Although melting chocolate is quite simple, accuracy is crucial when using this technique in baking. If you make a mistake, your chocolate may turn out to be burnt, chalky, and useless.
Knowing the kind of chocolate you’ll use is the first step. Chocolate chips may not melt as smoothly as chocolate bars because they include soy lecithin, a food ingredient that helps them keep their form when baked. But because they're already cut to size, they're a wonderful option if they're the only item you have on hand or if you're aiming for convenience.
It's crucial that the chocolate is small and uniform in size so that it melts at the same rate whether you're melting it on its own for drizzling or dipping, or melting it with butter or cream to make brownies or ganache.
How to perfectly melt chocolate chips
Chocolate can be melted in two simple, popular ways: in a double boiler over a burner or in a microwave. Each one has its benefits.
You can cook food slowly and gently using a double boiler, which is a set of pots made up of a larger pot on top of a smaller one. By doing this, the finished chocolate will be smooth. With this approach, you can also keep an eye on things. The use of a double boiler has the drawback of increasing the water exposure to the chocolate. Accidental water splashing into the pot might spoil the entire batch of chocolate and convert it into a paste, too. Additionally, there are more pots to clean.
Because it only needs one bowl, the microwave cuts down on extra cleanup, but because it cooks food so quickly compared to a double boiler, chocolate is more likely to burn.
Melting chocolate chips in a double boiler
You'll need a special double boiler to melt chocolate chips on the stove, but if you don't have one, you can create one yourself out of a big saucepan and a metal bowl.
Heat ½” to 1” of water in a saucepan; as it begins to boil, reduce the heat.
Place the chocolate in the double boiler. Insert another metal bowl to add more chocolate chips. Put a second bowl on top of the saucepan if you’re using one. Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
When the chocolate begins to melt, whisk it slowly. Remove from the heat if it’s already glossy. Continue stirring until all the chocolate chips have melted.
Melting chocolate chips in a microwave
Put chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt for 30 seconds.
Once done, take the bowl out and stir the chocolate. The bowl will be hot, so be careful. Heat the bowl once more in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
Remove and mix again. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted enough. If you're using a cup or more, you'll probably need to reheat the chocolate in the microwave, stirring it between each interval of 30 seconds.