Ok guys, November 1st. In my mind, it's the official kick off of baking season. Sure, we dabbled with a few things in October, some pumpkin bread and monkey muffins to help get us in the mood, but now, now it gets serious.
This is the time of year when even those of us who never bake a thing feel the need to be Julia Child in the kitchen for the holidays. Or if you are like me, it's the time of year I crack out recipes I only make during the holiday season and can't remember how the heck that recipe is supposed to go. So I burn a couple pans of fudge and make some soggy peanut brittle trying to remember.
So we are going back to the basics for a few things. I realized in many of my recipes that require melting chocolate, I tell you to follow the directions on the back of the package and leave it at that. But then I watched someone who totally should have know better shove a bowl of chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes straight and wonder why it was burned. And let me tell you what, you have not smelled stink until you have burned chocolate in your microwave.
This tutorial is about melting candy coating chocolate. Like candy melts, chocolate chips, and the almond bark you see in stores this time of year. NOT melting chocolate bars which need to be tempered. We are not there yet. I am not there yet. These are all chocolate products that contain shortening so they do not require tempering.
I like to use candy melts when dipping, it dries quickly and hard unlike chocolate chips which will not get hard. They will dry but remain sticky and melty to the touch.
How To Melt Chocolate In The Microwave
- Dump candy melts in a heat proof bowl. I think candy melts are a little on the thick side so I add in a teaspoon of shortening for each package of candy melts. The shortening thins out the chocolate making it easier to dip. Don't be squeamish about the shortening, we're talking candy melts here, they are already over processed and unhealthy beyond control. Don't eat them every day.
- Put bowl in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds. NO LONGER!
- Get the bowl out and stir. It won't look like anything happened and you will be tempted to go longer next time because you find this process tedious. DON'T DO IT!
- Put the bowl back in the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds. Get the bowl out and stir again.
- Keep doing this until the chocolate is melted. There will be a point when it is almost melted, just a few little lumps. Try and stir it smooth at this point. I have noticed with the candy melts it is possible to over heat it and then the chocolate gets streaky as it dries.