I love chocolates! Who doesn’t right? But what I love mostly about chocolates is that it allows me to make some yummy chocolate desserts with it, in a short time mostly, and no doubt, will taste great! Recipes, especially desserts made with chocolate can never go wrong. Why? Cos’ the main ingredient tastes so well!
Having said that, making chocolate desserts can sometimes be quite tricky. For example, if you were to make Chocolate Fudge Toffees for which you will have to melt the chocolate in a pan, you have to be very careful not to burn the chocolate. Burnt chocolate doesn’t taste that good and worst of all CANNOT be recovered.
So here are some basic guidelines to follow when making chocolate related desserts.
• Melting Chocolate
Chocolate melting can be done in several ways, depending on the recipe you are following. For example, as I mentioned earlier, for Chocolate Fudge Toffee you can melt the chocolate in a pan over the stove. This can be very tricky and difficult if you’re a beginner and doing this for the first time.
1) One thing you can do, especially if you’re making this for the first time, is to melt the chocolate over heated water. To do this, fill a heavy bottom pan with water and put it to boil.
Place your chocolate in a bowl and as the water is boiling in the pan, slowly place the bowl with chocolate inside the pan so that the heat of the boiling water will melt the chocolate.
Make sure you keep a wooden spoon with you to stir the chocolate gently, to ensure that the chocolate is completely melted.
This method will melt your chocolate well and also wont burn it as fast as when you melt it on a stove. Also unlike when melting chocolate over a stove, the chocolate doesn’t tend to harden when taken off of the heat, so it makes it easier for you to work with the melted chocolate with the rest of the recipe.
2) Another way of melting chocolate is with the use of a microwave. This is a common method used by most people, especially when we want to make a quick dessert like fudge brownie. Its an easy way of melting chocolate, however you need to consider a couple of things when doing so;
a) Chocolate melting in a microwave, although happens in minutes can cause the chocolate or part of the chocolate to burn. So if you are going to use this method, you will have to ensure that you check on the chocolate periodically.
b) Steam effect inside a microwave for cooking can also be used, however how applicable this is to chocolate is not yet experimented as far as I’m aware, so I wouldn’t recommend melting chocolate over water inside a microwave.
3) Of course for some of us, we just really like to use the pan on a stove to melt the chocolate just because a little bit of chocolate burnt over butter has that extra taste to it, especially those dark chocolate lovers who like that bitter taste in their desserts.
So if you’re like me who want to go ahead and melt it on a stove, remember to do the following;
a) Keep the pan on the stove on medium heat. Place the chocolate inside the pan.
b) When you start to see the chocolate melting, reduce the heat to a low and let it melt in that heat. Do not increase the heat if it takes too long. This will cause the chocolate to burn at the bottom fast although the top is yet to melt.
c) Keep your tray or dish which you will pour the melted chocolate, ready and close by so that as soon as the chocolate is melted, you can pour it in. Otherwise it tends to harden and Chocolate bouquet so you will have to keep it back on the stove. This will cause the chocolate to burn at times.
d) If while you’re pouring the chocolate into the tray or dish, the chocolate gets harden, place it again on the stove on low heat.
Some of the other important points to note when you’re making chocolate based desserts, especially with melted chocolates is always keep your preparing dishes, trays, spatulas, oil paper etc ready with butter glazed, if required. You won’t have time to do those preparations when you have started to cook, so keep that in mind at all times.
It is always best practice to read through the recipe before attempting to start cooking. As important as the ingredients are for a great dish so are the utensils and methods you comply when cooking so prepare well and happy cooking!
Summer James is an Online Writer, Researcher and a Product Manager of over 3 years. She is a graduate in IT and currently reading for her Masters in E-Learning, Multimedia and E-Marketing.