Clumpy Chocolate? Here's What You Did Wrong

It is only when you charge through the depths and depravities of adulthood that you realize the comprehensive complexities of childhood baking. It was once the case that the only difficulty came from feeling overwhelmingly nauseous after determinedly licking a wooden spoon layered with chocolate for three hours straight, but the responsibilities come in thick and fast when you find yourself in charge of home baking experiments.

Not only does the disappointment of being an adult mean you can no longer chomp through hundreds of chocolate bars all by yourself, but you also have to make sure that all of the ingredients, kitchen tools, and recipes are ready for instant action – as well as prevent any wild frenzies from impatient children (or other adults, for that matter).

Perfecting the execution of the recipe is arguably the most challenging part of the baking process. According to Food & Wine, one of the most common baking problems is ending up with clumpy chocolate. But how can you stop this from happening?

Clumpy chocolate can be caused by exposure to water

The Spruce Eats explains that melted chocolate can become lumpy and congealed when it is exposed to moisture. It notes that the issue arises when the dry particles of chocolate (which are cocoa and sugar) are exposed to water. All it takes is a tiny amount of moisture to cause the sugar and water to combine into a syrupy mixture. This results in the dry particles sticking together, producing an uneven complexion.

Resolving the issue is relatively simple, as Food & Wine reports. It is initially crucial to ensure that the bowl you are melting the chocolate in is thoroughly dried before use, as any water at all can cause clumpiness. However, even if you get tripped up on that step in prevention, disaster can still be averted. As soon as you notice the chocolate beginning to stick together and become lumpy, you should add a small amount of vegetable oil to allow the chocolate to smooth out.

Further advice provided by The Spruce Eats is to avoid using wooden utensils because these can trap moisture which could then affect the chocolate. It also urges caution when melting chocolate over boiling water, suggesting it be carefully monitored to ensure no water accidentally splashes into the chocolate.