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Why Can't I Melt Chocolate?

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Do I really really need a double boiler? I tried it a few times just in a regular pot on the stove top and it was bad. Really bad.

I will take any and all suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. You need the indirect heat for it to work right, IME. But you can make do with a metal or heatproof glass bowl set over a sauce pan with water in it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      This is all I ever do. I see no need for a double boiler. I simply use a small metal mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water - also works great for making Hollandaise.

      1. re: Elysabethe

        That's what I do - that once a year when I make something with chocolate :)

    2. Got a microwave?

      Never more than 50% power, and minute or less at a time, then stir...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Liz K

        +1 microwave is the best way

        1. re: momskitchen

          +1 unless you can afford a professional tempering machine. I used to work at Godiva. Soooo easy with the machine.

      2. You can make your own as tcamp and Elysabethe but if you have a new stove w/ good temp control and a heavy duty pan, you can do it directly on the stove, making sure to stir and watch carefully. That's how I do it now and don't have to worry about dripping and having the chocolate seize. Make sure the chocolate is in small pieces, too.

        1. I shave/chop the chocolate with a serrated a knife and then use the microwave with 30 - 60 second bursts at 50 - 60% power.

          When it gets close to being melted, shake the bowl a little to see if the pieces that appear to be solid shake. If they do just finish by stirring. I make a lot of truffles and I don't use a double boiler. One of the things I am afraid of is getting even a drop of water into chocolate I was going to dip with. If you do then it is part of the genache.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hank Hanover

            +1. Especially with respect to taking it out when there are still some small bits of unmelted chocolate and letting the residual heat do the rest.

            Besides convenience, the other main advantage of nuking is that you don't run the risk of getting water in the chocolate and having it seize. I don't own a double boiler and when I need one, use the bowl in a saucepan method. If you add too much water, or let it get too hot, it can bubble up and a few drops can get in the bowl. Instant trouble.

            One caveat - I can never get white chocolate to melt well in the microwave. It seems to go from solid to seized.

            1. re: sbp

              Another tip is to not use a glass or ceramic bowl to melt chocolate in the microwave - they retain too much heat. Use plastic!

          2. Thank you all!!

            1. My sis is a pastry chef and she says she never uses double boiler..she only uses microwave machine...good quality chocolate is essential when you want to melt chocolate.