To prepare and decorate desserts, it is often necessary to melt chocolate. How to do it correctly and quickly at home for a cake.
Chocolate is a favorite sweet of people from all over the world. It is eaten as a separate full-fledged dessert and is also added to other dishes as one of the ingredients. As early as the 19th century, the product was sold as a refreshing drug (cocoa beans have a high caffeine content). The first fruits of the tropical tree began to be used by the Indians of the Maya centuries ago. They collected beans, roasted, ground and prepared a fragrant bitter drink. Since that time, it has transformed and turned into a very popular delicacy.
Chocolate (especially bitter) is considered one of the best brain stimulants. Due to the presence of such a component as magnesium, it improves memory and helps fight stress.
Types of chocolate
On the shelves of stores, you can find many varieties of chocolate with various additives. Depending on the content of cocoa beans and powdered sugar in the composition, the product is divided into three main categories:
—Dark. The bitter product has the most cocoa butter and the lowest sugar content, which gives it a rich, tart taste. Even hypertensive patients can afford a couple of pieces of such chocolate, despite its caffeine.
—Lactic. In the manufacture of this chocolate, sugar is preferred to neutralize the initial bitterness as much as possible.
—White. It is not made from grated beans but from cocoa butter, so the color is so light.
Which is better to choose
For the preparation of desserts, confectioners can use all types of chocolate, as any of them gives rich and bright shades of cocoa to the dish’s taste.
Bitter chocolate in cooking is more often used to make the icing, baking, and create sweets. It is also added to ice cream and mousses. And it is from it that children’s favorite hot chocolate is made.
The milky appearance of the product is sweeter and more nutritious than the dark one due to the higher content of milk fats. Often it is eaten as an independent dessert. However, it is also added to other dishes if necessary to achieve not a bitter and tart but a sweet and more delicate taste.
In most cases, white chocolate is taken to make decorations for cakes or pastries since it contains a lot of powdered sugar, and cocoa itself is practically absent.
How to melt chocolate at home
For many dishes, chocolate as an ingredient is needed in liquid form. There are several ways to melt it at home quickly. But the process is not as simple as you might think – you need to know some of the nuances to achieve the desired result.
The microwave is the fastest way to turn chocolate into a hot liquid mass. It is necessary to break the tile into small pieces, put it in a bowl and gradually heat the product at high power until it is completely melted. At the same time, you should keep the tile in the microwave for no more than 20 seconds, then mix the mass thoroughly and only then repeat the procedure until it is completely cooked. Otherwise, the chocolate will have time to burn.
Utensils must be microwave safe. A ceramic or glass container is best.
Usually, a hairdryer is taken in cases where the chocolate has already been melted or tempered but has had time to cool down (tempering is the process of giving the product new properties through heating and cooling). Otherwise, this method of melting will take too long.
To achieve the desired effect, you must first grate the chocolate on a fine grater and place it in a deep bowl. The hair dryer should be turned on at minimum power and direct hot air into the dishes while gently stirring the sweet mass.
Oven or hob
The method of melting chocolate in the oven is similar to cooking in the microwave: in the same way, one must take out the sweet substance several times, mixed and sent it back. Should heat the oven to 60 degrees. Finely grate the chocolate and put it in a heat-resistant dish. Check the mixture itself every two minutes.
Melting directly on the stove can burn or overheat the chocolate mass, but it is also an effective way to prepare the dessert thermally. Here it is important to consider the following points:
- The melting process must be carried out very slowly and at the lowest heat.
- The mixture must be monitored more carefully than other methods and stirred occasionally.
- For best results, it is recommended to add milk or cream to the product. The chocolate will then melt much faster and easier.
In a slow cooker, you can melt chocolate in a water bath.
First, the sweetness is carefully crushed and placed in a container that can stand steadily in the multicooker bowl. In the device itself, it is worth pouring 500 ml of water in advance and turning on the “steamer” mode. After the liquid boils, the bowl of chocolate must be moved up and continue to heat for 5-8 minutes until cooked, stirring constantly. At the same time, the lid of the device should be left open, so that condensate cannot get into the product.
Features of melting chocolate
For different dishes, the process of melting the ingredient is somewhat different. This sweetness is used to prepare icing on a cake or fruit for fondue and hot chocolate.
Dark chocolate is often taken for icing on the cake – it lends itself better to processing due to the high content of cocoa beans.
Melt chocolate for the cake, usually in a water bath – this method is less likely to lead to overheating, and the product will quickly get the desired consistency. To do this, follow these steps:
- Pour cream or full-fat milk into a saucepan, put it on the stove and heat without boiling. Add chocolate there and stir until it is completely dissolved.
- Add butter to the liquid mass and mix in the same way until smooth.
- Cool the resulting glaze to about 30-35 degrees.
For the preparation of fondue, you can choose any type of chocolate, both bitter and white, porous. The ingredient is often melted using a special device, a fondue pot, consisting of a convenient pot and burner. However, you can use a conventional stove or microwave.
For hot chocolate
The product is melted together with other ingredients to prepare a hot drink, not separately, as in other recipes. To do this, mix cocoa, a small amount of sugar and chocolate, broken into small pieces, in a saucepan. After that, you need to add milk or cream to the container and cook the whole mass over low heat until the first bubbles appear, stirring gently from time to time.
For the fruit in chocolate
To cover the fruit with glaze, you also need to melt the chocolate. It is not recommended to take tiles with some additives (nuts, raisins, marmalade, etc.). It is best to give preference to the classics. At the same time, chocolate is melted, depending on home conditions. The main thing is not the melting process but the glaze hardening stage: chefs immerse the fruit in a bowl of hot chocolate, and then they must let the dessert cool down, putting the resulting dish on a plate and putting it in the refrigerator.
How to melt white and aerated chocolate
Chocolate melts best with 33 percent or more cocoa beans. Considering that this ingredient is practically absent in the composition of white chocolate, the mass may be too dense and viscous, with a large number of lumps.
To avoid this, the white and porous types of the product are melted following certain rules:
- Must first crush the tail to the smallest possible pieces.
- The melting mass must be constantly stirred.
- Water should not get into the container with chocolate, so it is recommended that the dishes are completely dry before melting. In this case, the bowl or pan itself should be enameled, glass or ceramic with thick walls.
So that the product does not burn and gets the desired consistency, experienced chefs recommend for beginners:
- If this is the first such experience, it is better not to take porous or white chocolate, as they are the most capricious and require extreme attention to their heat treatment.
- It is better to melt chocolate over low heat.
- If the icing is too runny, you can add some powdered sugar to it.
- When preparing cakes or pastries, it is better not to apply melted chocolate on the cream, as it then slides off and gives the dessert a sloppy look.