Will Bontrager
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Amish Cooking: Stories, Techniques, and Recipes

The Microwave Method to Melt Chocolate for Dipping

Faster Procedure and Less Cleanup

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There are several ways to melt chocolate.

In the chocolate candy book, I'll describe how the Amish do it.

For recipe inventing and testing, I generally use equipment that the traditional Amish lifestyle has no access to — the microwave. It is a faster procedure and less cleanup afterward.

There's the double-boiler way, which is one method the Amish use and you can, too. It wouldn't be exactly the Amish way unless you use a flat-top wood-burning kitchen stove. But for modern kitchens, a gas or electric stove would be close enough.

Instead of a double-boiler, I use a method that traditional Amish practice is unable to do, the microwave. It is a faster procedure and less cleanup afterward.

Getting Experience With Chocolate

Try it yourself. It's wonderful for getting experience with chocolate. If you become impatient and burn the chocolate, it's an experience you can carry with you when you decide to try another method.

Use the microwave to practice making chocolate clusters and chocolate-covered candy.

Using the microwave to practice making chocolate clusters and chocolate-covered candy.

Chocolate melting in bowl

Let's get started.

The Procedure

Put a cup of chocolate chips or chocolate pieces into a microwavable bowl. The bowl should be large enough to hold and stir the chocolate and dip the candy centers when the chocolate is melted.

Microwave once for 20 seconds.

Stir to move the chocolate around.

Microwave once for 15 seconds and stir.

From this point on, microwave and stir in 10-second increments. The stirring moves the chocolate around to spread the heat and discourage hot spots.

It's easy to consider microwaving for longer periods. But don't. The quality of the chocolate is likely to suffer. Chocolate can burn so it won't coat nicely nor dry as it otherwise would.

After seven or more 10-second microwave-and-stir increments, the chocolate should be melted enough to dip.

How Far to Melt It

I like it just soft enough to dip. The chocolate coating is heavy, then, like my mom used to make. A more liquid chocolate would result in a thinner coating.

Chocolate Cooling?

If the dipping takes enough time that the chocolate begins to cool and becomes too thick for dipping, microwave and stir another 10‑second increment, perhaps several times.

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