Um, no, not together.

Ever since I put the tip on here about washing out bottles with rice, I keep using it and it works SO well!  Tonight, I washed out a peanut butter jar.  (I know what you’re thinking…WHY does she keep old plastic jars???  Well, they are the perfect size for mini chocolate chips, salt for baking, baking powder, baking soda, flax, chia seeds…all of these are much better seen in a clear jar than in their bulky boxes and bags and the items I keep in the pantry I prefer in plastic because…well, because I have been known to. drop. things.)

Anyway…I usually wash them with my bottle brush but I thought, why not? and dumped some dry rice and liquid soap in, swirled with some water, shook it around and voila!  Squeaky clean, very easy.

Help me..I’m Melllllllllting!
There are good ways to melt chocolate and then there is, in my humble opinion, the BEST way.

A good, traditional way to melt chocolate is in a double boiler.  (This is a pot nestled in another pot of boiling water).  The chocolate is kept away from the direct heat and it shouldn’t burn.

Another good way, in terms of time spent and cleanup, is melting chocolate on a low power level in the microwave but there is still too much stirring and babysitting and possibilities of burning.

BEST, for me, is the way I’ve been melting chocolate for 20 years…remember to start this process before you start making your recipe that needs chocolate.

I have a cereal bowl with a lip that fits perfectly onto a larger bowl that doesn’t have a lip.   

Chips in the cereal bowl on the left, boiling water in the deeper bowl on the right.

Boil water in an electric kettle and pour it in the deeper bowl.  Put your chocolate chips into the smaller bowl and place that bowl on top.  It is VERY important that the chocolate bowl either has a lip or it’s just large enough that it fits snug in the larger bowl.  You do NOT want the steam or the water getting into your chocolate.  It seizes up which is exactly what it sounds like: it stiffens and is ruined.  Place whatever amount of chocolate in the top bowl and cover with a little plate that will fit snugly over it.  If you are supposed to melt butter along with the recipe, add it in, the more the merrier. (See chocolate glaze recipe on the right for eclairs, cakes and doughnuts)

OK, so you have your chocolate bowl on your boiled water bowl and a plate lid on top.   Now what?  Leave it.  Yep, leave it, don’t lift that plate.  Make up the rest of the recipe and when you are ready for the chocolate, remove the plate, give it a stir and ta-dah!  Melted chocolate that you didn’t have to watch, stir or worry about.

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These are the chips after 10 minutes of being left alone. The chocolate is completely melted but in its original shape.

 

 

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Perfectly melted chocolate!

If you have any shortcuts or kitchen tips you want to share in the comments, I’d love it.  I really love reading tips & tricks.  Um, I also like reading instruction manuals and cookbooks so that tells you something about me…

 

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