Tag Archives: Howto

Melting Chocolate

10 Jun

Melting Chocolate:

Without  Fancy-Schmancy Stuff

Melting chocolate is one of those baking tasks that really isn’t that difficult. However, there are a few things that can go wrong, and also, we chaos kitchen girls have a few tricks that might make the job way easier for you.

Most importantly, you don’t need a double boiler. Honestly. No matter what any fancy-schmancy cookbook tells you, we promise you can do just fine without one. At least, for melting chocolate. We have heard rumors of things called, “vegetables” that need to be cooked in a double boiler, but we doubt these strange, “veggies” really exist.

We’ve certainly never seen one in OUR kitchen.

Anyways, what you need is a microwave and a microwave safe bowl.

And chocolate. (Duh)

How to Melt Chocolate:

1. Cut the chocolate into smaller pieces, using a large, sharp knife. Keep all the pieces about the same size. Keeping it all about the size of dice ensures a more even melting. Also, if you cut the chocolate too fine, its easy to lose some of it. Which would be very sad.

2. Put chocolate in microwave safe bowl, and then microwave it for one minute at medium heat. Pull bowl out, and stir. Even if the chocolate doesn’t look melted, try to stir it around. Sometimes the  bottom melts before the top.

3.  This time put the bowl back in for only thirty seconds, remove, and stir again. Remember, you don’t want your chocolate to boil, so always check to make sure it’s not getting too hot.

4. Repeat step three as necessary, until you have smooth, melted chocolate. Tada! No double boiler needed.

Final bits of advice.

-Keep water away from melting chocolate. Dry everything, spoon, bowl, your hands, before it touches chocolate. Water causes chocolate to “seize” which is fancy baker-people speak for…ugly non-melty chocolate.

-If you’re using those “chocolate” melting discs, first of all, you should know they are more waxy materials than chocolate, and secondly, the instructions are slightly different. Follow the directions on their packaging.

-If your microwave usually cooks very hot, reduce all time given in this advice by half.

-No matter how yummy it looks, don’t try and eat melted unsweetened chocolate. We both have. We then both drank a lot of  our favorite beverages. (C’s=coffee. K’s=milk. Why? What beverage were you thinking we keep on hand in the kitchen?)

-To chop chocolate, firm downwards pressure with a sharp knife works really well. Don’t saw back and forth.  That increases bits of chocolate dust, which makes a mess and makes it harder to microwave.

WRONG

RIGHT

Some of our Recipes that Use Melted Chocolate:

Marbled Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Cocoa Bombs

Browned Butter

15 May

Beurre Noisette

OR

HOW C. LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE BROWNED BUTTER

Sometimes, C feels a little bit pretentious. Just a bit. Just enough to make beurre noisette (please read that out-loud, with the most ridiculous accent possible.)

In normal people speak, that’s brown butter.

In even more normal people speak, that’s butter which has been melted long and slow enough for the milkfats to solidify and cook.

In stupid people speak, (aka C without any coffee in her bloodstream) it’s delicious-smelling, liquid butter.

This process was a little bit of an ordeal. It wasn’t difficult, really. It was just hard to follow internet directions, with such “helpful” bits of advice like, “if it’s too dark, its blackened butter, and you should not use it.” Or “cook until it smells wonderful.” All melting butter smells lovely. Seriously. If C could use it as perfume, she probably would.  This lead to C having many mild freakouts of “OH NO! IT’S BLACK BUTTER! IT’S RUINED” (that occurred about one minute into cooking this, which ended up taking about 20 minutes.)

She also thought about giving up many times. After all, how different could browned butter be from her other buttery loves?

But, the results were worth all the stress, and C is now in an open relationship with butter, clarified butter AND brown butter. She’s never been happier.

Anyways, we hope that this step by step guide will help you to love browned butter, and lead you to many delicious enterprises. (We recommend THESE)

Cube butter into one inch pieces.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Once it’s hot, turn heat down to low, and put butter into the skillet.

Melt the butter, while stirring with a whisk or fork, as you would for pouring on popcorn, or if you’re C, drinking out of a mug

The white milkfats will float to the top, but DO NOT WORRY and keep stirring.

At some point in time, the butter will turn clear. Seriously, things will be fine, even though you can’t see any hint of that yellow color. DO NOT WORRY. Keep stirring.

Now, the butter will really start smelling good. If we could bottle the scent and send it to you, trust us, we would. It does smell faintly like nuts, but it mainly just smells good.

At this point in time, those milk fats, which before had been white before, are now turning brown and falling towards the bottom. It looks very ugly. Again, DO NOT WORRY. Keep stirring. This is a sign its getting close to the end. The butter should also be shifting in color, from the clearish yellow its’ been to a darker, amber hue.

As soon as C saw her first brown speck, C actually poured the butter out of the pan. But the melted butter was much more than the recipe called for, so she realized it had to go out of the bowl, back into the frying pan. (get it? It’s like a pun on out of the frying pan, into the fire. You can laugh. It’s okay. We know we’re funny….Please. Laugh. Or C will keep making puns.)

So, back into the frying pan the butter goes, until it gets a bit darker, almost caramel colored. Its better, your first few times, to make it on the safe side of not quite brown. You’ll get more comfortable with knowing when it’s truly browned, the more you make it. And trust us. Once you’ve made it, you’ll want it again. DO NOT WORRY.

Tada. You’ve made beurre noisette. Put on a beret, and open some champagne.

As for those little brown bits, opinions are divided on if you should put them into the recipe or not. We always do, but if you want a less nutty taste, you can strain them out.