Melting chocolate is a skill used often to decorate desserts. What if you could successfully melt different kinds of chocolate in the microwave in just seconds? No need for a double broiler! This tutorial demonstrates how to melt milk chocolate, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips with just a bowl, spatula and of course a microwave!
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Adding a chocolate drizzle to a your favorite desserts gives it that “from the bakery look” we are always trying to achieve. The last thing I want to do when I’m in a hurry is drag out my double broiler and stand over the stove to melt chocolate. My preferred method is using the microwave, however you need to follow a few simple tips to make sure you get smooth results!
- microwave safe bowl
- rubber spatula
It is best to use a glass bowl in the microwave. I use a rubber spatula for stirring the chocolate. I tested melting the chocolate chips in a 900 watt microwave so if yours is a different wattage it could effect your results slightly. When melting the chocolate chips I used 1 cup of each type of chocolate.
Why melting chocolate in the microwave is the best method
There are a few problems that even experienced bakers have when melting chocolate. I have simple steps that will help you have consistent results every time!
One common problem is the chocolate seizing. This happens when water gets into the chocolate. It makes the chocolate grainy and clumpy instead of smooth and shiny. Once chocolate seizes it is difficult to do anything with it. To prevent this make sure your bowl and spatula are completely clean and dry.
The microwave is the best way to melt chocolate because when you use the stove top method with a double-broiler it is very easy to get water in your bowl of chocolate. If you are not familiar with the process, the double-broiler method is essentially a small pot with a few inches of water in the bottom and then a bowl nestled over top where the chocolate is melted over low heat. It is best not to melt chocolate over direct heat, so the hot water slowly melts the chocolate. However, as steam forms it can produce small water droplets that land in the chocolate causing it to seize. This is why I do prefer the microwave method!
Another issue with chocolate is that it can burn in the microwave. Because microwaves heat so quickly it is best to melt chocolate in short bursts. This is why I recommend 15-second intervals, stirring between each. It may seem pointless during the first two 15 second sessions but by stirring, it will move the chips around so everything is heating more evenly. This is especially important if you do not have a turntable in your microwave.
- Always use a glass microwave-safe bowl. Glass helps to insulate the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn.
- Melting chocolate chips is ideal because small pieces heat better than a large chocolate bars. If you are using a bar make sure to chop it into small uniform pieces.
- Always use fresh ingredients. Any time I’ve had issues melting chocolate it is because I did not use a new bag of chocolate chips.
- Remember that chocolate candy melts at different rates depending on the sugar and fat content.
Melting Milk Chocolate in Microwave
To properly experiment with the three types of chocolate I am using the same microwave-safe glass bowl. I also microwave the chocolate in 15 second increments, remove from the microwave to give a quick stir with my spatula and then return to microwave for another 15 seconds. I microwaved everything at high power.
Here are my results:
After the first 15 seconds there was basically no change to the chocolate. I did give a stir and returned to microwave.
After the second 15 seconds the chocolate was beginning to melt slightly. You can see a little melted chocolate on the bowl in the picture.
After the third 15 seconds the chocolate is melting well without any issues. Another quick stir and back to the microwave.
After another 15 seconds in the microwave the milk chocolate has completely melted. It needed a good stir around the sides and the bottom of the bowl to give the chocolate a smooth consistency with the shiny finish. After that it is ready to add to the top of a dessert! I use this method to add a beautiful chocolate layer to my Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats.
Melting Semi-Sweet Chocolate in the microwave
Of course the same rules apply to melting semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips in the microwave. While doing a little research I found that dark chocolate should melt quicker because of the higher amount of cocoa solids that it contains. However, after trying this with multiple attempts I still found that the milk chocolate melted faster. Of course we are really just talking seconds so it's still an easy method for melting chocolate.
Here are my results:
I did not see the semi-sweet chocolate begin to melt until the third 15 second interval. I still stirred between each and now you can see the chocolate slightly melting in the bottom of the bowl.
Here is the results after the forth interval. The chocolate chips are still intact but are beginning to soften more.
After another 15 minutes in the microwave the chocolate is melting much more. Stirring helps to keep the chocolate from burning so a quick stir and back into the microwave.
After the sixth interval the chocolate is becoming smooth and shinny. Just needs a little bit longer to get the perfect consistency.
The chocolate is finally melted to a perfect consistency to top a dessert!
It definitely took more patience but my semi-sweet chocolate chips did melt perfectly after about 1 minute, 45 seconds. I love to melt dark chocolate for my chocolate dipped pecans. They are the perfect little treat around the holidays.
Melting White Chocolate in the Microwave
I would say over the years with all of my baking adventures, white chocolate has been the most challenging for melting. Probably because white chocolate isn’t really chocolate but a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and vanilla. White chocolate doesn’t react the same to heat as milk or dark chocolate, however white chocolate melts in the microwave with the same steps we have followed.
Most importantly start with a fresh bag of white chocolate chips and be patient. As I experimented with this in the microwave I did the same 15 second intervals, stirring in between each.
Here are my results:
After the first two 15 second sessions I saw no change.
After the third 15 second interval the white chocolate finally began to melt as you can see on the sides of the bowl.
After the forth interval the chocolate chips are melted but the mixture is not smooth enough.
After the fifth interval the chocolate is smooth an ready for dipping, dunking or drizzling!
I use melted white chocolate for several desserts. White Chocolate Cranberry Bark and White Chocolate Covered Pretzels are a couple of my favorites!
I do prefer the microwave method for melting chocolate. It is not only the easiest way but the quickest way and usually less can go wrong. Just remember to use the right kitchen tools and tips for the best results. This method will make decorating all of those desserts so much easier!
If you try this tutorial on How To Melt Chocolate Chips in the Microwave, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bluesbestlife on Instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.