MELTING CHOCOLATE USING MICROWAVE
Average melting time (on high - 100%) for chunks of chocolate to melt are: (picture from Chockulit website)
- 1 ounce = 1 minute
- 2 ounces = 1.5 minutes
- 3 ounces = 2 minutes
- 4 ounces = 3.5 minutes
For a larger quantity, watch carefully and stir every 30 seconds to make sure you don’t overcook your chocolate.
These times, however, depend on the power of your microwave, the size of container used to melt the chocolate and the type of chocolate you’re melting as well as the size of pieces (the smaller the pieces, the quicker the chocolate will melt). Don’t forget to stir your chocolate to avoid overcooking; also, chocolate may not look like it’s melted until you stir it. As soon as the chocolate looks shiny, it should be ready to use. Remove the batch from your microwave and stir for about 30 seconds to a minute.
The best container to use is a glass measuring cup. Make sure it’s not too large for the amount of chocolate you’re melting or it won’t heat evenly; and never cover the container while microwaving as moisture may form under the cover, drip into the chocolate and ruin your batch.
Never add water to chocolate to thin it for dipping. Use shortening instead, stirring it into the melted chocolate, and heat for an extra 30 seconds. One to 1-1/2 tablespoons of shortening to a cup of melted chocolate should be enough to thin it for dipping.
MELTING CHOCOLATE USING STOVE
1. Chocolate coatings are available in wafers of all colors. To prepare chocolate coatings for dipping candy centers, follow these easy steps:
2. Heat water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler (without chocolate near stove).
3. Remove water from heat; place top of double boiler with chopped block chocolate or wafers in it over hot water.
4. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted (about 3-5 minutes).
5. Remove chocolate from hot water and allow coating to cool for 10-20 minutes; or place chocolate over cold water and stir until it thickens slightly.
6. Replace hot water with warm water to bottom of double boiler.
7. When chocolate has thickened slightly, place it over warm water and it will be ready to dip. If chocolate is too thick to dip centers, warm water slightly. If chocolate is too thick, replace water with cooler water. Lukewarm water should keep chocolate the right temperature for dipping.
8. Keep chocolate stirred while dipping.
HOW TO MOLD CHOCOLATE
With the use of chocolate-flavored coatings, chocolate molding has become easy and excellent results can be realized with minimum effort. An endless number of chocolate molds are available: chicks and rabbits for Easter; Santas and other Christmassy shapes; among other holidays – you’ll never be bored! Chocolate-flavored coatings are easiest to use in candy mold. To prepare coatings, melt chocolate in double boiler over hot (never boiling) water, or place chocolate in a wide-mouth glass jar and set in a hot water bath. Stir occasionally until melted. The coating is then ready to be molded. Cooling is unnecessary. To add flavor to molded candy, melt chocolate and stir in a few drops of concentrated flavoring oils. Please note that you cannot use regular food coloring to tint chocolate. Paste food coloring must be used.
Although many types of candy molds will work in molding chocolate, clear plastic candy molds are best and will be the only ones discussed.
The clear plastic candy molds need to be clean and dry before filling with chocolate. Greasing, spraying, or dusting is not necessary and would ruin the appearance of the finished candy. If chocolate molds are used for something else other than chocolate, however, such as marshmallow, jellies, or cooked candies, they must be greased or sprayed with an oiling spray. If a candy mold is to be filled several times, it does not need to be cleaned between use, as the chocolate will come out cleanly and leave the mold ready for filling. When finished with the mold, wash it in hot water. Detergent will eventually dry out the chocolate mold and may crack it.
If you want a solid piece of candy, spoon (or use a candy funnel) the melted chocolate into the candy mold. Under fill rather than overfill mold as overfilling will cause a “foot” to form at the base of candy. Tap the candy mold on the table to release air bubbles, or lift mold and work bubbles out with a toothpick. Fill all cavities in the chocolate mold, then chill in freezer for a few minutes. Leave in freezer only long enough for chocolate to harden slightly. Remove from freezer, turn upside down and candy should fall out. If candy does not fall out, flex chocolate mold slightly or return to freezer.
HOW TO DIP CHOCOLATE
Successful chocolate dipping is largely dependent upon three factors: using a chocolate especially made for coating or dipping, having the correct temperature and consistency and stirring thoroughly.
The temperature of the room is as important as that of chocolate. The room should be between 60 and 70 deg. and results are best for beginners on a clear, cool day in a room free of steam. When dipping, keep chocolate over tepid water, following the steps in "Melt Chocolate for Dipping".
While dipping centers, continue stirring chocolate rapidly with a circular motion, not allowing chocolate to set up around the rim of double boiler. This stirring results in proper blending of cocoa butter and insures a rich, glossy coating.
HOW TO PAINT YOUR CHOCOLATE CREATIONS
Very attractive multicolored chocolate pieces can be molded using clear plastic molds. Melt the colors you wish to use in at least one-pound quantities in separate double boilers, or put small amounts of different colored chocolate in small glass jars and place jars in a hot water bath. Different colors of chocolate can also be placed in the separate cavities of a cupcake pan, which is then placed in a hot water bath. In either case, be careful not to get water in the chocolate.
When chocolate melts, color it with paste food coloring to produce a darker color or a color not available in chocolate coatings. Too much color will make the chocolate thick and difficult to use, and may prevent it from setting up shiny. Use paste food colors only; if chocolate becomes thick, add a few drops of liquid vegetable oil. Use chocolate that is nearest the color you desire. If you want red, start with pink coating; if you want black, start with dark chocolate.
Once chocolate is melted, apply it with paintbrushes, which will not lose their bristles. Paint directly onto mold, using one color at a time, then chilling it for a few minutes to harden. Continue painting and cooling until all the parts of the mold you wish colored are painted. Then till mold completely with slightly cooled chocolate. Chill mold in freezer until it hardens slightly, then turn out candy.
HOW TO USE UP YOUR LEFTOVER CHOCOLATE
If you have chocolate left after dipping centers of filling molds, stir in nuts, raisins, crunchy cereal, crushed graham crackers or any number of other foods. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper. You can also dip cookies, crackers, or marshmallows in melted chocolate. For reuse, scrape chocolate out onto waxed paper, let it harden, wrap well and use another time.