Here is Part II in our Baking With Chocolate 101 tutorial by CakeSpy!
Read Part I here.
Now that you’re educated on chocolate of all sorts, let’s talk about a vital kitchen skill: how to melt chocolate.
Tips for success
● Use a clean, dry spoon or rubber spoon spatula for stirring your chocolate while it melts. Metal and silicone are less prone to store moisture, but a clean, dry wooden spoon will work, as well.
● Use a double boiler to melt chocolate to ensure none of it scorches. If you don’t have a double boiler, it’s OK–you can configure your own by placing a shallow heatproof bowl on top of a small or medium saucepan, fitted so that the bowl can fit in the saucepan but the sides and top are wide enough that it can keep the bowl from falling in: the idea is that the bowl will hover above the water in the pan below.
● Don’t lift the top portion of the double boiler during the melting process, because escaping steam can turn into moisture which can make your melted chocolate lumpy.
● Don’t cover the top of your double boiler while heating, because this can create unwanted steam, and it keeps you from being able to stir the mixture.
● Use coarsely chopped chocolate for best results. When chopped into small pieces, the chocolate will not only melt faster than solid chocolate right from a bar, but it will also melt evenly.
● With the exception of chocolate morsels, chocolate is typically listed in weight volumes versus cups in recipes. The reason is that depending on how finely the chocolate is chopped, there can be quite a variation of the volume it takes up in a cup. If you’re working with chocolate frequently, a kitchen scale is a must. This tutorial will work with any quantity of chocolate; just be sure that you have enough room in your pan to stir!
Coarsely chop your chocolate, and place it in the top of your double boiler or into your bowl. Keep it off the heat for now.
Now, get the heat going in the bottom of your double boiler. Fill the bottom half of a double boiler with enough water so that an inch of space remains between the water level and where the top of the double boiler will rest. Or, fill your pan with enough water so that it is below the level where the bottom of the bowl will fit. Heat the water on medium high heat until it comes to a light boil.
Reduce the heat to low. Now, place the top of the double boiler or bowl with the chocolate so that it is perched atop the gently simmering water.
Stir the chocolate gently but continuously. It will begin to melt. Continue stirring until it is mostly melted, but a few bumps still remain. You can remove the top of the double boiler now. Be careful when removing it, as any escaping steam can add unwanted moisture.
Transfer the bowl or top of the double boiler to a heat-safe surface where you can continue gently stirring. The few remaining unmelted bits should melt in the residual heat.
Once your chocolate is melted, you can use your melted chocolate in a variety of ways. Here are just a few:
What is your favorite way to use chocolate in baking? Share in the comments!