How to Melt Chocolate

Melting chocolate is not as difficult, as it is perceived to be. However, if it is not done correctly, the chocolate can go bad. In this write-up, find different ways, which you can use to melt chocolate.
When you are melting chocolate, there are a number of precautions which you should take, so that you obtain some nice melted chocolate. The most important precaution is to make sure, that the heat you use is gentle heat, if you overheat the chocolate, it may scorch, lose its flavor and turn coarse and grainy. Hence, it is important to know the procedure to melt chocolate correctly, but we will see some tips to melt chocolate.

Tips to Melt Chocolate

The following are a few tips to melt chocolate, which will come in handy while you melt the chocolate, because if not done properly, the chocolate might lose its texture as mentioned above.
  • It is important to chop the chocolate into uniform pieces, to ensure, that all the pieces are melting evenly. Make it a point NOT to melt large bars or blocks of chocolate, without chopping it into pieces.
  • When you are melting avoid any sort of contact with water, else the chocolate will seize and become unworkable. Even a few droplets of water is not acceptable.
  • Stir the chocolate often with a rubber spatula, when you see the edges beginning to melt. If you do not stir, you will not know, if the chocolate has melted or not, as chocolate retains its shape after it has melted.
Melting Chocolate in a Pan

Chocolate can easily be melted using a regular pan too. Let's see how to go about it. If you have a question, how to melt chocolate chips, my answer is the same as the process mentioned below. If you have a block of chocolate, chop it into pieces and because chips are similar to the pieces of chocolate which you will make.
  • To melt chocolate in a pan, you will need a large bowl to sit over a saucepan and fill it with a couple of inches of lightly simmering water. However, make sure, that the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Chop the chocolate into even pieces and add them to the bowl, but make sure you keep the heat to the lowest.
  • It will take about 10 minutes for the chocolate to melt and become smooth and glossy, but remember the quantity will also govern the time required to melt the chocolate.
Melting Chocolate in Microwave

If you do not have a double broiler, then you can melt chocolate without a double boiler. Well you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. Melting the chocolate in a microwave is a great idea, as the efforts required are less and there's minimum mess.
  • Chop the chocolate evenly and place it in a microwave safe container.
  • Microwave at medium heat for about 1 ½ to 4 minutes, depending on the quantity of chocolate in the bowl. The key to understand, is to check if the chocolate has turned shiny.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the chocolate until you are sure that the chocolate has completely melted.
  • If you are melting milk and white chocolates, then you will have to stir after about 1 ½ minute or so, as it contains milk proteins.
Melting White Chocolate

While melting white chocolate, you will have to be extra careful as it burns more easily as compared to milk or dark chocolate. Using a double boiler is actually the best way to melt white chocolate, as melting white chocolate in the microwave can scorch the chocolate easily.
  • Fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with water, place it on the stove and let the water heat over medium-high heat.
  • When the water starts boiling, turn the heat to low.
  • While the water is boiling, chop the chocolate block into even pieces. Alternatively, you can also make use of white chocolate chips.
  • Then place the chocolate pieces or chips in the saucepan of the double boiler, but it is important to make sure, that the saucepan does not touch the water in the boiler.
  • Keep a constant eye on the chocolate and stir it frequently. Make sure you do not leave the chocolate unattended.
  • The moment you see that the white chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat.
Very often, you want to melt chocolate for dipping, for drizzling or for fondue, etc. Well the answer to these questions is by using any one of the methods mentioned above. You will just have to see which is more convenient for you and use that method.
By Bhakti Satalkar
Published: 2/19/2010
Bouquets and Brickbats