Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.
~ Baron Justus von Liebig
~ Baron Justus von Liebig
Chocolate-covered strawberries... or marshmallows... or pretzels... or bananas... or green apples... or biscotti; simply divine. You can make so many treats just by dipping fruits, candies, and nuts in dissolved chocolate. Of course, eating a bar of chocolate on its own is magical, but there are many more treats and snacks which can be made after melting it into a dipping sauce. The actual preparation time isn't that long and you can be in and out of your kitchen in no time. All you have to do is keep certain steps in mind and try to follow them as accurately as possible.
Before you learn how the entire process is carried out, you need to melt the chocolate first. This is where a lot of people make errors. Placing grated or cubes of chocolate in a non-stick pan and melting it is in fact is a mistake because you can keep the heat on various settings and that can burn the chocolate, if not paid attention. Instead use the double boiler method. To find more about the correct method and learn how to thin it further, keep reading the article.
Thinning Melted Chocolate for Dipping
- First, we need to melt the chocolate. For that, we need to prepare a double boiler. To do so, you need a pot filled with water. Turn the heat on and place it over the stove to let the water boil. You don't want the water to boil; just hot.
- Meanwhile, add 6 ounces of chocolate morsels in a glass bowl. Place the glass bowl on top of the pot which has the hot water. Make sure the water is not touching the glass bowl on top. As the chocolate is melting, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, and 1 ½ teaspoons water in as well.
- With a wooden spoon, keep stirring the mixture till the chocolate morsels have melted properly. We want the mixture to be smooth in consistency. Once we have the chocolate mix, turn the stove off but do let the glass bowl stay on a bit longer on the hot water pot.
- Now before we can start dipping various treats in the liquified chocolate, we need to check if the consistency is thin or not. With the wooden spoon, stir the chocolate mix again and check its consistency with your fingers. If it is thin enough, we can move ahead. If not, then you need to add a teaspoon of shortening and water to it. Stir the thin chocolate mix one more time and voila, we are finished.
To prepare some delicious, chocolaty treats, take a baking sheet and place parchment paper over it. Start dipping pretzels, strawberries, candies, and even pieces of (or whole) bananas in the melted mix. Place them on the parchment paper and let the chocolate harden. And that my friends, is how a chocolate bar can be melted the right way. Remember, to melt chocolate, DO NOT use microwave or place it in a pan over direct heat. It will only burn and/or alter the sweet and delicious taste of the chocolate.
If there is any leftover mix, you can store it in the refrigerator for a day or two. Don't empty it in another container. Keep it in the glass bowl and cover the bowl with Saran wrap. To reuse it (although, if you can use the whole batch it would be excellent), just place the glass bowl in the refrigerator. Once the treats are made, serve them to family and friends; it wouldn't be a bad idea to treat yourself to few of them too.