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Melting Chocolate

General Chocolate Melting Tips

Choose a cool, dry day to melt chocolate for chocolate coating. Humidity in the air or even in the kitchen will cause chocolate to tighten up or become stiff and grainy, a condition known as "seizing."

Only use very dry utensils when melting chocolate. Wet utensils (even with two or three drops of water) can cause chocolate to seize.

Break chocolate into small pieces to speed the melting process.

Chocolate can scorch easily. Stir melting chocolate periodically to help blending and discourage scorching.

Steam, condensation, or water droplets may cause chocolate to become lumpy and grainy. If during the melting process the chocolate product begins to tighten or become lumpy, it is advisable to add a small amount of solid vegetable shortening (not butter, margarine, spreads, oil, water or milk) to the chocolate, chocolate chips, chocolate squares, or other baking pieces. As an emergency measure only, stir in 1 level tablespoon solid vegetable shortening for each 6 ounces of chocolate you are melting. (6 ounces is equal to 1 cup baking chips or 6 1-oz squares of baking chocolate)

Microwave Melting Tips

Use only microwave-safe containers to melt chocolate in the microwave and place container with chocolate in the center of the microwave to melt.

Handle microwave containers with a hot pad after heating. The container may be hotter than contents.

Do not overheat; chocolate and other baking ingredients can scorch easily.

Baking chips and baking chocolate may appear formed and un-melted after heating but will become fluid after stirring.

Use the guidelines for microwave melting. Use this chart only as a guideline because all microwave ovens differ in timing and heating patterns.

Direct Heat Melting

When melting chocolate on a range or stovetop use very low heat. Always use a heavy saucepan and stir constantly.

Double Boiler Method

Place chocolate or other ingredients in double boiler top over hot, not boiling, water. Be careful boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate which can result in "seizing," when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy. Stir occasionally with a clean, dry utensil until the chocolate is melted.

Warm Water Method

Place chocolate in a small, heatproof cup or bowl. Then place the cup or bowl in a shallow pan containing a small amount of warm water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until it is smooth.

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