In the realm of chocolate, melting and tempering chocolate properly is crucial. While chocolate melting and tempering are both important, both serve a unique purpose. Chocolate melting, as the name suggests, is the process of heating chocolate into a molten state. Chocolate tempering is the controlled process of heating and cooling chocolate to form crystals. This process results in a glossy appearance, smooth texture, and a clean snap when broken. Let’s dig into the ways chocolate is melted without tempering.
What Types of Chocolate Are Good For Melting?
When it comes to melting chocolate, it’s important to choose chocolate or candy melts that are specifically designed for melting. Here are a few types of chocolate that are great for melting:
- Couverture Chocolate: Couverture chocolate is a high-quality chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa butter. Some great brands include Callebaut, Valrhona, Felchlin, and TCHO. Known for their smooth texture and luxurious taste, these brands are commonly used by professional chocolatiers and pastry chefs.
- Baking Chocolate: Also known as unsweetened chocolate, made from cocoa solids, cocoa butter is another option for melting. This chocolate is commonly used in recipes that allow for sugar and flavoring to be added separately.
- Chocolate Bars: Chocolate bars with a high cocoa butter content can also be melted. Dark bars are a popular choice but Milk & White can be melted as well.
- Candy Melts: These are an economical way of coating treats and desserts. Candy melts are a kind of candy specifically designed for melting purposes. Made of sugar, vegetable oil, milk solids, flavorings, and color, they have become a popular option. They come in all color variations & there is even a chocolate-flavored option.
Ways to Melt Chocolate
- Microwave Method: The most common and easiest way to melt chocolate. Make sure you are working with small pieces such as chocolate chips or callets. If you are working with a block of chocolate be sure to chop the chocolate into small pieces and place them in a microwave-safe bowl for heating. Microwave the chocolate at no more than 1-minute intervals, stirring well after each interval. Heating in intervals and stirring in between will ensure your chocolate does not overheat & burn.
Double Boiler Method: Fill 1/4 of a saucepan with water and bring it to a simmer. Place a heatproof or metal bowl over your saucepan, ensuring water does not make contact with your bowl. For easy melting, use small pieces or chop your chocolate before placing it into your bowl. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts smoothly.
- Oven Method: This is not the most convenient method but can be an option if needed. Just preheat your oven to a low temperature. Place your chocolate in an oven-safe bowl and put it in the oven. Stir the chocolate until it melts completely. Be cautious and always use oven mitts or heat-proof gloves.
- Electric Melting Pot or Chocolate Melter: These are specifically designed for chocolate melting and provide controlled heat. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to melt the chocolate.
Melting Chocolates and candies is great for dipping treats and creating drizzles. Chocolate is a delicious way to enhance any dessert. Practicing the proper techniques will ensure your chocolate melts smoothly and will taste delicious. So grab your favorite chocolate and melt away!