Heat wave melted 2 pounds of chocolate, now what?
It reached 100 F in the house yesterday (no AC), and I forgot all about the 2 bars of TJs Pound Plus Dark sitting in my pantry. When I discovered them, they were liquid (still wrapped). I panicked and put them in the fridge, so they're solid again. Can I still use them to bake choc chunk cookies? Or have the fats separated from the solids and the chocolate's no good anymore? Or can I use it only if I re-melt it, for recipes calling for melted chocolate?
The chocolate hasn't gone bad, it's only in bad temper (like a choclate temper tantrum).
If you are using the chocolate to make something that requires melting the chocolate and incorporating it into something, such as brownies, ganache or mousse you don't need to worry about getting it back in temper. Just melt it and use it as the recipe directs.
If you break off chunks and put it into cookies you may find that the chunks are a little grainy, due to some of the cocoa butter having separated out.
If you do want to retemper the chocolate, there are three methods: direct, seeding and tabling. If you "seed" the melted chocolate, you need to use a chunk of chocolate already in good temper. If you use seed chocolate that is also out of temper, it won't work.
Just go ahead and use if for cooking, baking, cookies, cakes, sauces, brownies, or whatever. Break it up into pieces and use it as usual. It will have an awful, whitish/cream color coating on the surface and it will melt in your hands really fast and seem to be soft, but that is OK; the flavor will be unchanged.
However, if you are going to use it for dipping stuff (strawberries, truffles) or for filling chocolate molds, you will have to re-temper. Since it is totally out of temper (I know there is a joke in here somewhere, I just cannot find it), you cannot use the seeding method, nor can you use one of those clever microwave, partial method, or direct techniques. You will have to start from scratch using a thermometer.