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
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
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
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.