You can use several methods to melt white chocolate:
- Direct heat
- Double boiler
- Microwave oven
All three methods will transform your chocolate from a solid to a liquid state, but the easiest and most reliable way is to use a double boiler. Fill a saucepan with 1/2 to 1 inch of water and heat it to simmering. Chop the chocolate and collect the pieces in a ceramic or stainless steel mixing bowl. Rest the bowl directly on top of the pan and stir until the chocolate is melted.
Use a candy thermometer to ensure that the temperature does not rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point the chocolate will scorch.
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Other Melting Methods
You can use direct heat to melt white chocolate as long as you keep the heat low and pay close attention to the temperature of the chocolate. Most chefs avoid this method, because the chocolate can go from solid to scorched faster than you can stop the cooking process. If you decide to use direct heat, remove the chocolate from the heat at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and stir, allowing residual heat to finish the melting process.
The microwave method is more foolproof than direct heat but takes more attention. To melt white chocolate in the microwave, heat it at 50 percent power for 15 to 30 seconds depending on the amount of chocolate you need to melt. Stir, then return it to the microwave oven at 50 percent power for another 15 seconds. Repeat this process until the chocolate is melted.
Whatever method you choose, you have several options to make melting white chocolate easier:
- Chop bars or bricks of white chocolate into smaller, relatively uniform pieces before melting them. This will speed the process and help the chocolate melt more evenly.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat while a few small lumps remain that have not melted. Stir these into the liquid chocolate and let the residual heat finish the melting process.
- Use pure white chocolate, not white chocolate chips, for melting. Chips are formulated to hold their shape during the heat of baking.
Uses for Melted White Chocolate
White chocolate forms the basis of a variety of pastries and desserts, but you can also use it to dress up everyday treats. Dip strawberries, bananas, and other fruits in white chocolate. Spoon white chocolate into a pastry bag and drizzle it over cookies, graham crackers or biscotti.
Don't have a pastry bag? Use a spoon to drizzle white chocolate over your favorite dessert.
Make white chocolate bark by spreading melted chocolate over a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle dried fruits and nuts over the chocolate and allow it to harden. Break the bark into pieces and serve.