Tips for baking with chocolate

I will never forget the first time I had chocolate seize – a couple of errant drops of water on a silicone spatula was all it took to turn a creamy, smooth bowl of dark chocolate into a lumpy, grainy, blotchy mess. It took a lot of effort to correct that situation, and I learned my lesson. Baking with chocolate contains many such potential pitfalls, and getting tips from the pros can help you avoid them. Several chefs recently offered their best advice on working with chocolate to Food & Wine Magazine.

Besides being scrupulously careful about getting water into melted chocolate, you should also beware your heat settings when melting chocolate. Even using the microwave isn’t foolproof, and since scorched chocolate can’t be saved, this is one time where trying a shortcut is not warranted. Low and slow is best, whether using a double boiler or the microwave.

That said, you can also make a mistake by not melting your chocolate enough. According to Marc Aumont, chocolatier of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate, “The mistake people often make when using chocolate is not melting it enough! If you only heat it until ‘just’ melted, it won’t incorporate smoothly into batters and mixes. Chocolate needs to be melted completely — and be hot. If you don’t do it right, your batters will be too heavy and the desserts will not reach their full expression.”

Post a comment

One Comment

  • Fyretigger  on  February 20, 2022

    After melting chocolate in the microwave once, it’s hard to go back. Though one of the first times I did it, I didn’t take it out and stir it soon enough, it got a hot spot and it burst into flames! I’ve never made that mistake again.

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!