How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave

How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave

Step-by-step tutorial about how to easily melt chocolate in the microwave to avoid burning. No need to use a double boiler on the stove!

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How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave

Ok, all, this is the time of year when even those of us who never bake a thing feel the need to be Julia Child in the kitchen for the holidays.  Or if you are like me, it’s the time of year I crack out recipes I only make during the holiday season and can’t remember how the heck that recipe is supposed to go.  So I burn a couple pans of fudge and make some soggy peanut brittle trying to remember.

So we are going back to the basics for a few things.  I realized in many of my recipes that require melting chocolate, I tell you to follow the directions on the back of the package and leave it at that.  But then I watched someone who totally should have know better shove a bowl of chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes straight and wonder why it was burned.  And let me tell you what, you have not smelled stink until you have burned chocolate in your microwave.

This tutorial is about melting candy coating chocolate.  Like candy melts, chocolate chips, and the almond bark you see in stores this time of year.  NOT chocolate bars which need to be tempered.  We are not there yet.  I am not there yet.  These are all chocolate products that contain shortening so they do not require tempering.

I like to use candy melts when dipping, they dry quick and hard, unlike chocolate chips. Chocolate chips will dry but remain sticky and melty to the touch.

How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave

Candy Melts

Dump candy melts in a heat proof bowl.  I think candy melts are a little on the thick side so I add in a teaspoon of shortening for each package of candy melts.  The shortening thins out the chocolate making it easier to dip.  Don’t be squeamish about the shortening, we’re talking candy melts here, they are already over processed and unhealthy beyond control.  Don’t eat them every day. (I have noticed that when I use the Ghiradelli brand melting chocolate that I don’t need to thin it out with shortening).

melt chocolate for 30 seconds
  • Put bowl in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds.  NO LONGER!
  • Get the bowl out and stir.  It won’t look like anything happened and you will be tempted to go longer next time because you find this process tedious.  DON’T DO IT!
  • Put the bowl back in the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds.  Get the bowl out and stir again.
  • Keep doing this until the chocolate is melted.  There will be a point when it is almost melted, just a few little lumps.  Try and stir it smooth at this point.  I have noticed with the candy melts it is possible to over heat it and then the chocolate gets streaky as it dries.
Dipping
  • You’re ready to dip!

How do you thin chocolate for dipping?

I like to use shortening or coconut oil. Both melt quickly in the microwave but are a solid at room temperature. So they will melt but cool solid, which is what you want for your dipping chocolate. Use 1 teaspoon shortening or coconut oil per package of melting chocolate. I use the same amount if I’m melting chocolate chips. Some people like to use butter to thin their chocolate, I don’t because butter is still 20% water and I don’t want my chocolate to seize.

Can I add milk to melted chocolate to thin it out?

No. Use an shortening or coconut oil. Water (and milk is mostly water) will seize your chocolate. We sometimes add heavy cream to melting chocolate to make ganache, which is wonderful, but soft and won’t coat your candies.

Why did my chocolate go hard when melting?

There are a couple of possibilities:

  • It’s burned-if you put it in the microwave for too long without stirring, the chocolate can burn. Burned chocolate gets hard. It also stinks. You can’t really save burned chocolate.
  • It seized-usually chocolate seizes when it comes into contact with water. If this happens, add in a little more chocolate or a teaspoon of shortening and try microwaving it again for 10 more seconds and stirring.

How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave

Step-by-step tutorial about how to easily melt chocolate in the microwave to avoid burning. No need to use a double boiler on the stove!
Course prep
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 12 ounces

Equipment

  • microwave safe bowl
  • spoon or rubber spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce package melting chocolate like Candy melts
  • 1 teaspoon shortening or coconut oil

Instructions

  • Dump candy melts in a heat proof bowl.  I think candy melts are a little on the thick side so I add in a teaspoon of shortening for each package of candy melts.  
  • Put bowl in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds.  NO LONGER!
  • Get the bowl out and stir.  It won’t look like anything happened and you will be tempted to go longer next time because you find this process tedious.  DON’T DO IT!
  • Put the bowl back in the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds.  Get the bowl out and stir again.
  • Keep doing this until the chocolate is melted.  There will be a point when it is almost melted, just a few little lumps.  Try and stir it smooth at this point.  I have noticed with the candy melts it is possible to over heat it and then the chocolate gets streaky as it dries.
  • You’re ready to dip!

Recipes that use melted chocolate:

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