If you are planning to make dipped chocolate or candy molds this holiday its best to temper the chocolate before hand. This method is used by Chocolatiers to get a high gloss shine with a uniform texture and a snap. The secret is to melt the chocolate gradually using indirect heat to allow the cocoa butter to solidify and chocolate to harden.
Here is how:
Start with 1LB chocolate block or bar and chop. Place 75% in the top of a double broiler and heat to a simmer.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan to monitor the temperature of the melting chocolate.
Stir gently with a rubber spatula bringing the temperature to 115F for dark chocolate or 110F for milk chocolate; remove from heat.
Add remaining 25% of chopped chocolate to the pan, this will bring down the overall temperature. Hold chocolate @ 88F -89F over warm water.
Now you are ready to dip.