Making a smooth ganache to frost a cake or a super difficult textured bonbon or even a shiny tempered bar of simple dark chocolate? The key is always to melt couverture chocolate to the right temperature and never over heat it. Read on to know how to melt couverture the right way.
You will need a few simple equipments, ingredients and some tips to melt couverture. The equipments may vary based on the method of melting you choose. Various methods of melting are attached below,
Some tiny tips:
Ensure the bowl and spatula are wiped super clean, should not have a single drop of water (water and couverture are enemies)
Chop couverture into small bits
Turn/move couverture in the bowl as often as possible during the melting process
Methods of Melting
A. Melting on a double boiler: steam is used to warm the bowl which in turn melts couverture
Equipments: Mixing bowl (steel preferable), silicon spatula/spoon, thermometer, saucepan with water filled to 1cm height, stove and couverture
Method: Take saucepan with water, place it on stove on high heat. Once water starts to boil switch to low heat. Now add chopped couverture into mixing bowl (mixing bowl diameter must be more than saucepan diameter) and place it on the saucepan. Ensure water does not touch the mixing bowl at any given point (only the steam from the water must). With a spatula continuously turn the couverture while it will slowly melts. Once it has completely melted check the temperature using thermometer and continue based on the temperature you want to achieve. When complete, remove mixing bowl and wipe the bottom of it using a cloth thoroughly. Now use couverture based on your recipe
B. Melting using a microwave: the microwave creates an imbalance in the couverture molecules in turn warming it quickly (super science stuff)
Equipments: Mixing bowl (microwave safe), silicon spatula/spoon, thermometer, microwave and couverture
Method: Place chopped couverture in a mixing bowl. Based on your microwave settings, keep the mixing bowl in it for 30 seconds. Remove and turn couverture. repeat process until the mixture has completely melted. Time will be based on the amount of couverture you want to melt. Once melted use as per recipe
C. Melting using a heatgun/hairdryer: direct heat is given to couverture
Equipments: Mixing bowl (steel/glass preferable), silicon spatula/spoon, thermometer, heatgun/hairdryer and couverture
Method: Place chopped couverture in a mixing bowl. Keep heatgun/hairdryer 1 feet away (perpendicularly) from the bowl. Now switch it on. Continuously turn couverture in the bowl until it completely melts. Time will be based on the amount of couverture you want to melt. Once melted use as per recipe.
My most preferred method is a combination of double boiler and heat gun. What do I do? I initially melt couverture until it becomes slightly flowy (yet still has some lumps) on the double boiler. Then place it on a cloth/napkin. Now I use heatgun to increase temperature based on what the recipe calls for. Remember I ensure the chocolate is in continuos movement till the desired temperature has reached.