MMM…The 3 Ms of Chocolate
Chocolate is an intrinsic part of a professional baker’s world. Most bakers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing chocolates. Beginner or expert, one needs to study it well to ensure they get the best results out of it. Choosing the right chocolate for baking is the first step to acing the art of baking.
We have put together the 3Ms of Chocolate! These should help you build a long-term fan base for the chocolates you bake, make or cake! Well, here’s our take!
How to Melt Chocolate:
There are a handful of techniques to melt the chocolate and each method has its benefit. Too much heat can burn the chocolate while too less may ruin the texture. There are 3 ways to melt a chocolate:
- Microwave Melting – Put chocolate slabs in a microwaveable container and heat for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate with a spatula and heat again for less than 30 seconds. Continue doing so till the chocolate gets smoother. You should achieve the perfect consistency in 3 rounds.
Challenges: Different microwave settings could lead to confusion. When using a different microwave for a house party or a restaurant order, this choice may not be suitable for you.
The 3 rounds need to be done exactly the same way. Else, it can lead to burning of chocolates.
- Double Boiler Melting – Fill a saucepan with one inch of water and heat until boiled. Put the slabs of chocolates in a glass bowl and place them in the centre of the saucepan. The steam from the saucepan will begin to melt the chocolate. Keep stirring occasionally to achieve the desired consistency.
Challenges: This is a personal favourite of most professional bakers as it has low chances of creating results different from what are desired. Just be careful with the hot utensils.
- Stovetop Melting – Add sliced chocolate to a saucepan and heat on low to medium heat. Keep stirring continuously till you achieve the desired consistency. Closely supervise this process since the chances of burning the chocolate is higher.
Challenges: Even a second of extra heating in a saucepan can lead to wastage of chocolate. Use this method only after you have enough confidence and practise with it.
How to Mould Chocolates:
Come Valentine, Chocolates can send the right message if shaped correctly. Melted chocolate can be easily moulded into a desired shape using customs moulds that are easily available in market.
- Moulds come in all sorts of shapes ranging from hearts to flowers. Using transparent moulds can help you supervise the process.
- Add confectionary coating to your chocolates using small, food-safe paintbrushes.
- Once the coating dries, add the melted chocolate and gently tap the mould to remove any air gap.
- Refrigerate the mould for 15-30 minutes. Ensure the chocolate is dried before removing it from the mould.
How to Manage Chocolate Storage:
The best way to enjoy the glossy, snappy, and melty chocolate is by eating them fresh off the mould. Sometimes you may want to store some chocolates for your loved ones or to simply show off your skills. Storing is an important step to preserve the Chocolate’s taste. Here’s how you can do it:
- Chocolates should be stored at a consistent temperature. Ideally, pick a cool, dark, and dry place in your pantry to store the chocolates. Limiting direct light and air exposure protects the flavour of the chocolates and stops them from heating up.
- The best temperature for storing chocolates is at 18-200 Celsius and humidity less than 55%. This allows the emulsion of cocoa content to remain stable for longer periods.
- Wrap the chocolates in foil and store in an air-tight container to prevent them from oxidising. Another alternative for this method is to store them in freezer bags or zip lock bags to protect them from moisture, light, and absorption of odours.
- It is best to avoid storing chocolates in a refrigerator as they can easily absorb the odour from nearby food. It may further affect the texture of the chocolate and leave it discoloured.
Now that you have mastered the 3 Ms of Chocolate, do read our blog on how to choose the right chocolate for baking here.