Chocolate-dipped Oreos, chocolate-covered strawberries, cake decorations — lots of desserts call for perfectly smooth and melted chocolate. But melting chocolate can be intimidating. One wrong step and you’re left with a sticky mess and a burnt pan. However, with just a few simple tips, you can master the art of chocolate melting.
Melting chocolate on the stovetop
Melting chocolate on the stovetop is the best method. A double boiler will give you the best temperature control. Rather than putting delicate chocolate in contact with direct heat, the steam rising up from the boiling water gently melts the chocolate.
To create a double boiler:
- Bring a medium pot (filled about half way) with water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot. The bowl should be large enough to sit on top of the pot without touching the bottom or displacing water.
- Keep the heat on low, and add chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks to the bowl. Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until smooth.
- Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and wipe the bowl dry. (You don’t want any water finding its way into the bowl and messing with your chocolate.)
melting chocolate in the microwave
Melting chocolate in the microwave is a faster method, but you have less control and you’ll still need to watch it constantly. Tip: Adding a tablespoon of vegetable oil or coconut oil to the chocolate as it microwaves can help make the chocolate smoother and better for dipping.
To melt chocolate in the microwave:
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir.
- Repeat process, stirring after each time, until chocolate is almost entirely melted. When it’s mostly melted with just a few chunks, don’t microwave again. Use the heat present and stir to melt the final pieces.