Chocolate is delicious in its many forms; There’s no denying that. The versatility of chocolate lets you eat by the chunk or use it in baking. You will often melt your chocolate down before adding it to cake, brownies, or chocolate bars. Conversely, you can also melt the chocolate down and dip fruit in it!
Whatever you use your melted chocolate for, pesky clumps are bound to show if the proper steps aren’t executed. Let’s discuss how to avoid clumps while melting chocolate!
Double Boil Method
You could always throw your chocolate into a pot and heat it directly over the flame, but this increases the chances of your chocolate clumping and burning on the bottom. When you melt chocolate, you want to be delicate to achieve that creamy texture.
The double boil is a safe and simple way to keep your melting chocolate from burning and clumping. First, fill a cooking pot with about a quarter full of water. Then, grab a metal or glass mixing bowl that fits on top of the cooking pot and add the chocolate.
Turn up the heat so the water in the pot starts boiling, which will radiate up to the bowl, giving consistent and indirect heat.
When using this method, be very careful that you don’t burn yourself from the steam that will escape between the pot and the bowl. Also, keep water away from the chocolate as much as possible. Don’t leave it on too long, either. Remove from heat early to ensure it doesn’t burn.
If you don’t have the option to use the double boiler method, you can always use a microwave. While most advice says to use any microwave-safe bowl, we recommend a glass bowl, as sometimes plastic bowls can melt if the chocolate gets too hot.
To use a microwave, place the chocolate in a glass bowl. Using short bursts, microwave the chocolate on low power for 15 to 20 seconds. Stir well after each burst. You don’t have to do too many bursts, as the glass bowl will retain heat. Do as many as you need to get the chocolate just melted, then stir to complete the melting process.
Make sure you don’t overheat the chocolate, as it will scorch. Also, make sure your glass bowl doesn’t get too hot. Always use oven-safe mitts.
Keep Chocolate Moving
Another primary cause of clumping when melting your chocolate is keeping it still. You want to keep your chocolate moving while melting it to promote consistency.
Use a whisk to mix around the chocolate as it begins to melt for a nice, even texture.
Water: Public Enemy No. 1 to Chocolate
We talked about the second most significant enemy of chocolate above, but let’s discuss public enemy number one: water. During the refining process of chocolate, all the moisture is removed from the cocoa beans to give the final product a solid state for use.
Adding water to melted chocolate accidentally turns it into a paste, hindering its consistency. So, when melting chocolate for baking or other reasons, avoid adding any water to it if you want great melted chocolate.
However, if moisture gets in somehow, you can salvage it by adding heavy cream. It will be thicker but will still have a smooth consistency.
Using Butter or Cream
If you’re melting chocolate and need to add butter or cream, be sure to add them in slowly while the chocolate is still warming. This will ensure that everything is combined properly without burning. Stir gently until everything is melted and combined thoroughly.
Get the Best Chocolate Around From Legacy Chocolates
Whether you’re grabbing chocolate for baking or need gift ideas for a corporate event, wedding, or holiday, you can always choose Legacy Chocolates for handcrafted, local chocolate and chocolate products.
Shop online, give us a call at 651-340-5252, or visit our store at the Historic Pioneer Endicott building in downtown St. Paul today!