A guide to tempering dark chocolate with the no-frills microwave method.
*A larger amount of chocolate is easier to temper because the change in temperature happens less drastically, and is therefore easier to control. If you decide to temper more than you need for a recipe, you can easily just pour the remaining chocolate in moulds, or on a sheet or parchment, to set and use later.
**The chocolate you use for your seed should be solid tempered chocolate. It's used to "seed" the melted chocolate with the good crystals that create tempered chocolate. All pure chocolate is usually sold tempered, so as long as it has been kept in an environment that allows it to retain its temper, it should work as your seed.
***If chocolate is at working temperature and does not appear to be tempered, you can continue to stir it until it cools to 84º, and then reheat in the microwave in very short increments to bring back up to working temperature. Lowering the temperature like this will increase the formation of good beta-crystals that keep chocolate in temper.
I have to give so much credit to Nicole from Baking Bites who was a huge source of knowledge to me when I was learning this process. David Lebovitz also wrote a helpful post on this that I've referred to many times.