Knowing how to melt chocolate is very important when using chocolate to decorate a cake. The best way to melt chocolate, in my experience is using the double boiler method.
Before looking at the step by step procedures, it is good to know the type of chocolates that are available in the market and how to choose the best ones for cake decorating.
Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans, which are in turn processed to make chocolate and cocoa powder. The processing of cocoa beans produces cocoa liquor which consists of cocoa fat and cocoa solids known as cocoa butter and cocoa mass, respectively. It is from these components of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa mass that different types of chocolates are produced.
While there are many types of chocolates available in the market, I will, in this section explain only the main types most commonly used in cake decorating. From my personal experience, I find couverture chocolate much easier to handle and produces better results as compared to other types. I would strongly recommend that if you are new to decorating with chocolate, that you start with couverture first.
There are basically 3 main classes of chocolate:
Using Double boiler method for melting chocolate:
Using Microwave Oven for Melting Chocolate:
Note: if you don’t have a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan filled with simmering water. Just be sure to not to let the bowl come into contact with the water. Heat the water and stir until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate is smooth.
Tips on melting chocolate:
Never try to melt chocolate on direct heat as chocolate is prone to burning very quickly. Always work on low heat and use a double boiler.
Chop the chocolate you intend to melt into small, equal sized pieces. This will help the chocolate melt faster and uniformly.
Always ensure that no water or any other form of cold liquid comes into contact with the melted chocolate. A slight contact of water, even in the form of steam can cause the chocolate to seize, i.e, become a curdle mass.
Hope you find this sharing useful.