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Chef Extraordinaire
Sep 9, 2004
NoVA, beyond the Beltway
OK, here's my problem:

the other day I melted 2 cups of choc chips to dip pretzels in. I added about a splash of canola to gloss it up a little, and then stupid me didn't think it looked thin enough to dunk pretzels in, so I added a splash of milk.

Of course it seized right up and I had chocolate cement.

Today I made a pan of brownies and I am determined to use this mess as frosting so I don't have to throw it out. I'm thinking I can add - what? a half stick or stick of butter to loosen it up? I will also add some peppermint extract to the frosting and sprinkle crunched up candy canes on top.

Help me save this bowl of goo.
Andy M. found this for me back in the days of another board. I'll pass it on to you now mudbug. :D

Seized Chocolate
If the chocolate has seized by coming into contact with water and becomes very thick, like porridge, you will have to start from the beginning with fresh chocolate. The seized chocolate can be saved and used in any recipe which calls for chocolate melted in a liquid such as cream or milk. For example, you can use it to make Ganache.

Once chocolate has seized it's not easy to coax it back to liquid form. Sometimes whisking a tablespoon of warm water into the chocolate works, then add more water a teaspoon at a time until the chocolate is smooth. Or try adding a few drops of vegetable oil or clarified butter (as it's water content has been removed). This will sometimes soften the seized chocolate enough that it will mix with other ingredients. Resurrecting it is always worth a try!

To correct seized chocolate, add a small amount (no more than 1 tablespoon per 6 ounces of chocolate) of clarified butter, cocoa butter or vegetable oil into the chocolate, stirring until once again smooth. Be aware that the added fat may affect the texture of the final product.

Seizing is what happens when moisture is introduced to melted chocolate. It is another process that can take place in the blink of an eye; one second you have a smooth bowl of liquid chocolate, and the next second you have a bowl full of lumpy, grainy goo. Even the tiniest amount of liquid-a single drop of water, the moisture clinging to a just-washed strawberry, or the steam from a double boiler that gets too hot-will cause this kind of damage to your chocolate. It is possible to rescue seized chocolate. The way to do this is, ironically enough, to add more liquid. Where a little bit of moisture causes seizing, lots of moisture will allow chocolate to relax again. If you're adding liquid to chocolate - flavoring it with a liqueur for dipping, or with cream for fondue or ganache - it's best to put the liquid and the chocolate together at the beginning, before you ever start to melt the chocolate.
If you follow what crewsk posted, you shouldn't have a problem turning that chocolate into a rich, thick ganache-type icing. I'd go for cream before butter, but that's just my opinion. If you can break the chocolate up and then pour the hot cream (with extract mixed in) over it, just keep whisking until it gets smooth.

Were you ever able to make your pretzles?
Thanks, crewsk! I'll try a little warm water or some oil and see what happens. It's kinda soft now cuz I nuked it for about 30 seconds - mostly to get it out of the container it was in.
PA Baker said:
Were you ever able to make your pretzles?

Thanks for the tips. don't have any cream at the moment, but do have sour cream (hhhhmmmmm).

Yep, did make some pretzels that turned out pretty good. Just used the melted choc chips and some oil on the second try. Also elevated my cooling rack with a small candle holder at each corner, with some wax paper underneath to catch the drips, so the pretzels wouldn't stick too badly. Used a couple bamboo skewers to dunk them and take them out of their "bath"
Chocolate covered pretzles are one of my absolute favorite foods of all time (it's the salty-sweet thing)! Last year I did pretzel rods for Christmas, dipping them in milk and white chocolate and then rolled them in all sorts of things--coconut, pecans, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, marshmallows. They're fun to do. I like your idea or raising the rack to keep them from getting too drippy. Very resourceful! ;)
I think I've got something usable now. Added about a 1/4 cup of warm water, plus a tablespoon of unsalted butter, along with a capful of the peppermint extract. Then beat the snot out of it with my hand mixer. I may tempt fate and add a tablespoon of sour cream just for the heck of it.

Thanks again, ladies!

PA, your pretzel ideas sound really good. Maybe I can do that next year!

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