Melting chocolate has long been a challenge for both novice and experienced cooks alike. Chocolate is very sensitive to heat, which makes burning it all the more likely. Learning how to melt chocolate is a valuable skill, especially if you love baking your own treats at home. Take a moment to learn about setting up the right temperatures for melting and how to incorporate liquid chocolate into delicious recipes.
Choosing the Best Chocolate
If you are health-conscious, you probably know that dark chocolate is far healthier than milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is known for its many antioxidants. However, it is also packed with minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron and copper. This makes it great for those suffering from high blood pressure, heart diseases, poor bone density and muscle problems. Therefore, use dark chocolate as often as you can for more nutrients.
Important Tips and Guidelines
- Never mix chocolate with water: water and chocolate are not a good combination. If chocolate comes in contact with water, it will stiffen and resistant to manipulation.
- Always melt chocolate over low heat. Never melt on high heat otherwise it will harden and burn.
- Your chocolate pieces should be equal in size for even melting
- Stir, stir and stir while melting
How to Melt Chocolate in the Microwave
To melt chocolate in the microwave, choose a microwave-compatible dish that stays cool even under high heat. Place chocolate pieces in the dish.
Turn heat settings to half the power (50%) and melt at 1-minute intervals, checking and stirring continuously.
Cook until chocolate is all melted without lumps. As a general guideline, melt 1 ounce of chocolate for 1 minute. Melt 1 pound of chocolate for 3-4 minutes. Avoid exceeding 5 minutes.
How to Melt Chocolate in Double Boiler
If you don’t have access to a double boiler, use 2 pans or pots. 1 pan should be larger and deeper, and the other shallow. Fill the bigger pan with very hot water. Add chocolate in the smaller, shallow pan and place it on top of the larger, making sure they are not touching.
Turn on stovetop to low heat and allow the water to simmer, not boil. Stir while chocolate is melting.
How to Melt Chocolate with Fluids
It is not uncommon for recipes to require melting chocolate with other liquids like milk and cream. You can melt it as per instructions given above. However, make sure the ratio of chocolate to fluids is 2 ounces to 1 tablespoon of milk/cream/water. Melt the quantities all at once instead of cooking them bit by bit.
Knowing how to melt chocolate might seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually simple and quick. Using a microwave or a double boiler makes it much easier, provided you keep heat low. Melted chocolate is ideal for chocolate cakes, chips, biscuits and for coating nuts, fruit and candy.