You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to love chocolate. Chocolate is one of the best dessert ingredients that you can eat on its own. It’s also a great addition to cookies, cakes, pastries, and shakes. Because of chocolate’s popularity, it has become a lot of people’s guilty pleasures.
But the taste is not the only reason why people love chocolate. It’s a favorite among chefs too because of its versatility. Chocolate can be melted, hardened, sculpted, you name it! No wonder it’s so easy to love. If you’re curious about how you can make the perfect melted chocolate, here is a comprehensive guide.
Chocolate 101: How to Melt Chocolate
If you want to learn baking, one of the first lessons you’ll know is how to melt dark chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and other variants of this delicacy. There are two common ways to do it. One is using a stove and another is by using the microwave.
Using a Stove
The stove is used for cooking, everyone knows that. But not everyone knows that you can actually melt chocolate with a stove without getting it burnt. Think of it like butter. You have cubes of chocolate and you leave them in a pot. To show you how simple it is, follow the three steps below.
To know how to melt chocolate on the stove, first get your kitchen tools. You will need a double boiler, a plastic spatula, chocolate, and some water. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own by getting a small pot and then a bowl that you can place conveniently on top of the pot.
- When you have all your tools ready, place the pot on the stove. Pour water in it. The water should just be enough to almost touch the bottom of your bowl. Don’t let the water reach near the brim as well.
- Turn the heat up and wait for the water to simmer. Some people prefer boiling water, but boiling water will cause water droplets to form. This ruins the consistency and taste of the chocolate. When the water is simmering, turn off the heat.
- Put the top part of the boiler and place your chocolate cubes. After a few seconds, you’ll notice your chocolate slowly melting. When you see this, use your spatula to stir the chocolate. This will help it melt faster.
Using a Microwave
Using a stove is just one way. But there’s also a faster and easier method to melt chocolate. All you need is a microwave, a microwave-safe bowl, and chunks of chocolate.
- Start by putting chunks of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. If you have a glass bowl, you can use this too so it’s easier to see the chocolate.
- Place the bowl inside the microwave and warm it for one minute. Make sure that it’s on low to medium heat so you can gauge the melting process.
- After one minute, remove the bowl and stir it using a plastic spatula. You will notice that the chocolate continues to melt because there’s still heat in it. Mix the melted portions to the unmelted chocolate. This will spread the remaining heat to the other chunks.
- Place back the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 20 seconds. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the chocolate is melted. Be careful though, because you might burn it.
When it comes to melting chocolate using a microwave, there’s no one measurement that tells you how long it will melt. It depends on the number of chunks you put, the temperature of the microwave, and the type of chocolate. Chocolate that came from the fridge will definitely take longer as compared to a bar that’s been stored in room temperature.
Tips for Melting Chocolate
By just looking at the steps, it feels like melting chocolate is very easy. But you can still make mistakes no matter how easy these steps are. In fact, there is still a chance that you could burn the chocolate. So to help you get that perfect melt, here are a few tips to take note of.
- Don’t let water mix with the chocolate
When water mixes with chocolate in its melting phase, the latter will seize. “Seize” in baking means that the chocolate will become lumpy. This is because water causes the separation of the sugar and the cocoa. The sugar combines with the water to form a syrup while the cocoa gets left alone and forms lumps.
- Adding water can fix seized chocolate
If by any chance, water started to accumulate in the chocolate, you can fix it by adding water. Start by adding a teaspoon of water and observe if the mixture returns to a normal melted state. If it doesn’t, add more teaspoons of water but do it one at a time. Don’t forget to stir the mixture whenever you add water so that the consistency is even all throughout.
- Chop the chocolates into equal sizes
The way you chop the chocolate bar makes a lot of difference in the melting process. If you try to melt the chocolate bar without chopping it, it will take a long time to melt. By the time the middle part melts, the sides would already be burnt. Chopping the chocolate into small, equal pieces makes sure everything gets melted properly.
- Stir the chocolate once it starts to melt
Whether you’re using a stove or a microwave, always stir the chocolate once it starts to melt. Stirring will help rush the melting process. It also spreads the heat to the different chunks that aren’t melted yet. To add to that, stirring will give you an idea if it’s really melted.
Now that you know how to melt chocolate, it’s suddenly so easy to put a richer taste to your favorite desserts. You can use it as icing, coating, or as a dip for different kinds of bread.
- How to Melt Chocolate – wikiHow