Kitchen Tips – Melting chocolate

Creeping up on Valentine’s Day weekend, I’d like to give a little love to chocolate. Melting chocolate can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.

blackberry yellow cake with chocolate frosting and fondant flowers
photo from last year’s Valentine’s post – Heart-Shaped Blackberry Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Blackberry Filling and Fondant Flowers


  • Don’t add water when trying to melt chocolate, it can cause it to turn stiff and grainy.
  • Chop chocolate in to smaller pieces to expedite the melting process.
  • The less time the chocolate spends over heat, the better. Take your chocolate off the heat early and stir continuously until it’s fully melted.
  • Stir your chocolate while it’s over heat as well; never leave the room while melting chocolate, or you may return to a clumpy, grainy, scorched mess.
  • Microwaving

  • If microwaving chocolate to melt, microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for as little as 5-10 seconds at a time. Remove the bowl carefully, stir and repeat process. Remember to stop microwaving when it’s almost fully melted, and just stir continuously until it’s ready rather than overheat.
  • Make-shift Double Boiler

  • Using direct heat on a stove? Why not instead try creating a double boiler effect. Place 2 inches of water in a small pot, bring it to boil and set a slightly larger pot on top of the pot with water. Add the chocolate to this top pot and stir constantly, removing it from the heat source when possible.
  • In an Emergency

  • Only as an emergency measure, if the chocolate starts to look a little lumpy and questionable, add a small amount of solid shortening (1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening for each 6 ounces of chocolate you are melting).
  • Happy Chocolate Day!
    brought to you with help from Hershey’s.

    Chocolate Glaze Pour
    photo from our post, A Labor of Love: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Triple Layer Cake, In Memory of Jeff


    One Response to “Kitchen Tips – Melting chocolate”

    1. Chef Edwin says:

      I’m a fan of the traditional double boiler method. I just take a pot and place a metal bowl over it. It’s a little less stable, I suppose, but does the job.