While you can easily make chocolate chip cookies without needing to worry about melting chocolate, this is not the case with many baking recipes. From brownies to cake to fudge, you will encounter many different recipes that require you to melt chocolate until smooth if you do any baking at all. So how can you melt chocolate and do so effectively? Let’s look into it now:
First, you will have to either pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, or roughly chop up the chocolate (if you are using bars). Then, place it in the microwave and slowly heat the chocolate. Start with roughly 20 to 30 seconds of time in the microwave before pausing and stirring. You can keep going in short intervals (never more than 30 seconds) in between stirs until your chocolate is mostly melted. If there are one or two lumps, you can generally let the residual heat take care of the rest. You have to be very careful with this method, because chocolate can burn in an instant when you are microwaving it, since there is more hands off time when you cannot touch it.
Perhaps the best way to effective melt chocolate for baking recipes is to create a double boiler. First, grab a tall pot and fill the bottom with a little bit of water. You also need to get a metal bowl to place in the pot, but you must match the sizes so it sits comfortably (as if you turned a lid upside down) on the pot sides rather than falling in. Also be sure to avoid having the bottom of the bowl touch the water.
Bring the water to a boil and then pout the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the metal bowl. Use a plastic spatula to constantly stir the chocolate until smooth.