Melted chocolate forms the foundation of many baking recipes, including fudge sauce, frosting and marble cakes and cookies. Unfortunately, it is easy to make a mistake when melting chocolate, leaving you with a thick, dry and bitter product. Do not attempt to bake with burnt chocolate. Its flavour will ruin whatever you are making. Start again, and pay close attention to the condition of the chocolate at all times.
Chop your chocolate into small, evenly-sized chunks with your knife. Place the chunks in the double boiler insert, which is the top part of your double boiler.
Fill the double boiler's pan with water. Leave enough empty space at the top, so that the water does not overflow when the double boiler insert is added on top of the pan. Place the double boiler insert on top of the pan.
Place your double boiler on the stove. Set the stove to a low heat.
Stir the chocolate slowly and continuously with your wooden spoon. This stops the chocolate from burning and is the only way to tell if the chocolate is melting.
Remove the double boiler from the stove when the chocolate is completely melted. The chocolate is melted when it has formed an even, smooth mixture. Remove the double boiler insert from the pan.
Use oven gloves to protect yourself from burns when handling hot pans and bowls. If you do not have a double boiler, use a large, heat-safe bowl with a pan that has a smaller circumference than the bowl. Melt large amounts of chocolate in the microwave using 15 to 20 second increments, while stirring in between, if you do not have a double boiler. Adding small amounts of liquids, such as milk or cream, makes it easier to melt chocolate without burning it. Add syrup to the chocolate mixture to make it shinier.
Adding cold liquids to melted chocolate will cause it to seize, forming a grainy paste.