While it may sound simple, melting chocolate can be disastrous when done incorrectly. You may have tried to do it in the past and ended up with a chunky and crumbly mess! Heating it a few seconds too long or leaving it unattended can result in a burnt mess. However, worry not! The whole process is not rocket science, and by following a few steps you should be good to go.
why do you need to melt chocolate?
Generally, there are several reasons why you’d want to melt chocolate:
- To be used for dipping fruits and nuts
- To be used as a filling or to make a ganache in cake or pastry products
- To coat pastry products such as donuts or eclairs
- For tempering in order to make other chocolate products such as pralines, chocolate bars, and figurines
3 best ways to melt chocolate
There are 3 main methods that we recommend to melt chocolate.
1. the bain-marie method
The bain-marie is a classic, foolproof method to melt chocolate. This method will prevent you from accidentally burning or altering your chocolate's taste. It may take a while to prepare and get used to this method, but the result is worth every second!
You will need:
- Fill the pan with water about 1/3 of the way up and turn to medium heat.
- As the water simmers, add the bowl on top of the pan and make sure that it does not touch the water. Essentially, you’ll want the steam to heat the bowl. Make sure that the bowl is larger than the pan.
- Add in your chocolate coins or chopped chocolate and stir the chocolate quickly. Patience is key, as you want your chocolate to melt slowly rather than too quickly.
- Once the chocolate has completely melted and looks glossy, it is now ready to use
2. the microwave method
The microwave method is easier to execute compared to the bain-marie method. However, this method may only work if you're only melting a small amount of chocolate. Trying to melt too much chocolate in a microwave may cause you to burn it accidentally.
You will need:
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Chocolate in coin shape or chopped into small pieces
- Place the chocolate in the microwave-safe bowl. Make sure to not fill the whole bowl all the way to the top. We always recommend filling it a 1/3 of the way or at most ½ of the way up in the bowl.
- Microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals
- After each interval, take the bowl out and stir with a spatula. You’ll want to use the residual heat from the bowl to continue melting the chocolate.
- If you notice that there are still some solid chocolate chunks in there then microwave for another 30 seconds, take out, and stir.
- Continue until it’s completely melted and looks glossy
3. using a melter
A melter is basically an electronic piece of kitchen equipment used to melt chocolate. These are great because they help to keep your chocolate at a liquid consistency for as long as you need due to its constant heating.
What you need:
Simply add your chocolate coins into the melter and set the temperature. Once it starts to melt, stir with a spatula until you you get that nice glossy liquid chocolate. You can also just dip any of your fruits and nuts directly into the melter.
should you melt chocolate chips?
While you can melt chocolate chips, we don’t recommend this. If you think about it, chocolate chips are designed to hold their shape during the baking process, such as when you bake chocolate chip cookies. This characteristic means it is bake-stable. Thus it doesn’t melt as smoothly and doesn’t have the same fluidity when melted, making it a bit more difficult to work with.
We recommend couverture chocolate that comes in coin form or block form for melting purposes. Chocolate coins come in such shape that they can be easily melted. If you're using couverture chocolate that comes in block form, make sure to chop the chocolate into evenly sized smaller pieces before melting.
If you are in need of couverture chocolate with a good melting profile and great fluidity for any of your baking, dessert, or chocolate-making applications, then check out our couverture chocolate range on our products page. For more information regarding the pricing, speak to one of our knowledgeable sales reps by visiting our contact page.