Go Ask Alice – How to Melt Chocolate

March 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Received a question from a blog reader tonight that I thought was worthy of sharing with y’all.  The reader is having trouble with melting chocolate for dipping the truffles – the chocolate is seizing up and not smooth.

So here’s your answer:

Chocolate is very finicky – and white chocolate is the worst.  I have ruined many batches of chocolate when I get impatient and try to melt it too quickly.  There are two key components to getting smooth melted chocolate.  The first is the type of chocolate, and the second is method of melting.

Type!
I use the Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate squares and white chocolate bars.  This type of chocolate melts more easily and evenly than chocolate chips, for example.  Chocolate chips have stabilizers in them (like wax!) which make for less that perfect melting, which would be a problem if you’re trying to get a smooth dipping chocolate.  This is VERY important when using white chocolate as white chocolate has a high cocoa butter content – which means the chocolate can seize easily, resulting in a lumpy, ruined mess.  The baking squares melt better than the chips, and if you are near a craft store, they sell chocolate wafers which are designed for candy making and almost impossible to screw up (I don’t like their flavor as well – but they really do melt perfectly.)

Method!
The key step in melting chocolate is patience.  Always remember to melt them over a double boiler or if you use a microwave like me, cook the chocolate in short, low power intervals (I use 50%) of no more than 30 seconds.  You will near to stir at each interval.  Other pointers – avoid any and all contact with water, as this will also cause the chocolate to seize up.  And once the chocolate has turned, there’s no going back.  Throw it out, get a new bowl, and start over.

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