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I’ve got some answers! (This is the Voice of Experience talking.) Perhaps these pointers may save you some grief. 

1. Can I use semi-sweet morsels as a substitute for cocoa powder and/or unsweetened baking chocolate?

Sure! For each 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, use 1/2 cup morsels. For each ounce (or each square) of unsweetened baking chocolate, use 1/2 cup morsels. In BOTH instances, you must decrease the recipe’s shortening by 1 tablespoon, and reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup.

2. Sometimes chocolate has a grey film on the surface. Is it safe to use in baking, or to eat?

You bet! This white mottling (called “bloom”) is caused by cocoa fat/butter in the chocolate rising to the surface. While this dull color is somewhat unattractive, the taste is totally unaffected. Also, the rich color will reappear when melted, or when used for baking.

3. How do I thin chocolate when melting it? Can I use water, or butter, and if so, how much?

Ummm, no. Butter contains water, and even one drop of moisture (like from a wet spoon or steam from your double boiler) can cause melted chocolate to become lumpy. Always use vegetable shortening for thinning — one tablespoon for every 3 ounces of chocolate.

4. What size package of chocolate morsels should I buy if the recipe calls for 1 cup of melted chocolate?

That’s easy! A 12-ounce package equals 1 cup of melted chocolate.

5. What is the easiest way to melt chocolate?

I prefer using the microwave: Put the chocolate in a clean, DRY glass bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir. Microwave in additional 30 second increments, stirring until smooth and melted. If you have a double boiler, you could use the trusty top-of-the-stove method: Put the chocolate chips or chunks in the top of a clean, DRY double boiler. Put hot (not boiling) water in the bottom, and stack the pans together. Over low heat, stir the chocolate until smooth. (Trust me. Just one drop of water or a bit of steam from the bottom pan really will ruin the texture.)

Be An Angel . . . Share This Month’s Heavenly Selection From Your Favorite Chocolate of The Month Club!

“THOUGHT-FULL”  CENTER PIECES OF: A DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRY ALMOND BAR  OUTER PIECES ARE WHITE STRAWBERRY CREAMS & MILK DOUBLE CHOCOLATE MELT-AWAYS

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Tracie Burket
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