Carob is an alternative to chocolate, often used in diets free of allergens. Much like chocolate, carob is made from the pods of the carob tree and is available in powdered, chip and block form. Carob chips and carob blocks are made from the processed powder by combining the powder with palm oil, or another type of oil, and formed. Carob is easily melted, but care must be taken during the process as carob is more delicate than chocolate.
Place two tbsp of butter or oil into a heatproof bowl, and melt the butter in the microwave.
Mix three tbsp of carob into the hot liquid, and stir with a wooden spoon until creamy. To make more melted carob powder, keep the ratio of two parts oil to three parts carob powder.
Add more melted butter or hot oil, a single teaspoon at a time, if the carob becomes too thick. If you add too much butter, simply add a bit more carob until the mixture is the consistency desired.
Fill a saucepan 1/4 full of water and bring to a boil.
Place the desired amount of carob chips in a heatproof bowl. If using a carob block, break the block into small pieces using a mallet or hammer.
Place the bowl over the water in the saucepan, much like a double boiler.
Stir constantly until the carob is melted and no lumps remain.
Substitute carob for cocoa or chocolate on a 1 to 1 basis. If a recipe calls for one cup melted chocolate chips, use one cup melted carob chips instead. Carob contains a small amount of unsaturated fat, which can make it healthier to eat than chocolate. Carob can be found in the baking aisle of most natural food stores and some regular grocery stores. It can also be purchased online at some retail outlets. You can also use carob powder in recipes such as brownies, by substituting 1/4 of the flour in the recipe with carob and baking as usual. Carob chips can also be melted in the microwave. Use no more than 50 per cent power and stir every 30 seconds until melted. Carob can scorch easily using this method.