Some of the best dessert recipes call for chocolate. Think chocolate covered strawberries, decadent chocolate cake drizzled with chocolate ganache or delicious cake pops for your next party. The problem is that when it comes to melting chocolate, and especially white chocolate, for baking, it’s too easy for you to burn your chocolate. Rather than getting smooth, melted chocolate perfect for dipping, you end up with a muddy, lumpy, grainy mess.
When chocolate becomes grainy and lumpy, it is seized. Seized chocolate means you overcooked your chocolate and it burned, or it could also mean you let moisture get into it while it was melting. Either way, the result is a lumpy mess that won’t work for dips or desserts. The good news is that while it’s true that working with white chocolate can be a little tricky, there are actually steps you can take to preserve it if it burns. Here’s how to store your white chocolate if it burns or seizes while you’re melting it.
Read more: 25 Baking Tips Every Home Cook Should Know
White chocolate versus milk chocolate
Before we talk about how to store white chocolate if you burn it, let’s take a second to explain the differences between white chocolate and milk chocolate. Although you might call them both chocolate, they are actually quite different, which means melting them is also different.
Milk chocolate is made from milk, sugar, cocoa powder and cocoa butter. On the other hand, white chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter and milk and contains no cocoa solids. Since milk chocolate does not contain cocoa, it has a lower melting point. This lower melting point means it’s easier for you to overheat white chocolate, making it much harder to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency. If you overheat it, your white chocolate will become lumpy and grainy instead of melting into a smooth liquid.
However, one similarity between white chocolate and milk chocolate is that both will seize if they come into contact with water during the melting process. To avoid this, make sure your utensils and hands are dry when working with the chocolate; otherwise, you might end up with a mess rather than a perfectly dipping dessert.
Cool the chocolate
If your white chocolate is seized, the first thing to do is remove it from the heat. Removing the chocolate from the heat allows it to cool, and the sooner you cool it, the sooner you can restore it to its original consistency.
Remember, the sooner you remove the chocolate from the heat, the better. As soon as you notice your white chocolate starting to clump together, remove it from the heat and start trying to reduce its temperature. To further prevent the chocolate from cooking as it cools, transfer it to a cold or room temperature bowl. This will help speed up the cooling process and prevent you from unintentionally letting your chocolate continue to burn. You can also try placing the bowl in front of a fan to help you achieve the same goal and cool your chocolate faster.
At this stage of the process, you can also place the bowl of white hot chocolate in an ice bath. Remember to be very careful when doing this. If splashes of water get into your melted chocolate, they can seize up again, making it even more difficult to save the confection.
Add more whole pieces
In addition to simply removing the white chocolate from the heat, you will also want to add a few more squares of white chocolate to the mixture. Besides removing it from the heat, adding extra pieces will help cool the temperature. Try adding equal squares or pieces of white chocolate to try to get an even melt. Stir the mixture to evenly distribute the heat and to help incorporate the newly introduced melted chocolate into the overcooked mixture.
After adding more pieces of white chocolate, you may find that your mixture still has some lumps. If so, you may be able to remove them from your melted mixture by using a sieve to strain your chocolate. You can use the back of a spoon to gently massage the white chocolate as you pour it through the sieve, helping to break up any lumps and return the chocolate to a liquid state.
If the sieve doesn’t work, you can always try mixing your chocolate. The blender can help break up lumps and lumps in your chocolate and return it to a liquid consistency. Remember that before mixing your white chocolate, the mixture must be cold. You should also have already added the extra pieces of solid white chocolate to the mixture. Additionally, think carefully about the type of blender you will use. An immersion blender or even a frother may result in less loss in yield than pouring your mixture into a countertop blender.
Add a little more oil to your chocolate
If the steps above still don’t return your white chocolate to its proper consistency, you can try adding additional fat to your chocolate. Although it seems counterintuitive, adding a little extra oil to your white chocolate can help re-emulsify the mixture.
You don’t have to use oil either. You can use butter, coconut oil, or another type of fat to restore your white chocolate to its natural appearance. Remember to add the fat little by little and mix the white chocolate well after each addition. This way you don’t go too far.
At the same time, it helps to know that you should only use lukewarm or room temperature fat. If the fats are too hot or too cold, they may not be effective or even make the mixture lumpier than ever. You should also be aware that adding oil to your melted white chocolate can make it difficult to use if you plan to coat fruit, cookies, or candy in it. The emulsified mixture is best used for icing or in other similar recipes.
If all else fails, caramelize your chocolate
If none of the steps above save your white chocolate, you can always caramelize it instead. To caramelize your white chocolate, you will need to heat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and spread the burnt chocolate on a baking sheet. Then simply cook the chocolate in 10 minute intervals and spread it with a spatula between sessions.
Once the chocolate turns a honey color, it is caramelized. You can top it with sea salt if you like, or you can just break it into pieces and eat it plain. Remember, when caramelizing your white chocolate, use real, high-fat white chocolate to ensure you get smooth, golden white chocolate. So whether you manage to save your burnt white chocolate while cooking or end up turning it into caramelized chocolate, know that all hope is not lost! If you ever cook your white chocolate a little too long, there are still a few things you can do to save the situation.