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melted chocolate

I've been told many times to make sure that water doesn't get into my chocolate when using a double boiler or else the chocolate will seize and become grainy.

but then so many people say to add a tablespoon of fresh brewed coffee to your chocolate to bring out the taste.

I apologize to coffee lovers everywhere, but I'm thinking brewed coffee isn't much more than water ...

how does that work exactly?

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  1. You're right, brewed coffee IS like adding water, spoiling the texture of your melted chocolate. I've found that adding a good quality freeze-dried instant coffee (pushed through a fine sieve with the back of a spoon) is a better alternative than the brewed coffee idea.

    Choc on !!

    1. I agree with oziguydownunder. Adding brewed coffee to my chocolate has never worked well. I sometimes dump dried coffee into my spice grinder and create something close to coffee dust, which I blend with the chocolate.

      1. Are you using the melted chocolate for candy or ganache where the texture of the choco will matter? If not, add the coffee later during the course of whatever it is you're making. You can add it alongside oil, sugar, flour, eggs... during some step where the chocolate will have stuff added to it that'll help "buffer" it against seizure-causing liquid.

        1. i never use brewed coffee - instant espresso powder is the way to go!

          1. thanks everyone - I was sure I was losing my mind on that one

            I'm not much of a baker, but when I don the apron for my Christmas baking this year, I'll be reaching for the instant stuff!

            1. In a chocolate cake I made last night, I brewed hot coffee, and melted the chocolate in the hot coffee. I was worried about siezing, but it worked shockingly well. There were a few left over chocolate lumps in the bottom of the bowl (sorta like when you get to the bottom of your hot chocolate mug), but otherwise.... thats how I did it!

              1. Chocolate seizes when you add a very small amount of liquid to the cocoa, but if you add more it will loosen up and return to normal, so the problem isn't adding a liquid, but you need to add the proper amount. The proper amount is 1 TBSP Liquid Per 2 OZ
                Chocolate by weight.

                I learned this from Shirley O. Corriher.


                4 Replies
                1. re: Kelli2006

                  Not 100% sure on the exact numbers, but what Kelli said is right on. I think you can get away with smaller amounts of liquid if it's alcohol, i.e., cognac in chocolate doesn't cause me much trouble.

                  If it seizes, don't throw it out. It's ruined for the purpose you originally intended, but it'd be perfect for making hot cocoa, chocolate sauce, or anything else where you will add more liquid, and the flavor will be unharmed.

                  1. re: SteveG

                    It is not ruined if it seizes, because you only need to add a bit of butter or more liquid and it will smooth out. It can almost always be saved.

                    1. re: SteveG

                      In past experience trying to make an almond flavoured chocolate, I added 1 tsp of almond extract (which is an alcohol, right?to have the designation of an extract?).... IMMEDIATELY seizing the chocolate. I was able to add a schwack of butter and turn it into an almond flavoured ganache-ish deal for something else.

                      Is there any reason why that shouldn't have happened?

                      (in reading my words, they sound a bit snobby/condescending, but I'm really just curious! Honest!)

                      1. re: blackpowdermorning

                        Extracts can be oil based or alcohol based. I don't think the alcohol based ones are particularly high proof, though. It should say on your bottle. I once tried to make peppermint meringues for christmas, and they kept collapsing. Turns out all peppermint extracts are oil-based because the peppermint flavors are oil-soluble, and oil makes beaten egg whites collapse.

                        Also, your 1 tsp of almond extract was probably on the low end if you look at Kelli's ratio of 1 Tbsp per 2 oz chocolate. My cognac and chocolate recipe was 2 tablespoons cognac to 2.5 oz chocolate, so it was above Kelli's seizure line.