chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar and cocoa solids.
the fats are melted at different temps and are unstable.
the sugar also melts at a different temp than the fats.
to stablize the mix you must melt the chocolate to not more than 122 f, cool 1/2 to 85 f and combine to 100 - 110 f.
this can be done by melting 3/4 of your chocolate to 120f, adding 1/4 of the remaining chocolate fine chop and mixing by hand with a wooden or rubber spatula no whipping or frothing needed.
this method is called seeding and is quite easy as tempering goes.
you may also table the chocolate by melting the chocolate to 120, pouring half onto a clean, cool marble and moving it about with an off set spatula and adding back to warm chocolate when it begins to thicken.
the chocolate should feel slightly cool to your lower lip or the flesh on your knucle.
you can tell if the chocolate is ready by dipping a clean palate knife into the chocolate and set it down in a cool place, if the choc becomes dry and has a beautiful sheen, good to go.
this is a technique and must be done many times to do with ease.
find dessert circus by jacques torres, he has a good description.
what is your application? professional or for fun?
there are many methods, please read up.
Thanks m brown. I wanted to know for fun and because i'm sure it would come in handy to know eventually. I actually saw a show on the food network with jacques torres. He was explaining how to temper chocolate and showed how to using the cool marble but i was making cookies and only half paid attention. It sparked my interest though so i figured i'd follow it up.