Monday, 8 April 2013

How to Melt Chocolates

Melted chocolates are usually required in baking or making confectioneries so here are simple ways on how to melt chocolates.

First thing to remember:  If you are using chocolates in block or bar form, chop them to small pieces. If you are using chocolates in chips or coin form, just leave them as is.

Secondly, the melting speed also depends on the type of chocolate you are using and not just the method. Couverture chocolates melts faster as they are purer and has a higher cocoa butter content. If you are using compound chocolates, expect the they melt longer.

Thirdly, make sure to bring your chocolates in room temperature.

1.  Using bain-marie or  Water Bath :  this is the common way of melting the chocolates as they are melted gently.  However, it takes time and some long stirring to do this.

-  Place your chocolates in a metalic, glass, or ceramic bowl or any bowl that can withstand heat.  Ensure that your utensils are dry.

- fill a pan or pot or metallic container  with water just half-way to the top.  Make sure that the water will not come in contact with the chocolate. Bring to a boil.  Remove from fire.

- Place the bowl with the chopped chocolates or callets over the top of the of the pan / container.  The bowl should cover the pot or the container.  We suggest that you use a bowl that is bigger than the brim of the pan/container.  The steam from the boiled water will melt the chocolates.

- Stir the chocolates with a spatula or wooden spoon as they gently melt. 

If you are melting large amount of chocolate, melt them in batches (either in 2 or 3 or 4 batches).  Melt the first batch first before adding the next batch.  This ensures that the chocolates will melt better specially when you are going to temper them

2.  Using a Double boiler : 

In this method, you need to use a specialized set of 2 pans consisting of a bottom pan than holds the water and another pan with holes that fits securely over the bottom pan.  The chocolates are then place in a bowl (heat proof bowls) and are melted gently over indirect heat or steam from the boiling water.

-  fill the bottom pan with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the fire to low then place the pan with the holes on top of the bottom pan.  

- Place the bowl with the chopped chocolates over the top of the of the pan.  

- Stir the chocolates with a spatula or wooden spoon as they gently melt.

 3.  Using the Microwave :

Melting the bain-marie or the double boiler to melt chocolates takes time.  The fastest way is to use your microwave.  The risk here is getting your chocolates burned. 

You need to use a bowl that is not only microwave-safe but can also stay cool or just slightly warm when used in a microwave otherwise it will burn your chocolate.

- Melt the chocolates in batches.
- Place one small batch of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir. If it didn't start to melt, put it back in the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds.  Stir chocolate.
- Add more chocolates gradually while stirring continuously. Microwave again for 30 seconds and stir.

continue doing this until all your chocolates have melted.

4.  Using Liquids :

Sometimes recipes call for combining liquids (usually milk, cream,  juices or  any liquids) and chocolate.  like in making a ganache.  Ganache is a mixture of cream and chocolates.  It is usually used as frosting or fillings.

Melting chocolates with liquids is the easiest and most convenient way of melting chocolates. you just need to make sure that you use ample amount of liquid that is at least use 1 part liquid is to 2 part or chocolates to ensure the best result.

- Place the liquid in a pan then heat it over low fire until it simmers or bubbles appears on the side of the pan (do not boil your liquids). Turn off fire.  You can also heat it using the microwave.  Just put the liquids
- Add the chocolates gradually while stirring continuously.  
-  Heat again in low fire if needed


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