How to Properly Melt Chocolate

An example of properly melted chocolate (photo: Nikki Dulay)

An example of properly melted chocolate. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

Melting chocolate for dipping or to use as a drizzle is a fun way to dress up your desserts. However, it’s easy to overheat chocolate when you’re melting it. This can result in a disastrous, clumpy mess. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on properly melting chocolate.

This is what chocolate bark looks like when taken out of the packaging (photo: Nikki Dulay

This is what chocolate bark looks like when taken out of the packaging. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

Helpful Hint: Chocolate bark is made specifically for melting purposes, so try to use this over chocolate baking chips. If you do use chocolate chips, watch them carefully. They can overheat easily because they’re smaller pieces.

I prefer to use the double boiler method because I can control the melting process. A double boiler is using the steam and heat that is let off from boiling water.

Whether you use the microwave method or double boiler method, you will need a heat-safe bowl. I like to use a metal mixing bowl.

Use a knife to break the chocolate bark into rectangles along the indicated lines.

Microwave Method

  • Place five to six chocolate bark rectangles in your heat-safe bowl.
  • Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals.
  • Stir the chocolate with a spoon between the 30 second intervals to help distribute heat evenly.
  • Keep microwaving and stirring in 30 second intervals until chocolate is smooth.
  • Use immediately.

Melt more chocolate bark rectangles as needed. If chocolate hardens while in use, repeat microwave and stirring instructions until smooth again.

Helpful Hint: When most of your chocolate is melted, you may find just a few un-melted lumps of chocolate remaining. Instead of microwaving again, continue to stir the chocolate. The lumps will eventually melt from the surrounding heat. This is better than overheating the chocolate.

Use caution when handling the melted chocolate. The chocolate will be very hot when it first comes out of the microwave.

Double Boiler Method

This is the proper double boiler set up. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

This is the proper double boiler set up. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

  • Find a pot that is smaller than the mixing bowl you will use to melt the chocolate. The bowl should be able to sit on the pot without touching the bottom, like the picture on the right.
  • Fill the pot with about two inches of water. You don’t need a lot of water, just enough for it to boil.
  • Turn your stove on to low and wait for water to boil. Put the lid on the pot to speed up boiling time.
  • Once the water is boiling, place the mixing bowl on the pot.
  • Place as many chocolate bark rectangles as you need in the bowl.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate around as it melts.
  • Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted.
  • Use immediately.
Chocolate bark rectangles placed in metal mixing bowl over boiling pot of water. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

Chocolate bark rectangles placed in metal mixing bowl over boiling pot of water. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

Helpful Hint: Keep the stove on low throughout melting. It will be tempting to turn up the heat to make the chocolate melt faster, but this can cause the chocolate to overheat. The key to melting chocolate properly is low and slow.

The chocolate bark partially melted. Continue to stir chocolate on low heat until completely melted. (photo: Nikki Dulay)

The chocolate bark partially melted. Continue to stir chocolate on low heat until completely melted.(photo: Nikki Dulay)

Use caution when dipping food in the chocolate. The chocolate will be hot from the direct heat underneath, so be careful not to burn yourself.

You can take the bowl of melted chocolate off of the heat to prevent this, but the chocolate will eventually re-harden. Repeat the melting instructions previously mentioned to re-melt.

One response to “How to Properly Melt Chocolate

  1. Pingback: The Best No-Bake Dessert | Do You Wanna Bake a Cupcake?

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