Melting chocolate might seem like the easiest thing in the world - but it's not always failsafe. Hitting those silky smooth notes isn't always a guarantee and if you've ever ended up with a grainy heap of inedible melted chocolate you'll remember it!
However, it's easy to learn how to melt chocolate perfectly discovering all our tips, tricks and techniques to getting smooth and satiny chocolate everytime- ready for dipping, topping, and decorating!
First things first, when melting chocolate remember these two top tips:
1. Avoid the chocolate coming into any contact with water otherwise, it will turn grainy.
2. Always melt chocolate over a low heat and don't overheat to avoid it seizing eg going grainy at over 110 or 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Melt Chocolate
When it comes to melting chocolate there are a couple of techniques to choose between. We explain the two most common techniques below - the double boiler method using a stove and the microwave method.
How to melt Chocolate on a Stove
The double boiler method is one of the most tried and trusted techniques for melting chocolate effectively - especially if you don't own a microwave oven or even a bain-marie, you can always go makeshift with a simple saucepan and heatproof bowl.
1. Heat a few cms of water in a pan on the stove and bring up to a simmer.
2. Chop your chocolate into even sized chunks or chips to help even melting.
3. Put chunks of chocolate in a heatproof bowl and fit snugly over the simmering water in the pan, without touching the water.
4. Stir the chocolate with a spatula as it melts.
5. Remove the bowl while there are still a couple of small lumps of unmelted chocolate in the bowl to avoid overheating and stir until all completely melted.
Watch how in the clip below, plus how to rescue grainy chocolate:
How to melt chocolate in a microwave
The alternative (and less messy method) is melting chocolate in the microwave. Here's how:
1. Put equal sized chocolate chunks in a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Place the bowl in the microwave on a low power setting or heat the chocolate in shorter intervals and stir between each bout of heat.
3. Finish heating when most, but not all, of the chocolate is melted.
4. Stir the chocolate continuously until it is smooth, shiny, and completely melted.
How to melt white chocolate
White chocolate can be more sensitive to work with plain or milk chocolate. It doesn't contain milk solids meaning it can turn lumpy and grainy or "seize" much easier.
In general, it is much better to melt white chocolate using the stove technique as it's easier to keep control over the temperature. White chocolate will scorch at around 44c/110F.
How to thin melted chocolate
If your chocolate is fully melted but still not thin enough for dipping or drizzling you can still thin it down to your desired consistency by stirring in some vegetable oil.