We can help! Whether you are melting chocolate to create your own chocolate bars, simply making your favourite chocolate mousse or baking your favourite brownies, here are some useful industry secrets…
Shhhh… brought to you by the professionals!
1. Keep everything around you dry
We mean EVERYTHING – from work surfaces to bowls to measuring cups and spoons. Water is like glue to chocolate. A single drop of water can cause your melted chocolate to clump.
2. Use bakestable chocolate chips when you don’t want your chocolate to melt
Normal chocolate will melt when you hit 35 degrees, so if you are looking for chocolate chips that will hold their shape and not melt, then you should look for bakestable chips. You can use bakestable chips both in the product or on top during baking. Bakestable chips are also a bit smaller in size so are perfect for using in baking applications such as muffins, cookies, cakes, tray-bakes and pastries.
3. Use a microwave to melt your chocolate in a controlled way
Many recipes ask for us to melt our chosen chocolate before using, and sometimes even to temper it. This could be when making chocolate bars, mousses, cakes, etc.
There are two good reasons to use a microwave to do this:
- Chocolate can burn very easily so the easiest and quickest way to melt it without a risk of burning is using a series of short bursts in the microwave.
- All the chocolate we sell is ‘pre-tempered’. If you melt it only just enough, then the chocolate will remain tempered and you can avoid the hassle of having to re-temper it. We’ll explain later why it’s always better if your chocolate is tempered when you use it, and why it’s essential if you’re making chocolate bars or pralines.
4. Keep your chocolate looking shiny and fresh (prevent ‘bloom’)
‘Bloom’ is when your chocolate develops a dull, white film on it. If it does happen, don’t despair, even though it’s not pretty, it’s nothing you need to worry about. The quality and taste of your chocolate will not be affected.
But there are some important tips to stop it happening:
- Make sure your chocolate is properly tempered before you use it. If it isn’t, moulding is going to be really hard!
- Store your set chocolate in a cool, dry place and away from sunlight. If it’s in direct sunlight or just a really warm place, this causes the fat to come to the surface and that’s what causes the cloudy appearance.
- If you keep it in the fridge, keep it in an airtight container or sealed in its original packaging. Then when you take it out of your fridge, give it a few minutes for the packaging and the chocolate to warm up to room temperature before opening it.
5. Stir your chocolate with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula
Chocolate is very sensitive! It does not like extreme temperature changes, so be kind! Using normal metal serving spoons to mix chocolate may cause it to clump.
6. Treat white chocolate with extra care.
White chocolate lovers beware – it’s delicate and can burn more easily than dark or milk chocolate. When melting, take it as slow as possible and keep mixing.