How to Melt Chocolate: Advice from Expert Chocolatiers
Melting chocolate is a firm favourite for chocolate lovers. You can use it for baking, chocolate mould making, or fondu tasting. However, melting chocolate can be a little bit tricky. So, the experts in the Sweet Tree kitchen have put together a little article outlining how to melt chocolate like the professionals.
Melting Chocolate: The Basics
Start Small: chocolate comes in many forms but the best choices for melting are chocolate bars, chocolate buttons, or chocolate chips. If you are using chocolate bars, it is best to chop the bars into smaller pieces so that they melt easily. Melting chocolate buttons is the easiest way to melt chocolate evenly.
Stay Dry: anything damp or wet will ruin melted chocolate. You do not want any moisture running into the melting chocolate, so be sure to thoroughly dry everything before melting. Even a tiny drop of water will ruin the outcome and quality of your melted chocolate.
Low Heat: if you turn the heat up too high, either on the hob or in the microwave, it will scorch your chocolate. The key to great chocolate melting is to keep the heat low and let it melt slowly.
Chocolate Melting Point: the melting point of chocolate is between 30 and 32 degrees.
The Best Way to Melt Chocolate
When melting chocolate on the hob, the best thing to do is to keep the heat down low and melt the chocolate really slowly. Start by filling a pan halfway with water. Put the water on the hob and let it start to simmer. Place a bowl on top of the water (preferably heat resistant glass), making sure it does not touch the water.
How to Make Melted Chocolate in a Pan: once the water is simmering away nicely, turn off the heat and add a handful of chopped chocolate to the bowl. Stir gently and as the chocolate starts to melt, add the rest of the chocolate to the bowl and continue to stir. This is something professional chocolatiers do when melting chocolate as, by melting a small portion at a time you are “seeding” the chocolate. This means that the cocoa butter crystals have stabilised and the chocolate will have a beautiful shine.
How to Melt Chocolate in a Microwave
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave it on high for 30 seconds. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and thoroughly stir, breaking up the remaining chocolate pieces. Sometimes, chocolate pieces will retain their shape in the microwave until you stir them. So, it is best to remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir it after 30 seconds, even if not all the chocolate has melted, otherwise you run the risk of overheating it.
If not all the chocolate has melted, even after stirring, continue melting the chocolate in the microwave with 10-15-second blasts.
How to Melt Chocolate in a Crock Pot
Melting chocolate in a chocolate melting pot or slow cooker is ideal as keeping it on a low heat means all you need to do is stir it occasionally. If you’re a fan of fondue, melting chocolate in a slow cooker is a great method as you can keep the chocolate at just the right temperature while you dip cookies, pretzels, fruit, and marshmallows into the chocolate. All you need to do is make sure the chocolate doesn’t get too hot, otherwise it could start to burn. So, regular stirring is important.
Melting Chocolate with Liquids
There are many recipes that call for melting chocolate alongside liquids such as cream, milk, water, liqueurs, or other flavourings. However, this is often where melting chocolate goes wrong. Melting chocolate with liquids is much faster than just melting chocolate on its own, so overheating and burning is a common problem.
Chocolate should never be melted with very small amounts of liquids. It is best to use at least 1 tablespoon of liquid for every 2 ounces of chocolate. This helps prevent the dry chocolate particles from binding together and becoming lumpy. Always ensure the liquids you are adding to chocolate are warm because cold liquids can cause the chocolate to seize up.
How to Melt White Chocolate
The best way to melt white chocolate is by placing a bowl over simmering water. If you are adding any flavouring or colour extracts to the chocolate, do so before melting. If the fully melted chocolate is quite thick, as melted white chocolate tends to be, you can always stir in a small amount of coconut oil or butter to loosen it.
Why Does White Chocolate Melt Faster?
White chocolate is a combination of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products, vanilla, and a fatty substance called lecithin, so it has a very low burn point. White chocolate melts so easily that many people overheat it so that it goes hard and lumpy. The best method for melting white chocolate is to melt it very slowly over a low heat, adding in butter or coconut oil to soften if needed.
How to Melt Dark Chocolate
Melting dark chocolate is much the same as melting milk chocolate. Add chocolate to a dry bowl that is placed over a simmering pan on the hob. You would have read our tips on how to melt chocolate on a stove above. So, simply follow those directions. Just remember, as with melting milk chocolate, our tips for melting chocolate for dipping is to be patient and stir regularly over a low heat.
What Chocolate is Best to Melt?
If you’re wondering what chocolate to buy for melting, the best chocolate to melt is always high-quality chocolate. At Sweet Tree by Browns, we melt chocolate to create our bespoke and unique chocolate gifts.
To ensure a smooth and glossy finish, we use the highest quality Belgian chocolate for melting. Discover our chocolate gifts by browsing our products. We have a team of expert chocolatiers who are always coming up with fabulous new designs and fun new creations. So, if you have something particular in mind, give us a call!