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Old 12-27-2004, 12:24 PM   #1
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Melting Milk Chocolate

How do I do this? I tried to melt my milk chocolate and it became grainy! It looked like little grains of rice covered in chocolate! Please! how do I save it? and how do I melt it next time!
Thanks in advance

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Old 12-27-2004, 12:48 PM   #2
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Chocolate needs to be melted gently and no water can touch the chocolate.
Take a pot that a mixing bowl can fit on top of..fill the bottom pot w/some water and bring to a simmer..do not let top bowl touch the water. Place chocolate in top bowl..and stir as chocolate melts.
There is a method using the microwave..but I don't do it that way..perhaps someone else will post that method.

Inorder to know what you did wrong..we would need to know how you did it.
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Old 12-27-2004, 01:30 PM   #3
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Ok thank you! I just put the chocolate chunks into a pot and put it on the stove.....
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:21 PM   #4
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Eeek! Chocolate doesn't like that, guess you found that out :P

I always microwave my chocolate, if it's not in chunks already, break it into pieces. Put it in a microwave proof bowl and zap it on 50% for approx 2 - 3 minutes, check it after 1 and give it a stir, I use a wooden skewer, it tends to stick to the spoon.

The chocolate will still look solid but will break up when you stir it.

The double boiler method is good for some, but doesn't work for me most times, as I don't have a decent bowl that fits over any of my saucepans, and if you use an ill fitting one, you get water in your chocolate.
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:48 PM   #5
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to get rid of the lumps (it only works sometimes) put 1 tsp of water at a time in it on a double boiler (or on a metal bowl over the pot), untill it comes back. i hope this works
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Old 12-27-2004, 06:03 PM   #6
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I just had to make two batches of chocolate-covered strawberries in the past couple weeks, each batch was about 300 - 400 berries. Classically, you place a stainless-steel mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don't need a lot of water, maybe an inch or so. Once the water boils, turn off the fire, and place the chocolate in the bowl. Stir it every few minutes. If it's lumpy (usually with White Chocolate or a poor-quality dark), add a little shortening and whisk it to smooth the chocolate out. Water will cause the chocolate to seize.

I've also successfully microwaved chocolate. Microwave the chocolate for a minute or two in a microwave-proof bowl. Remove, and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is melted. Remember that if you microwave chocolate, you don't want to totally melt it INSIDE the microwave. It will melt as you stir it. The stuff I microwaved at work was pretty much still "chunky", and it melted in the container after we started stirring it.

Be careful if you microwave chocolate, as you can burn it in the microwave.
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Old 12-27-2004, 08:22 PM   #7
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This is great Good Eats transcript on chocolate that goes into seizing and how to prevent it.

http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Seaso...Transcript.htm

Alton is a little too microwave phobic when it comes to chocolate. Although I agree with him that chocolate is seriously impaired at temps above 130 degrees, I feel that very careful microwaving can melt chocolate without exceeding this threshold. 1 or 2 minutes continuous microwaving even at 50% is deadly for chocolate (sorry). Nuking 5 seconds, stirring, and then repeating seems to do the trick. Anything more than that and the edges get fried.

Eventually I want to get my hands on a chocolate burner for a stove that's built for very precise melting chocolate temps and no higher. Literally a 'set it and forget it' kind of thing :)
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:02 AM   #8
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I nuke my chocolate all the time to melt it - I'm 'stovetop double-boiler phobic' when it comes to this, as I had a horrid experience in a catering kitchen with about 10 lbs of Callebaut chocolate - don't ask!!

I just cut the chocolate in pretty small pieces, scrape up all the 'shaving's you get from chopping, put them in a pyrex bowl, and nuke for about 3 minutes at medium heat. I 'pause' the setting at about 1 and 2 minutes, to stir and see how the chocolate is doing. You can stop the nuking even if the chocolate still has a few lumps, and just keep stirring; the heat of the chocolate and the dish itself with finish the melting.

Microwave melting is easy, if you just remember - 1) don't 'blast' it; 2) check it regularly; 3) take if out when you have just a few lumps left.

I've even used this method to temper, and it works just fine.
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:53 AM   #9
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Another trick I've seen Jacques Torres do with dry food coloring and cacao butter is to keep it liquid in a yogurt maker. The hot water bath in that is just the right temp for keeping cacao butter liquid. Maybe it would work for chocolate as well? I'm not sure about actually melting the chocolate in the yogurt maker, though.

