Posts Tagged ‘melting’

So when I named this blog, the first words out of my guy’s mouth were, “I don’t get it.” 

Of course, he has seen me use my double boiler many, many times.  He just never put a name to the face.  And of course, the two or three of you reading this blog are most likely fans of chocolate and probably already know all about the double boiler.

But for any newcomers- and because I love talking about cookware – let me introduce you to my own beloved double boiler.  He was given to me by my guy.  (Yes, the same guy who didn’t know what a double boiler actually was.  But he learned.  What a sweetie…)

 db steel

Ta Da!  This is where the chocolate magic starts.

Oh, and here is my double boiler’s great-grandmother.  She was a wedding gift to my parents, and I first began my chocolate experimentation with her years ago:

db copper

So here’s how a double boiler works.  You simmer 1-2 inches of water in the lower saucepan and place chopped-up chocolate in the upper saucepan.  The steam from the lower pot gently heats the bottom of the upper pot.  This way, the chocolate melts much more gradually than if it were melted directly on top of a burner.

You see, chocolate burns verrrry easily.  I don’t know if you’ve ever put some chocolate in a saucepan, turned on the heat, left the room for a minute to answer the phone, and then come back to discover a bunch of grainy lumps floating in it.  Quite depressing.  And there’s really nothing you can do about burned chocolate, either.  Once it’s bumpy, it’s goin’ in the trash.

With a double boiler, it’s almost impossible to burn your chocolate, which is nice.  But you don’t need to go out and buy one if you don’t want.  You can improvise a double boiler by setting a stainless steel mixing bowl atop a saucepan.  Just make sure the bottom of the mixing bowl does not actually come in contact with the simmering water below. 

And also be careful about keeping any drops of water/condensation out of the chocolate.  (As we all know, oil and water do not mix.  And the cocoa butter in chocolate does not like water, either.)

Another way to make the chocolate melting process more gradual is to remove the upper saucepan from the heat before all the pieces of chocolate are melted.  Just continue stirring (a rubber spatual or scraper works best), and the heat from the liquid chocolate will melt the remaining solids. 

There are few things in this blessed world more beautiful than silky, glossy, hot, dripping melted chocolate.  Mmmm…


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