How Long Does Chocolate Take To Set: The Best Guide

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Last Updated on March 13, 2023

Many bakers will work with chocolate, whether they are making candies in molds or decorations for baked goods. However, chocolate needs proper time to set to keep its shape. If you bake regularly, you will want to know how long does chocolate take to set?

When working with chocolate, you don’t want to rush it as this will just lead to a mess. Fortunately, it does not take particularly long to harden when you do it right. In addition, you want to make sure you melt your chocolate just right to give it a delicious flavor and consistency.

How Long Does Chocolate Take to Set?

There are a couple of factors that play into how long it will take chocolate to harden. You need to take into consideration how thick the chocolate is and where you are letting it harden. For those on a schedule, it is important to know how long it takes for melted chocolate to harden.

It will take around 10-15 minutes to harden in the fridge if you make chocolate candies, such as in lollipop molds or small decorations. If you are tight on time, you can pop them in the freezer and they will harden within 5-10 minutes. You can also let the chocolate set at room temperature, which may take 20-30 minutes. 

For larger pieces of chocolate, it can take 20-30 minutes in the fridge, 10-20 minutes in the freezer, and up to an hour at room temperature. If using the fridge or freezer, cover your chocolate or place it in an airtight container. This will help prevent any condensation from getting on the chocolate as it sets.

Different Types of Chocolate You Can Use For Melting

When you go down a baking aisle in a grocery store, you will notice there are several different types of chocolates. Some of the most common types you will see that people use for melting include candy melts, chocolate chips, baking chocolate, and couverture chocolate. Certain types work better for melting than others do.

There are also different flavors of chocolate as well. For melting, people will commonly use semi-sweet, bittersweet, dark, white, and milk chocolate. 

how long does it take for melted chocolate to harden

Candy Melts

Candy melts consist of sugar, milk solids, vegetable oils, flavorings, and colors, but they do not have cocoa butter. So, they are technically not really chocolate even though they are often used as it. Candy melts are readily available and are ideal for candy making, molding, dipping, or coating.

They are easy to melt and have a creamy consistency that makes them popular to use. However, they do not have as good of a chocolate taste as other options do.

Chocolate Chips 

Chocolate chips come in many different options including semi-sweet, dark, milk, and white. To hold their shape while baking, they contain soy lecithin, which raises the melting temperature. This makes them trickier to use for melting; however, they can still be used, just be sure to be careful when melting them.

To make chocolate chips ideal for dipping, shortening can be added. Generally, you can use one tablespoon of shortening for every cup of chocolate chips when melting.

Baking Chocolate

Baking chocolate comes in four-ounce bars and is excellent for use to make brownies, ganache, and other decadent chocolate desserts. It comes in unsweetened, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and sweet. The semi-sweet and sweet options can be used for melting, similar to how chocolate chips are used.


Couverture is the best option to use for melting. It is a type of high-quality chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa butter than baking or eating chocolate does. To ensure they are high quality, couverture chocolate in America must have at least 35 percent cocoa solids and 31 percent cocoa butter.

When the chocolate has more cocoa butter, better it is for melting as it is more fluid. This is why couverture is the top choice among bakers when tempering chocolate. 

How to Temper Chocolate?

To get the chocolate to have a smooth, glossy finish, bakers do a process called tempering. Tempering chocolate is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize it for making candies and decorations. Once it is hardened, it has a shiny appearance, feels firm, and snaps when you break it.

Though there are a couple of different ways to do it, the most popular way is by doing a process called seeding. In this method, the chocolate is finely chopped and two-thirds of it is heated in a double broiler to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the chocolate cools slightly down to 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, the remaining one-third of the chocolate is mixed in and it is now ready to be used.

When tempering, it is important to use a thermometer as the temperature will make a difference. There are varying methods of tempering and even seeding, but when done right they will produce beautiful-looking chocolate. The process can be a bit tricky, so it may take a few tries to get it just right.

Read more about Why Does Chocolate Turn White?

How Long Does Tempered Chocolate Take to Set?

Tempered chocolate doesn’t take long to set at all. Once you’ve tempered your chocolate, you need to work relatively quickly as it’ll likely set before you’re done molding it – it really is that quick! Once at room temperature, tempered chocolate will set in for around 3-5 minutes. It will become glossy and set at this point.

Will Hershey’s Chocolate Harden?

Hershey’s chocolate is one of the most popular choices when it comes to chocolate. However, you may be wondering whether it hardens up. The simple answer is – of course. Once melted, as it cools down, it will harden and set, just like any other chocolate.

Can You Put Melted Chocolate in the Fridge?

If you’re waiting for melted chocolate to harden, it is best to place it in a cool, dry place at room temperature. However, if it’s a particularly humid day or you’re wanting to speed up the process, you can place it in an airtight container and chill it in the fridge.

What Equipment Do You Need for Tempering Chocolate?

If you’re wondering which equipment you need when tempering chocolate, then look no further. Besides the basic equipment such as a bowl, a spatula, parchment paper, a baking sheet, and a saucepan, you’ll also need molds of your choice and dipping tools. However, one of the most important pieces of equipment for tempering is a digital thermometer. To find the best digital thermometer for baking and cooking, click here.

Why Does My Chocolate Turn White?

Chocolate can turn white for a few reasons. The main reason is moisture in your chocolate. This moisture can come from a range of factors including not storing your chocolate correctly, drastic temperature changes to the environment and even not tempering your chocolate correctly.

Why Won’t My Chocolate Set?

If your chocolate is refusing to harden and not set, there are a few reasons why this might be. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons behind this.

  • Temperature. If the humidity or temperature of the environment is too hot, it’ll be almost impossible for your chocolate to set. The temperature should be below 70F, for best results. If you think the environment feels too hot, place your chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Time. Patience is key when it comes to waiting for the chocolate to set. Interrupting the process can slow down the setting time. Leave your chocolate to set as best as you can.
  • Practice Makes Perfect. Tempering is difficult and sometimes it just isn’t done correctly. When done incorrectly, there are a few ways that tempered chocolate can go wrong. From the temperature to moisture, to the environment – they all need to be perfect to ensure your tempered chocolate should come out as it should.

tempering chocolate

How Quickly Does Chocolate Set on Strawberries?

One of the most common ways to use tempered chocolate is on fruit; in particular strawberries. If you’ve dipped your strawberries in your chocolate, you may be wondering how long until they’re completely set. Usually, the layer of chocolate is quite thick on chocolate-covered strawberries. For this reason, it’ll take around an hour for them to set in the fridge completely. However, you can leave them longer.

Knowing How Long Does it Take Chocolate to Harden

Not only does chocolate taste amazing, but it can also make for some elegant-looking decorations and candies. When using melted chocolate, it is important to know how long it needs to be set, otherwise, you will have a mess on your hands. Tempering is also a great method to use when melting chocolate, as it creates a glossy, smooth finish with a nice snap.

In general, small chocolate candies and decorations will take about 10-15 minutes to set in the fridge and 5-10 minutes to set in the freezer. At room temperature, it can take up to 30 minutes for the chocolate to harden. For large pieces, it will take longer to set, so be sure to be patient and don’t rush the process.

Do you have any questions regarding how long does chocolate take to set? If so, please ask any questions regarding how long chocolate takes to set, and how to temper chocolate in the comment section below.

Read more about How Long Chocolate Last In The Freezer

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