When I'm at work, I keep my melted chocolate in a hot box when I'm not using it. The hot box is set to keep the cooked foods warm, and is just the right temp for the chocolate. Also, as cold as it is here in MI right now, even the kitchen is a bit cool, and the melted chocolate tends to start congealing on me while I'm working with it. A quick trip to the hot box for a few minutes solves that problem.
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Old 12-28-2004, 12:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
I nuke my chocolate all the time to melt it - I'm 'stovetop double-boiler phobic' when it comes to this, as I had a horrid experience in a catering kitchen with about 10 lbs of Callebaut chocolate - don't ask!!

I just cut the chocolate in pretty small pieces, scrape up all the 'shaving's you get from chopping, put them in a pyrex bowl, and nuke for about 3 minutes at medium heat. I 'pause' the setting at about 1 and 2 minutes, to stir and see how the chocolate is doing. You can stop the nuking even if the chocolate still has a few lumps, and just keep stirring; the heat of the chocolate and the dish itself with finish the melting.

Microwave melting is easy, if you just remember - 1) don't 'blast' it; 2) check it regularly; 3) take if out when you have just a few lumps left.

I've even used this method to temper, and it works just fine.
Yeah, I also use the microwave method. I don't have a double-boiler, and even though I know that you can do the same thing with other pans, using the microwave thing is a lot easier to me.

Thanks for the tip goldfish. I have never thought of that before, and if I ever use a double-boiler, I will have to remember that. When you said that it only works sometimes, what happens when it doesn't work. I just want to be for-warned. LoL


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Old 12-28-2004, 04:53 PM   #11
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1 minute microwaving at medium heat = damaged chocolate.

Hey, it's your chocolate, you do what you want. But I'm listening to the experts and sticking to below 130 degrees.
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Old 12-28-2004, 05:05 PM   #12
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I've looked into this and even Ghirardelli recommends the same method....

"Directions:
Using microwave safe container, place chocolate in microwave oven at medium power (50%) for 60 to 90 seconds. Remove and stir. If not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating, stiring every 30 seconds, as scorching can occur. When small lumps remain, remove and continue to stir to complete melting."

So as in most things in cooking and life, the "experts" differ. I can't see that microwaving as the above method can cause the chocolate to go anywhere near 130 degrees.

When searching nowhere did I see any descriptions of microwaving for 5 seconds at a time, that is just too labour intensive for me, and I believe unnecessary.
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Old 12-28-2004, 06:55 PM   #13
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Thanks! you guys are so great!
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:01 PM   #14
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Scott - maybe I have a small microwave - I have NEVER 'ruined my chocolate'; comes out of the microwave about 80 degrees; just fine. Please accept others' ways of doing things. I don't put down your way of doing it, just sharing my own. If it didn't work for me, I certainly wouldn't post it for others to 'ruin their chocolate'.

Thanks for listening!

Kyles - I do check it every 30-45 seconds, especially if it's white chocolate. But every 10 seconds, no - that's hardly time for all the little nukey molecules to get warm!
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:00 AM   #15
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Kyles, Callebaut recommends stirring every 15-20 seconds.

What hasn't been mentioned so far in regards to microwaving chocolate is the topic of quantity. A big reason why I stir every five seconds is that I usually microwave small amounts of chocolate (2 oz. or less) at a time. A lb. of chocolate at 50% for 90 seconds - sure, no problem there. But an ounce - no way. An ounce will start to smoke in 90 seconds.

Marmalady, I didn't say 'ruin' I said 'damaged.' Depending on the amount of chocolate you're microwaving, a minute at 50% will usually have the chocolate bubbling around the edges. Bubbling = above 130 = bad, according to every chocolate expert out there.

Am I being a perfectionist about this? Most definitely. For me that 130 degree threshold is sacred. I take great pains not to cross it. If I'm a freak, so be it. I take my chocolate very seriously.
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Old 12-29-2004, 06:58 AM   #16
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So do I, Scott, so do I! I've melted anywhere from 1-2 oz to a lb using the microwave - of course, with 2 oz you check it more often. The temp never gets to 130 - not even lukewarm. Maybe the answer is to use a smaller microwave with less power?
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:58 PM   #17
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That could be the answer marmalady :)
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:20 AM   #18
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You do have to take into account the wattage of your microwave, because medium on one, is another's medium low etc. My new microwave I use 30% coz it's a higher wattage than my old one.

Just an aside, I HATE my new microwave, it zaps things, it has an illogical defrost cycle and ends up cooking whatever you defrost, I tend to use 10% and it takes forever to defrost say two chicken breasts, but at least they don't end up sizzled. I wish I could get my old one back, it was 20 years old, but she and I understood each other (I left it in Australia)
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