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THE TIP

Melting Chocolate in a Double Boiler

Since chocolate is so sensitive to heat, you have to be extremely careful when melting it otherwise it will break and separate. We’ve talked before about how to do this in the microwave but the more common approach that chefs use is called a “double boiler.” Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add 1” of water to a medium saucepan or pot and bring to a very gentle simmer.

  2. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. You want the steam from the water to gently warm the bowl.

  3. Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir occasionally with a spatula until smooth and melted.

  4. Remove the bowl from the heat and use. If the chocolate starts to become too hard, just put the bowl back over the simmering water.

By using the steam from the water to heat the bowl, you avoid direct contact with the chocolate and allow the chocolate to melt slowly so it stay smooth.