How to Melt Chocolate

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How do you melt chocolate so that it doesn’t turn grainy? Here are our tips to make sure your melted chocolate is luscious and shiny.

There are two ways to melt chocolate: in a bainmarie which is where you place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in a microwave. Both ways work well.

To melt chocolate in a Bain Marie:
Break the chocolate into equal-sized pieces and place in a heatproof bowl that will sit on top of your saucepan comfortably. Add two inches of water to the saucepan and bring to a simmer (the water should be gently bubbling). Break the chocolate into squares or pieces and add to the bowl.

The patisserie chef Bo Freiburg says that you should stir the chocolate constantly while it is melting and that chocolate loves being stirred – it helps to stop the chocolate burning or getting too hot. This is especially important he says when you are melting milk chocolate to stop it coagulating. If you don’t have time, it’s OK to stir it from time to time.

How to melt chocolate in the microwave
If you use couverture chocolate which is the chocolate that professional patisserie chefs use, it melts incredibly easily in a microwave oven. For the rest of us mere mortals who buy ours from a delicatessen or supermarket, place the chocolate squares or pieces in a microwave-friendly bowl and melt, stopping the microwave oven every 30 seconds to stir the chocolate.

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