Melting chocolate is simple, provided you do it right. Follow olive’s rules and your chocolate will be smooth and shiny enough.
#Chop or break your chocolate into even sized pieces
Evenly chopped chocolate will melt at the same rate, this is especially important if you are not stirring it as often as you should.
#Don’t let any water get into the chocolate mixture
The makeup of chocolate, fat from cocoa butter, and dry ingredients such as cocoa mass and sugar means you’re working with more than one ingredient at once. While the fat will melt evenly and the dry ingredients will stay dispersed within it if nothing else is added, if any water gets into the chocolate it will bind with the sugar and cocoa and form little lumps which in turn join into larger lumps. This is called seizing and it is not easily reversible.
To avoid seizing, set your bowl over a pan of simmering water and keep the heat level low – the bowl should get hot but there shouldn’t be any steam trying to escape around the edges as it may drip in. Turn off the heat and then let the residual heat melt the chocolate, stirring it once or twice.
#If you use a microwave melt the chocolate in short blasts
Microwaves can burn chocolate easily so use a low power setting, heat it in short bursts, and stir the chocolate between bursts.
#Don’t over heat the chocolate
Chocolate melts at body temperature. Allowing your chocolate to get too hot will also make it lumpy and coarse-textured and the fat will separate out. Dark chocolate should only reach 55-58C, milk chocolate 45-50C and white chocolate 45-50C.
#If you do need to add a liquid to chocolate, make sure you add enough and do it quickly
While a little liquid will make chocolate seize, enough liquid will allow all the dry particles to float around and dissolve rather than sticking together. If you melt chocolate with cream or by pouring on hot cream, then stir the chocolate in quickly. If you need to add a liquid flavor to melted chocolate then add the chocolate to the flavour, rather than the other way around.