Whether you are making cakes or simply trying to make a topping for your ice cream, you will sometimes have to go through the task of softening chocolate. Many people do not consider melting chocolate as a critical task, and do it without giving it a large amount of thought.
Melting the chocolate in the wrong way could result in a changed texture. To keep your chocolate smooth and silky, with just the right consistency, you must ensure that it is softened in the proper way. Here are a few tips to help you:
The basic and the most necessary thing that you can’t do without, when melting chocolate, is heat. If you believe that melting chocolate on a high flame will melt it quickly, you are wrong. Don’t be in a hurry to get the work done so quickly and put the chocolates on high flame. This will only do more harm that good as it can destroy the real taste of the chocolate. The best way to melt a chocolate is to melt it on low flame.
It has been observed that the best melting of chocolate happens at a temperature which is between 85 degrees and 90 degrees. Also, do not make the mistake of upping the temperature beyond 115 degrees. At that temperature, the chocolate can become coarse-grained, watery, and sometimes even lumpy.
Milk chocolate has different melting requirements. Unlike the regular chocolate, milk chocolate melts easily and thus should be done at an even lower temperature.
Break It Up
To make sure that your melted chocolate isn’t lumpy, you want to break it into pieces before melting it. Not only will this help your chocolate to melt faster, but it will also give it a smoother consistency. You can break the chocolate with your hands or chop it roughly. If you have enough time, you can further grate it for an even better consistency.
You have to be extremely careful while stirring the chocolate. Be very mild with the chocolate and don’t whisk through. The gentler you can be with the chocolate, the better.
Use the Right Spatula
The right spatula can help, too. If possible, use a rubber spatula instead of a wooden one. Wooden spatulas have an inclination to retain moisture which could affect the quality and taste of the chocolate. Make sure that the spatula you’re using has not already been used for any strong sauces or plant preparations. Also, the spatula should be fully dry when using it.
Don’t Cover the Pan
Lastly, do not cover the pan in which you are softening the chocolate. This will lead to the chocolate vapors condensing on the lid and falling back into the pan, which again, could cause in a loss of texture for your chocolate.
Keep these simple things under consideration and you’ll be dazzled with the results!