Chocolates are versatile. It can be a sweet treat, a mood booster, or a simple gift. Sometimes chocolates are also used as an important ingredient on a fine and decadent dessert. Whether you like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate, it can always be elevated in different ways.
If you are a home baker, tick off other home baking skills on your list by learning how to melt chocolate. Being a home baker, you have the freedom to experiment with your ingredients and serve anything to your family and friends. On the other hand, if you plan to start a business out of your hobby, you need to make your products stand-out among others and elevating chocolate recipes can be an advantage.
However, the process of melting chocolate can be quite intimidating to some home bakers and even professionals. Here, you will learn easy ways on how to achieve a good batch of melted chocolate, things you have to keep in mind during the process, and how you can maximise the use of the product.
Uses of Melted Chocolates
Before you learn how to make tasty, silky smooth melted chocolate,here are some ideas on how you can use it. If you are a home baker, these ideas can be helpful to elevate your recipes.
If you want a quick and easy dessert, you can use your melted chocolate as a dip. All you need are some fruits that you can dip into it. You can also have some marshmallows, pretzels, and other savory goodies to partner with you smooth melted chocolate.
Make your breakfasts extra special by adding a drizzle of melted chocolate on top of your pancakes or waffles. You can also use it as a decoration on your plate. Brighten up your loved ones’ days by writing down some sweet notes using your melted chocolates.
Grab your piping bag and decorate your cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet treats with melted chocolate. This will take your desserts into another level especially if you use high quality chocolate.
Things To Remember Before Melting Chocolate
Only Get High Quality Chocolate
You need to remember that chocolates that have 32% or more cocoa butter content are better for melting. The best option is to choose couverture chocolate.
All chocolates will melt whether you buy it at the grocery or you sourced it locally but the quality of chocolate changes when it melts. Choosing a high quality chocolate will give you a smooth and silky outcome you can use as a dip or a decoration.
It is recommended to try different brands of chocolates and see what’s it for your taste.
One of the mistakes home bakers often commit is rushing the process. If you place your chocolate on to too much heat thinking it will fasten the process, you are wrong. Your chocolate will just end up with an icky, grainy texture and most of the time burnt. No one likes burnt chocolate, so you must do the process all over again.
Also, if you are melting a chocolate bar, chop it into small and uniform pieces. This will make the chocolates to melt evenly and you’ll end up with a good batch.
Always Dry Your Tools
Baking is an enjoyable thing to do. For some, it is their way to relax and destress but sometimes too much enjoyment could end up with a bad batch of melted chocolate.
Home bakers should keep in mind to dry everything the chocolate may touch because moisture ruins it. Never let even a tiny drop of water touch you chocolate because it will end up gritty and gross. You have to restart the process if you notice that your chocolate looks dry and lumpy.
If you are done with the process, make sure to dry your fruits and release its moisture before dipping because it will still affect the texture of your chocolate.
5 Ways to Melt Chocolate
Now that you know a thing or two about the Dos and Don'ts, you are not ready to melt some chocolates. These are easy ways you can choose from based on your resources and needs at home.
1. The Microwave Method
This is the quick and easy way to melt chocolate. It also leaves the least mess because you will just use a few baking/kitchen tools.
Just set the microwave on high heat and timer to one minute or 30 seconds. Remove and stir the melting chocolate.Repeat this process, every 10, 15, or 30 seconds and continue stirring until you get your desired consistency.
Take note that every microwave is different, so you must keep and eye on your melting chocolate to prevent it from burning.
2. The Stove Top Method
This is another common method used by home bakers. Set up a double boiler and make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water under it. Continuously stir the chocolate until everything is melted.
It is a longer process but you can have a better control of the consistency you want.
3. Water Bath Method
This is a slow process and you don’t have to keep an eye on the melting chocolate, just make sure the water does not get into the containers where you melt chocolates. The process usually takes 30 minutes.
4. Slow Cooker Method
This method is suggested if you are planning to melt a big batch of chocolate. You just have to place the chopped chocolates in a slow cooker, set the heat on high, and let it melt for an hour.
After one hour, reduce the heat and stir the batch every 15 minutes. Keep on stirring for an hour until the chocolate is totally melted.
5. Sandwich Bag Method
Simple and easy process. Take a plastic bag, preferably a Ziploc and put your chopped chocolates inside. Put it inside another resealable plastic bag for extra protection. Place the bag in a bowl filled with hot water. Note: Do not use boiling water.
Once you think that the chocolate is melted evenly, you can cut a small hole at the corner of the bag and start drizzling and decorating.
As a home baker, it is a good thing to elevate your recipes and learn new skills inside the kitchen. Make sure to take note of these pointers before melting your first batch of chocolates.
If you are planning to make money out of your hobby, you must choose the best ingredients. In this case, you have to source the best high quality chocolate in the market. There are chocolate businesses that offer wholesale chocolates. You can save up a few bucks but get a wide range of chocolate options.