A number of recipes on tvfgi involve melting chocolate of some type or another, and it can be a challenge if you’ve never done it before. But transforming solid chocolate into a smooth silky liquid is easy once you get the hang of it. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you going ~
White chocolate is the most difficult to handle so I suggest starting with regular milk or semi sweet if you’re a chocolate melting newbie.
You need heat to melt chocolate, but too much heat can cause it to scorch or ‘seize’ up into a solid mass.
Start with chocolate that has been cut into small pieces. You can use chocolate chips if you like. The smaller the pieces the less heat you will need, and the quicker the chocolate will melt.
Water (even steam) is the enemy when it comes to melting chocolate, it can cause the chocolate to seize. Make sure your bowl and utensils are dry.
My preferred method for melting chocolate of all types is in the microwave. I microwave chips or finely chopped chocolate for one minute, then stir, and then microwave for additional 15 second spurts, stirring in between. I let the heat of the bowl do the final melting, as I stir.
You can melt chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl that fits snugly over a pan of simmering water on the stove. Use a small amount of water and be sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the vessel that is holding your chocolate. Be sure no steam condenses into your chocolate, too.
Whatever method you use, heat the chocolate just enough so that most of the lumps are melted, but not all. As you stir it the ambient heat of the chocolate and the bowl will finish the melting process.
Be very careful about adding flavorings to your chocolate. Even a tiny amount of water based flavoring will tend to seize the chocolate. I recommend only using oil based candy flavorings made just for this purpose. You can find them HERE, on Amazon.
The same goes for coloring your melted chocolate (in the case of white) ~ use only coloring specifically made for candy making, it will be powdered or oil based. You can find examples on Amazon, HERE.
You can remelt chocolate that has started to harden, just follow the same guidelines above. You can do this multiple times.
If you do a lot of chocolate melting, invest in an inexpensive electric melting pot ~ it makes melting chocolate a breeze, and it’s also handy for dipping.