Kate Shaffer, co-owner of Maine-based Black Dinah Chocolatiers and author of Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, clues us in on the No. 1 mistake in baking with chocolate and how to avoid it. The most common complaint I hear from students in my classes is that while melting chocolate for a baking recipe, they suddenly find the chocolate dried up into a messy, unusable ball in the bowl. This very common, easy-to-make mistake, is called seizing—and contact with water is the problem. Even a particle of steam will seize your beautiful chocolate. Here’s how to avoid it:
−Make sure the utensils and bowls you are using to melt your chocolate are completely dry.
−Melt your chocolate over hot (not boiling) water, with the burner off.
–Use a rimmed bowl. The rim will prevent drops of water from entering your melted chocolate
−When removing your bowl of melted chocolate from above the pan of hot water, use dry towel to wipe the bottom of your bowl.
YOUR TURN Do you have tips to share on what to do (or what not to do!) when baking with chocolate? Comment below!