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"It's easy once you know how"
Melting chocolate is not difficult - let me tell you about three ways to melt chocolate.
Whether you need to melt chocolate to make chocolate dipped strawberries, a fondue, decorate a cake or make a chocolate buttercream there is a method here that will suit you.
I explain how to melt chocolate using a double boiler, the microwave and the oven.
Melting Chocolate Tips
- Chocolate buttons are the best for melting if you want to dip or make chocolate decorations. If your favourite chocolate does not come in this form then roughly chop to a small size. The small piece size means that the chocolate will melt quickly and evenly.
- Chocolates all vary in their thicknesses when melted. If the chocolate you have chosen looks as if it will be too thick when melted to dip then add 1 teaspoon of plain light coloured vegetable oil to 2 cups of chocolate buttons. Stir through thoroughly. This will make the job a lot easier without diminishing the flavour. If it needs more then add a little but too much will cause the chocolate to seize.
- If you are adding melted chocolate to a recipe then follow what they recommend. But remember only ever use a chocolate in any of your baking that you are willing to eat. If it does not taste nice when you eat it it wont when you bake with it. You do not need to use the most expensive chocolate in fact I never do. Instead I use my favourite baking chocolates usually a dark chocolate to give extra flavour to my cakes and creams.
- When melting the chocolate avoid overheating and contact with steam or water.
- Any water added to the chocolate while it is melting will cause the chocolate to seize and you will need to start again.
- Always use heat proof bowls when melting chocolate.
- Try and use small bowls to melt the chocolate. This will reduce the amount of chocolate you will have left over. You can always add more chocolate to the bowl to melt if needed.
- A good use for any left over chocolate is to let it set then grate it, store it in an airtight container ready to decorate a cake or chocolate dessert.
- Do not use a wooden spoon when stirring the chocolate while melting.
- Often they can still have moisture in them from washing up and they do tend to carry odors from previous cooking.
How To Melt Chocolate
Bring a small amount of water to the boil in a saucepan. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer. Place your heatproof bowl containing your chocolate buttons to snugly fit on top. The base of the bowl must not touch the simmering water. It is the heat of the steam that is used to melt the chocolate not the water. Stir the chocolate buttons until melted. Turn the heat off.
Use a heatproof microwave safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate uncovered on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir. Then repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate has melted stirring each time. Great care must be taken not to overheat the chocolate using this method.
I think that this is now the most common way of melting chocolate. Its quick and a great way to melt chocolate when you just need a small amount. It makes life easy when you just want to drizzle chocolate over a dessert or make chocolate decorations or melt chocolate to add to a recipe.
Place the heatproof bowl containing the chocolate buttons in a preheated oven set at 60C. Leave for 10 minutes, then stir. Leave the bowl in there until the chocolate is completely melted. You can leave the chocolate safely in the oven until ready to use.
This is my favourite way to melt chocolate when making chocolate covered strawberries. I find this is more flexible. I can keep several types of chocolate melted this way. I don’t have the danger of working with steam or the easy chance of over heating in the microwave.
I really hope this has helped in your melting chocolate journey. It is not hard and each method is good for different reasons. Although I think like me you will probably end up using the microwave method the most - its so convenient.
Ideas on how to use melted chocolate
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are delicious and much easier to make than they look.
Let me show you how.
I have ideas weddings, valentines, christmas and more.
I even have a chocolate covered strawberries cakes.
Who can resist a chocolate truffle? Not me - boy did I have fun making all of these for the web site!
Start at my Chocolate Truffle page where you will find a base recipe.
Then click onto the chocolate truffle flavours page to find an almost endless suggestion list for chocolate truffles.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Use melted chocolate to decorate chocolate chip cookies.
Instantly turn them into gourmet cookies!
Melting chocolate and drizzling over the cookies is easy and looks fantastic or why not dip half the cookie in the chocolate for a really decadent treat.
But you will need a great cookie recipe to start with so check out my chocolate cookies pages
Chocolate Peppermint Slice Mini Make-over
I have given our old favourites - chocolate peppermint slice and chocolate caramel slice a mini make-over.
They still have melted chocolate on top so this page will be of help to you.
You can find these chocolate recipes in my chocolate slice section.
Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
You will use melted chocolate in my smooth and delicious chocolate buttercream recipe.
It makes a wonderful chocolate cake filling or to top cupcakes.
I have also given a recipe for vanilla buttercream and white chocolate buttercream.