For baking enthusiasts, this question can be an easy one, but for beginner bakers, there are a few simple ways to melt chocolate when a recipe calls for it. You have two options: you can use a double boiler or a microwave.
The first rule to keep in mind is: low and slow; that is the key! Try to keep it at the lowest heat possible, and make sure to take your time.
A double boiler is a two-component pan, consisting of a bottom and top pan. The bottom pan is used for boiling water, which will heat the ingredients located on the top pan. We highly recommend bringing the water to a boil first, before placing the bowl on top. This helps to reduce the chance of burning your chocolate. After the water is boiled, remove it from the heat and put the bowl of chopped up chocolate on top for the melting process. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes as your chocolate begins to melt in the bowl.
You don’t have a double boiler on hand? You can simply make one with a heatproof bowl, preferably Pyrex and a saucepan. The next step is to fill the saucepan with a ¼ inch of water; let it boil, reduce heat, and then place the heatproof bowl over the water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Then, follow the same steps you would for a regular double boiler.
Another way to melt chocolate is by using the microwave. Start by placing the chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and melt for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted. Be sure to turn your microwave settings down to ½ power or less for all chocolate types. However, it is recommended that you melt white chocolate over a double boiler as this type of chocolate tends to become lumpy, grainy and burnt more easily in a microwave.
It is important to keep in mind that these methods should only be used for melting chocolate and NOT for tempering. Melting chocolate through these methods should only be used for cooking and baking, and is not recommended for coating or molding. For information about our products, please visit our website or give us a call at (516) 829-5875.