Perfect your holiday treats with these tips and guidelines for properly melting chocolate.
When it comes to melting chocolate, shape matters. For most melting purposes, buy bars (not chips). The reason? Chocolate chips often contain less cocoa butter than bars, so they don’t melt as well and are a thicker consistency when melted.
Chocolate is prone to scorching, so use care when melting it. A double boiler, a saucepan or metal bowl nested over a saucepan filled with an inch of simmering water, is the safest option. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Keep the water at a low simmer, and take care that no water or steam comes into contact with the chocolate. Even a drop will cause it to seize up, rendering it unusable.
If you melt chocolate in the microwave, keep a close eye on it. After finely chopping, place it in a bowl and microwave it on fifty-percent power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.