• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

PSmith

Melting chocolate

10 posts in this topic

Now I know the purists out there will say that chocolate should be melted in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but I have always melted chocolate in a microwave on a low setting.

It does need constant checking and stirring, otherwise too much and the sugar will go solid, but it takes seconds rather than many minutes.

What is the general opinion on this?




http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You definitely should *not* melt chocolate in a glass bowl, IMHO. Glass has a massive capability to hold heat, so if you overheat the chocolate, it's going to stay hot for longer.

My 2c is also that you shouldn't melt it over water, simply because it's so easy to get water in your chocolate. Heaps of people are going to say they've never had problems, but for me, it's not worth the risk. If you use your microwave, with a microwave safe plastic bowl, you're going to have no problems at all, so long as you're careful, monitor the temperature and just use short bursts, never more than 30 seconds. I always microwave on high, just carefully. I've never overheated it.

Other options I have available are a melt tank and a dehydrator set at 45C, dump the chocolate in it and seal the bowl with gladwrap the night before and it's ready to precrystallise the next morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the microwave, and I melt between 2-20 kgs per day with the nuker.

With the double boiler method, the opportunity to get water into the chocolate is very high. Also, many people make the mistake of simmering the water--when this happens, steam escapes from under the bowl and condenses above the melted chocolate, and you get brown cement....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PSmith, I don't understand your comment about "sugar going solid". Can you elaborate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I melt chocolate in a 4 or 8 cup pyrex measuring cup. Depending on how much I'm melting I'll start with about a minute on high then either another minute or less depending on how things are coming along. As long as I stick to the Pyrex brand cups I haven't had any burned chocolate - it doesn't seem to get the hot spots of other glass (or stainless) vessels I've used.

White chocolate in small quantities - I'd probably start with 20 seconds.

When I'm trying to warm up chocolate that is already tempered but is getting cool - I usually nuke on high power in 6 to 8 second bursts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I am going to put the chocolate into something else, I microwave in a measuring cup, but if I am going to add ingredients to chocolate, especially over heat, I melt it in a saucepan--directly, not over water. Pre-microwave habit, picked up from my grandmother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say that most of the chocolate which I 'melt' I do over water using a stainless bowl whose flanges far outreach the edge of the pot. So far, so good.

The other melting is putting the chocolate into the heated cream for ganache. Tempering in my Revolation except when away from home and then I use a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave, once I have figured out the particular microwave I am using.

Not exciting, but it's what I do.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PSmith, I don't understand your comment about "sugar going solid". Can you elaborate?

On occasions (especially when using budget chocolate - not the 70% stuff) the sugar in the chocolate re-crystalises if you use too high a heat in the microwave.


http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a friend that always sets some sort of bowl (or cup or whatever she has handy) on the burner of her coffee maker. She's in a small apt with not a lot of room and often uses that burner to slow-warm things.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the habit of using a bowl over a saucepan of water. Water has never been an issue. Just keep it out of the chocolate.

Every pastry chef I know uses a microwave. It must work well.

If you're paying attention and have a responsive pan you use direct heat. I realize every cookbook says that doing so will cause a kitten to die. I'm just not often in that big a hurry. There are other things to do while the chocolate melts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Choky
      At least in Europe comercial chocolate tablets are getting thinner. Usually 6mm thick and of course bigger in area.
       
      But I don't manage to find that kind of molds at manufacturer's sites (80 or 100g). Or at least choice is very limited.
       
      Why? Maybe too thin for manual unmolding? Or they just use bigger molds and fill partially? 
       
      Thanks!
    • By Damnfine
      I have a box of truffle shells that were not stored properly and have bloomed. If I fill and dip them in tempered chocolate, will the newly dipped chocolate bloom due to the layer underneath it, or will the outer layer seal the under layer and keep them looking nice?
    • By adey73
      does anyone recognise this grate/grid that Antonio Bachour is using in this picture.....or what the correct name for this bit of kit is....?
       
      I like the height and I want one...
       
       
    • By jedovaty
      Good morning!
       
      Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond.  My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter.  I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim.  Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears:
      1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough
      2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward
      3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch
       
      In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes.
       
      There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there
       
      Thank you for your time in reading!
    • By ChristysConfections
      Hey there wise E-gullet-ers!
       
      I have another question to put out there. I am interested in making a rose jelly - one that I can layer with a chocolate ganache similar to a pâte de fruit. I don't really know how to go about this. Do you infuse water with dried rose petals and make a syrup? What's the best way to gellify it? I'm very curious. Has anyone made jellies with any other botanicals? Is anyone willing to share their recipe as a guideline?
       
      Many thanks!
      Christy
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.