If you’re working on a dessert recipe and it calls for melted chocolate, you probably know how to do so in a rudimentary style. But there’s a trick to doing it right. The reason you need to proceed cautiously is because different methods of melting chocolate produce melted chocolate of different consistencies. If you’re looking for smooth and silky melted chocolate, just putting some in a pot and quickly heating it until it melts will give you sticky and messy chocolate that’s hard to work with.
So, here are five ways you can melt chocolate to give it just the right consistency as well as how different melting agents can produce different types of melted chocolate. (Note, in all cases, you should always use the lowest amount of heat possible to ensure that not only is the consistency is as smooth as possible but that you prevent any burning at the bottom of your pot, bowl, or boiler – which could affect the taste and make it more bitter. )
1. Traditional Stove-Top
In all cases, you want to make the process as easy as possible. You could be bars of either milk or dark chocolate, but these often melt slower at low temperatures and often tempt cooks to increase the heat. This is how you get something that sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns and crusts there. Instead, you should use either semi-sweet dark chocolate chips and either melt that slowly or add a few splashes of milk to the same pot and increase the amount of chips to add to attain the proper sweetness and creaminess.
The main thing to remember when uses a traditional stove-top pot is to keep the burner at low and stir constantly. The lower the heat, the smoother the end result will be. This type of melted chocolate is excellent to use a filling or a topping to any type of dessert you want to pair it with.
2. Ganache Chocolate
This is very similar to normal melted chocolate, but since it uses mainly semi-sweet dark chocolate chips and instant coffee, you get a different flavor and consistency. You can use either a small amount of heavy cream or coconut oil to cut out any unnecessary fat. Melt it the same way you would on a traditional stove-top – slowly while stirring occasionally until it’s a creamy as you like it. This produces the kind of chocolate that makes an excellent topping or shell rather than as a filling due to it’s semi-sweet nature and coffee flavor – especially as an icing for cakes or pastries.
This is generally the fastest way to melt chocolate, but the only downside is that it requires more attention and is more labor-intensive than other methods on this list. You get piece of either milk or dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, cover and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, cover and heat again for another 30 seconds. Repeat this process until it arrives at the right consistency. This type of chocolate is great for molds, toppings or filling for any type of pastry or cake.
4. Double Boiler
This method is much less labor-intensive and loads easier than a stove-top. Using a double boiler is often regarded as the ideal method of melting chocolate. This entails boiling water on the bottom boiler while melting the chocolate chips and any other ingredients on the top boiler without any boiling water touching the bottom surface of the top pan. Pull the bottom pan off the fire when it starts to boil, and then place the top pan with the chocolate onto and stir until it becomes smooth and easy to pour or spoon.
5. Slow Cooker
This is the slowest method on this list, but the type of chocolate it produces is versatile enough for almost any purpose. After you set the crock-pot on low, add small amounts of chocolate and keep stirring in more once the initial batch has fully melted. Keep repeating this process and adding small batches until you get the full amount of melted chocolate you need. You can add some milk or instant coffee or any other additive you wish – coconut oil or cinnamon – after you’ve added the last batch. In any case, turn of the slow cooker once you had added all the chocolate and additional ingredients you wish and the whole amount is almost melted and keep it a low and stir it occasionally until you need it.