When I started experimenting on chocolates years ago, I messed it up so many times. The process of melting chocolates is so simple, but because it’s so simple then it’s also so easy to mess it up!
But you know, I’m not the type to give up easily. And my love for chocolates is always greater than my kitchen blunder, so I tried and tried until I finally got it right.
One of the things I used when melting chocolates was cocoa butter. It gives chocolates that melt-in-your-mouth feeling that we all love. And because cocoa butter gets runny and thin when melted, it’s perfect for when you need melted chocolate for dipping or coating.
But the thing with cocoa butter is that it’s expensive and is relatively hard to find. So I looked around and found that coconut oil gives the same effect. And because it’s less expensive and is easier to find, then it’s a perfect substitute for cocoa butter.
I tried and tried until I was able to melt the chocolates without the nasty lumps. By the time I perfected melting chocolates, I used it on basically anything yummy – strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, potato chips, and the list goes on and on. It’s also a nice finishing touch on the Caramel Apple recipe I have posted here.
So, I’m sharing with you how to melt chocolate chips with coconut oil minus the bloopers.
Tips in Melting Chocolate Chips
One of the things you need to look out for when melting chocolates is the heat.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. So here are some tips for you to take note of.
- The size of chocolate chips are ideal for melting. But if you’re using chocolate bars, make sure you chop them into small pieces of the same size to avoid burning the smaller pieces.
- Make sure the top pot or bowl of the double boiler is dry. Even a little bit of moisture ruins everything, so never overlook this step.
- Melt the chocolates over low, indirect heat. Attempting to speed up the process by turning the heat higher will lead to disaster.
Chocolates are delicate and so easy to overheat. It’s tricky to identify overheated chocolate that has turned into lumps because they almost look like unmelted chocolates.
Overheated chocolates look chunky and if you try to melt it some more, it will be thicker and drier. It is for this reason that I always prefer to use chocolate chips because it will be easier for me to spot if it’s just unmelted chips or if I’ve already overheated them.
How to Melt Chocolate Chips with Coconut Oil
What you basically need is only 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for 1 cup of chocolate chips. If you need more melted chocolate, then just work around that ratio.
There are two ways you can melt your chocolate chips, the choice is up to you.
1. The Double Boiler Method
You can either use a proper double boiler or an improvised one. The important thing for this method is that you melt your chocolate chips over low, indirect heat.
I mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but in case you missed it, I’ll say it again. Before you start melting your chocolates, here are two critical things you need to note.
- The top pot should be completely dry
- Make sure that the water in the bottom pot does not touch the bottom of the top pot
If you are using an improvised double boiler, see to it that the glass or metal bowl fits the bottom pan snugly.
Melting chocolates using this method gives the best result. However, it takes a little longer than the microwave oven method. Since I love working in the kitchen, I prefer melting my chocolates in the double boiler.
2. The Microwave Oven Method
This is the fastest way to melt chocolates, but it can also be tricky. You shouldn’t judge the melted chocolates by sight if you’re melting them in the microwave.
Chocolates tend to hold its shape even when melted, so the trick here is to stir in between 20-30 second intervals.
With that said, all you need to do is place a bowl of chocolate chips in the bowl and pop it in the microwave oven. Set it to 20 seconds at high temperature or 30 seconds at medium temperature.
Give the chocolates a quick stir and pop it back for another 20-30 seconds, then stir again. Repeat this process, using smaller intervals at around 8-10 seconds until your chocolates are completely melted.
Be careful in handling the bowl as it will get really hot.
Do not forget to stir and see along the way how much your chocolate has melted. This step will also help you ensure your chocolates are not overheated.
How to Test if the Chocolate is Properly Melted
I usually check the consistency of my melted chocolates to see if I got it right. To do this, I get something to dip in the chocolate, like a fruit or a small pretzel.
If the chocolate is too thick for my liking, I add another teaspoon of coconut oil and stir it until it melts and combines with the chocolate completely.
If the chocolate is too thin, I add in a few more chips to thicken the mixture just enough.
In most cases you don’t need to put it back in the double boiler or microwave, but you can quickly do so if necessary. Just make sure you don’t overheat the chocolate in the process of correcting the consistency.
1. The most ideal substitute for cocoa butter is refined coconut oil because it is tasteless.
- If you use unrefined coconut oil, it has a mild flavor of coconut, so it’s usually suitable for when you want that coconut flavor in your chocolates.
- The same applies for virgin coconut oil.
2. If you melt the chocolates with twice the amount of coconut oil, you get yourself the perfect chocolate shell for ice cream. Whether you pour it over ice cream or you dip the ice cream in it, the chocolate will harden upon contact due to the temperature of the ice cream.