The Ingredient You Should Be Using Instead Of Water When Melting Chocolate

There are all sorts of ways to use chocolate when you're baking. Chocolate chips and chocolate chunks are both great options for cookies, and you can also chop up your chocolate with the proper technique.

But some recipes call for melted chocolate instead of pieces of chocolate, and sometimes, people end up with clumpy chocolate. This problem may be caused by adding water to melted chocolate, but there's an easy fix for that.

Food & Wine rounded up some tips on how to handle chocolate from chefs, and chef Gabriel Kreuther has important information to share when you melt chocolate over a water bath. Kreuther says that you should add butter, not water, to the chocolate so "it will become luscious and smooth."

In baking, butter plays a big role in creating the right texture. For example, when you use melted butter to bake cookies, your cookies will be denser. Melting butter in the microwave is easy, and while you can temper chocolate in the microwave, the better option could be using a water bath to make melted chocolate.

How to melt chocolate with a water bath

Wondering why you should set up a water bath instead of just using the microwave? While a microwave might save time and mean fewer dishes to wash, there is a benefit to melting chocolate with a water bath, also known as a double boiler. According to Delish, melting chocolate on the stove gives you more control, and it's less likely the chocolate will burn.

To melt chocolate using this method, Delish says all you need to do is fill a pot with an inch of water, and place a bowl atop the pot. Just make sure that the bowl is heatproof! Put your chocolate into the bowl, and stir as it is melting. Keep the water at a simmer, not a rolling boil. And if the chocolate isn't smooth, remember that you should be adding butter — not water.

Melting chocolate isn't the only thing you can do with a water bath. Using a water bath is also a technique to prevent a flourless cake from burning while it's in the oven.