Melting chocolate to use as a baking ingredient for candy work or decoration requires gentle heat. Chocolate that is overheated may scorch, lose flavor and turn coarse and grainy. Stir melting chocolate after it has begun to liquefy. Because of the sensitivity of milk solids to heat, milk and white chocolates should be stirred constantly while dark chocolate need only be stirred frequently during melting.
Here are two good methods for melting chocolate so that it is smooth and glossy.
In a microwave oven:
Place coarsely chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe container and microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 1/2 to 4 minutes, until the chocolate turns shiny. Remove the container from the microwave and stir the chocolate until completely melted. Stir milk and white chocolates after about 1 1/2 minutes. Because of their milk proteins, they need to be stirred sooner than dark chocolate. (If overheated, these chocolates may become grainy.)
In a double boiler:
Place coarsely chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water. Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove top part of the double boiler from the bottom.
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