In our upcoming Easter Baking Box, we’ve included a beautiful chocolate nest as the centerpiece on the cake. We know working with chocolate can be messy & time-consuming, so we’ve put together these quick tips to help make it a little easier.
Preparing to melt chocolate
Rather than trying to melt a large block of chocolate, be sure to chop up your chocolate before melting. Make sure you use chocolate that is all the same size, this will help it melt evenly.
Be sure your bowl & equipment don’t have any moisture on them before using them with your chocolate. Chocolate is oil-based, which means if any moisture, like water or steam gets into it, your melted chocolate will likely go grainy, dull & unusable.
Melting the chocolate
Chocolate keeps its shape when melted, so don’t rely on its appearance, make sure you stir it to know if it has actually melted.
While melting your chocolate, be sure to continually stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula (don’t use a wooden spoon as it retains moisture).
Don’t overheat your chocolate! Chocolate melts at a similar temperature to your body’s temperature, so any hotter than that is likely to burn your chocolate.
Methods for melting
The microwave makes it super easy to melt chocolate, faster than a double boiler & with less to clean up. Be sure to use a microwave-safe container or dish, one that doesn’t get too hot. Rather than placing the chocolate in the microwave continuously, it’s safest to put it in for short bursts of 30-second intervals, mixing in between to make sure it doesn’t get too hot & burn.
A double-boiler is traditionally used to melt chocolate. Whether you have a special set of pans or not, this can be done with any metal or glass bowl that fits snugly over the top of your saucepan. Just fill your saucepan with some water & make sure the bowl on top doesn’t reach the water. Place the saucepan on a low heat until it begins to simmer & then turn off your stove & place your bowl with chocolate over the water.
Whether using the microwave or double-boiler be sure to remove your chocolate from the heat once it’s almost all melted. Then, stir continuously until it is smooth & completely melted.
Cooling your chocolate
Leaving your chocolate in the fridge or freezer for too long can cause issues when it gets to room temperature, like causing it to sweat or even crack. It should only take about 5-10 minutes to set your chocolate in the fridge (about half that time in the freezer).
Before removing it from a chocolate-mold or wrapper, to avoid condensation, make sure your chocolate has returned to room temperature. If there is any condensation, gently pat it dry.
Why not try these tips yourself with this month’s Easter Baking Box!
The SoBakeable Team