Jump to content
  • 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.

PSmith

Melting chocolate

Recommended Posts

PSmith   

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?



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keychris   

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
Edward J   

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

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
janeer   

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
Darienne   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PSmith   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jaymes   

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.

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 pastrygirl
      I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. 
       
      Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. 
       
      BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way. 
    • By boombonniewhale
      Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences!
       
      ~Sarah
    • By ChristysConfections
      Hi All,
       
      I think this is a long shot, but I'll put it out there. I'm wondering if anyone in the Greater Vancouver area has an EZ Temper that they would be willing and able to loan/rent out for a couple days or up to a week? I am super curious to try it out and if the results are as wonderful as I expect I'm hoping I can find it in the business budget.  
       
      Feel free to message me privately.
       
    • By Choky
      After searching this one and other forums I found a number of reasons / solutions for release marks:
       
      1 - mold should be cold and go right away to fridge
      2 - mold should be cold and only go to fridge after beginning of crystallization
      3 - mold should be heated
      4 - because of over crystallization
      6 - not professional molds (too much flex)
      5 - use cooling tunnel instead of fridge so that mold is cooled gradually
       
      I'm having trouble with release marks, as seen in the photo:

       
      I've tried numbers 1, 2 and 3 above without success, number 4 I'm not sure how to control, number 5 is not the cause as I'm using professional molds and number 6 is not an investment that I can do right now.
       
      Any help would be appreciated!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×