I'm not the one melting, the chocolate in the microwave is though. *wink* (Side note, yes, I do love me some classic Wizard of Oz.) Anyway, on to today's tasty tip!
When melting chocolate be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Try to make sure the chocolate is in uniform sized pieces, whether you chop it or break it up. This will help insure that it melts at the same rate, preventing scorching. And, never try to melt large blocks or bars of chocolate that have not been chopped or broken into smaller pieces...it will not end well.
- Do not let it come into contact with water. The chocolate will seize and become unworkable. And no one wants to waste good chocolate, right?
- Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat (or if using the microwave, in short 15 to 30 second intervals). Always stir the chocolate to determine if it is melted - chocolate retains it's shape when melted, so you can't always rely on appearances alone.
- If possible use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate, preferably one with a plastic or metal handle. Wooden handled spatulas or wooden spoons may appear dry, but could still be retaining moisture from their last trip through the dishwasher - and, remember, chocolate doesn't like water.
- Once most of the chocolate is melted, you can remove it from the heat, even if there are still a few lumps or larger pieces. The ambient heat from the fully melted chocolate will finish melting any of the remaining pieces; you'll just need to give it a good stir when you remove it from the heat, let it rest for a few minutes, then stir it again. Doing this will help minimize the chances of the chocolate becoming grainy, scorching, or burning.