when the chocolate becomes discoloured with a dull white finish).
How Long Does It Take For Chocolate To Harden In A Fridge?
Using a fridge can cut the hardening time for chocolate by about half.
Depending on the type of chocolate you are working with, the hardening time can be reduced to as little as 10-20 minutes.
Using your fridge to harden melted chocolate is an effective option when you need to speed up the settings process.
(You might also like to read this post about how to fix seized chocolate).
How Long Does It Take For Chocolate To Harden In A Freezer?
In the freezer, the hardening process takes even less time, with chocolate typically solidifying within 5-10 minutes.
The exact time may vary depending on the thickness of your chocolate.
It’s essential to keep an eye on your chocolate and not leave it unattended.
Avoid freezing the chocolate, as this can lead to blooming (discoloration) when it returns to room temperature.
(You might also want to read this post: Should You Put Chocolate in the Freezer?)
How Long Does It Take For Chocolate To Harden at Room Temperature?
Depending on the type of chocolate used and the thickness, it should take 20 – 30 minutes to set.
Location is critical, so make sure you set aside your chocolate in a cool room away from direct sunlight and other heat sources such as ovens and radiators.
What is the Best Chocolate to Use for Melting?
Chocolate melts faster the higher the percentage of fat and cocoa butter it has, so dark chocolate melts the fastest.
The ideal chocolate for melting or dipping is called couverture chocolate.
Professional chefs use “couverture” chocolate for cooking and baking.
Couverture chocolate has a higher amount of cocoa butter to cocoa, helping it melt much more smoothly.
They are perfect for melting and extremely tasty!
Final Notes on Hardening Chocolate and How Long it Takes
Chocolate typically takes about 20-30 minutes to fully harden and set at room temperature.
By placing your melted chocolate in the fridge, you can cut these times in half, speeding up the hardening process.
Although using a freezer can harden chocolate more quickly, it may cause blooming, resulting in discoloured chocolate.
White chocolate generally solidifies more rapidly than milk or dark chocolate, setting in around 10-20 minutes.
On the other hand, milk and dark chocolate usually take 20-30 minutes to harden.
All of these times will vary depending on which type of chocolate you are using, the type of application and how thick it is.
So be sure to check the progress of your chocolate hardening to consider these variations.
And don’t forget to take a look at this link for the perfect cooking chocolate product.