Two Easy Ways To Melt Chocolate

If all that stands between you and chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, pretzels, marshmallows, and even potato chips is a warm bowl of melted chocolate, let’s fix that right now. Here are two easy ways to melt the smoothest, glossiest, most dipping-est chocolate in just minutes.

Melted Chocolate

Photo by Luisa Contreras via Flickr / Creative Commons

What to Know Before You Start

Stay smooth. Chocolate comes in bars or chips. If you’re using bars, chop them into uniform pieces so they’ll melt evenly.
Stay dry. Moisture ruins melted chocolate, so be sure to wipe everything down. And don’t let even a tiny drop of water get into your chocolate. This means you should pat-dry fruit before dipping.
Stay low. High heat will scorch your chocolate. Warm and slow is the way to go.

Stovetop Method

You’ll need
Pot or double boiler
Heat-proof bowl that fits over the pot (because who has a double boiler?)
Heat-proof spatula

Pour a few inches of water into the pot. Fit the bowl over the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat the water to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add 2/3 of the chocolate to the bowl. Stir gently to melt. Add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate a little at a time and stir gently to melt.*

Microwave Method

You’ll need
Microwave-safe bowl
Heat-proof spatula

Microwave chocolate for 30 seconds on HIGH. Remove and stir. Note: Chocolate pieces will retain their shape until you stir them, so don’t rely on looks alone. (An excellent life lesson.) Repeat with 10- to 15-second blasts until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from microwave and keep stirring until the residual heat melts the rest of the chocolate.

Here’s what the two basic melting methods look like:

*Foodie Factoid: By melting a portion of the chocolate and then stirring in the rest, you’ve just used the “seeding” method to temper chocolate. That means the cocoa butter crystals have stabilized and the chocolate will be lusciously glossy.

Now you’re ready to get all Willy Wonka in your very own kitchen.

Happy melting!

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