How to melt chocolate: bain-marie, pan, microwave: our tips
Melting chocolate for a dessert seems like a simple operation. However, there are a few rules to follow so as not to end up with a lumpy chocolate that will have lost most of its texture and flavor properties.
If you want a smooth and creamy chocolate, it is imperative to melt the chocolate at a very low temperature, in a saucepan over very low heat.
For this, cooking in a bain-marie remains the safest solution. On a saucepan, in a stainless steel bowl, in the microwave or in a hot water bath, here are some techniques to obtain a smooth and shiny chocolate for sure.
Casserole and chocolate: successful cooking in a bain-marie
Cooking chocolate in a bain-marie is the most common and probably the easiest method, but it requires standing in front of your pan in order to turn the chocolate regularly.
To do this, boil a large pot of water and place a bowl in it. Make sure beforehand that your pan can hold the bowl without it touching the edges during cooking. Arrange the chocolate broken into pieces in the salad bowl then turn regularly until the chocolate is completely melted.
If you want to use your chocolate for decorations or a coating, it is recommended to temper it. This method makes it possible to obtain a particularly smooth and shiny chocolate. To do this, melt your chocolate as indicated above by inserting a cooking thermometer. When the temperature reaches 55°C, remove the bowl from the bain-marie and let cool to 29°C, stirring continuously (you can place the bowl on a bed of ice cubes to cool it more quickly). Put the bowl back on your still hot bain-marie and let it rise to 31°C while continuing to mix. Use your chocolate immediately.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave
If you are in a hurry, you can melt your chocolate in the microwave.
To do this, place the chocolate in a suitable bowl, itself placed on a bowl of water. Be careful, however, to watch the cooking carefully, otherwise the chocolate will “cook”.
First leave it for a minute on full power, then take it out and mix. Repeat the operation in 20-second increments until the desired texture is obtained.
The technique of cooking chocolate in a water bath
Cooking chocolate in a water bath is a lesser-known but yet extremely simple technique.
To do this, simply break the chocolate into pieces and place it in a bowl. Then pour boiling water over the chocolate, covering it completely. Wait about ten minutes then remove the water by pouring it directly from the bowl (if there is a small amount of water left in the chocolate, it will easily mix with it).
Mix well and use your chocolate as you see fit.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie in a stainless steel mixing bowl
For a small amount of chocolate, you can skip the pot of hot water and use your kettle. To do this, use a stainless steel mixing bowl whose conductive properties will allow the chocolate to melt more easily.
Place your bowl in a bowl of boiling water then let melt gently, stirring regularly. You will get a better result with nuggets or pistoles, but you can also cut your tablet with a knife to make small pieces.
Another trick is to grate the chocolate using a coarse grater to obtain tiny pieces.
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