How To Melt Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Melted semisweet chocolate chips are a decadent delicacy, and can be used as a coating for candies, dessert toppings, or cake glazes.
To melt the chocolate chips into a smooth texture, without burning or hardening the chocolate in the process, however, needs some precautions and careful steps. Chocolate chips can be melted either in a microwave, a hot water bath, or in certain liquids. Here is how to melt semisweet chocolate cookies in these manners:
IN A MICROWAVE:
Firstly, use a microwave safe bowl, which remains cool even after being micro waved for several minutes. If the chocolate is melted in a hot bowl, there are greater chances of it scalding or burning.
Use low power settings, about 50% of power in your microwave, to melt the chocolate. If you do not have the settings to do so, microwave the chocolate for short intervals, and stir the chocolate after each interval. The time to melt chocolate in a microwave varies greatly with the amount, type and even the quantity of cocoa butter in the chocolate.
IN A DOUBLE BOILER/HOT WATER BATH:
A double boiler consists of two pans, one in which water boils, and the other which fits securely over the water pan. This helps generate gentle, indirect heat on the upper pan. Chocolate is melted in this. Take care that the water does not come in direct contact with the pan containing the chocolate. Let the chocolate begin to melt, then stir occasionally with a plastic spatula. If melting large quantities of chocolate, melt in batches. Once most of the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the boiler and stir the chocolate till it’s smooth, glossy and completely melted.
IN OTHER LIQUIDS:
Melting chocolate in liquids like butter, milk, liqueur cream or water is easier, since it saves on time and prevents problems like burning or overheating. However, there are some points to keep in mind even then.
Never melt your chocolate in less liquid. This will just cause it to go lumpy and hard. Use at least one tablespoon of water per two ounces of chocolate. Dark chocolate may need other ingredients like cream or sugar to be added. Add the liquid all at once, instead of in small quantities.
Cold liquids should never be added to melting chocolate. Always add hot liquids. Allow the mixture of hot liquid and chocolate to sit for a while, and then whisk, preferably with a hand blender at a low speed.
Ensure that the chocolate is chopped into small, equal sized pieces for even melting.
Overheating the chocolate will result in a lumpy or grainy substance. Always heat it gently.
Stir to see if the chocolate has melted. Chocolate retains its shape even when melted.
Never allow water to come in touch with molten chocolate. This will cause the chocolate to become lumpy and hard. Keep your work surface, pan, spatula very dry to avoid this.
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