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Follow along as I show you how to melt chocolate. Melting chocolate chips or a chocolate bar may seem like a no-brainer. Simply apply heat until liquified, right? Not so fast. Chocolate needs to be pampered so it doesn’t become grainy or burn. Learn how to avoid these common mistakes and attain molten, chocolatey goodness.
Melting chocolate is the first step in making chocolate mousse (yum!) all kinds of homemade treats and loads of other deliciousness like chocolate sauce and ganache frosting.
How to melt chocolate
- Place chocolate in a dry, microwave-safe bowl.
- Now put the bowl in the microwave and microwave in 30-second intervals.
- Stir the chocolate with a dry spoon or spatula in between each 30-second blast until all of the chips are just about melted and look very glossy. Stop now so the chocolate does not burn.
- Finish by stirring until all the pieces have melted.
- Set a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil; then reduce to a low simmer.
- Next, put the chocolate in a dry metal (or other heat-safe) bowl that will fit snugly over the top of the pot of water, so there is no chance stray steam will contact the chocolate. The bowl’s tight fit is the most important thing. Also, make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
- Place the bowl with chocolate on top of the barely simmering water.
- Finally, stir frequently until melted, then carefully remove the bowl from the hot water pan.
Tips for melting chocolate
- Go dry: Before starting, make sure your bowl and all utensils that will touch the chocolate are completely, totally, bone dry. Any stray droplets of water will create a chemical reaction with the sugar in the melting chocolate and make it grainy and lumpy. This is called seizing.
- Don’t cover up: Take a tip from master baker Rose Levy Beranbaum. In The Cake Bible, she warns not to cover the bowl or pan in which you are melting chocolate. Droplets of condensation might form and cause the chocolate to seize and become lumpy.
- Saved seized chocolate by adding hot water. Start with a tablespoon and whisk energetically. The chocolate will somewhat even out but never look as glossy as un-seized chocolate.
- Go low: Chocolate burns easily, so use the lowest heat you can get away with. White chocolate and milk chocolate are even more sensitive to heat than semi-sweet or dark chocolate. When microwaving white or milk chocolate, you might try tinier 15-second intervals.
- Chop even pieces: Break or chop whole chocolate bars into same-size pieces for even melting.
Recipes using melted chocolate
- Chocolate Peppermint Mousse
- Chocolate Peppermint Bark
- No Bake Cookie Dough Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (No Bake)
- Chocolate Coconut Balls
- Pistachio Butter Cups
- Fudgy Chocolate Cookies
- Easy Chocolate Fondue
- Chocolate Glaze
- Small Batch Two Ingredient Chocolate Candies
Frequently asked questions
If you end up with more melted chocolate than you need, pour it onto a piece of parchment paper. After it hardens, cover or scrape into a plastic bag. The dried surface might be gray. This is called bloom and is a result of the cocoa fat rising to the surface. The chocolate is still edible.
It is best to use melted chocolate immediately, but it can be reheated using the methods above.
For easy homemade treats, chocolate chips are the best for melting without tempering (see below,) because they have been manufactured to melt in the oven and re-harden. That doesn’t mean you can’t use that nice chocolate bar. But remember, it may not be as glossy when hard unless tempered. (See below.).
Tempering is a specific method of heating and cooling high-quality chocolate (often labeled as couverture chocolate) so that it hardens to a very glossy finish when used as a coating for strawberries or candy. Recipes, where melted chocolate is mixed with other ingredients (like frosting,) will never require tempering.
Ready, set, go melt your chocolate chips or chocolate bars for some lovely, chocolate-y goodness!
For more easy tutorials, check out:
- How to Freeze Garlic
- How to Cut Onions
- How to Cut an Avocado
- How to Make Nutella
- How to Cut Kiwi
- How to Cut Cauliflower
- How to Make Chicken Stock
- How to Make Oatmeal
If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Melt Chocolate helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
How to Melt Chocolate
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate bar Dark, Milk, White
- Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals.
- Stir chocolate in between each 30 seconds so all of the chips are just about melted.
- Continue to stir until the last remaining pieces have melted.
- Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.
- Place chocolate in a metal bowl that will fit over the top of the pot of water snugly.
- Place the bowl with chocolate on top of the simmering water, stirring very often until melted.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.