Making heart-pounding, love-inducing chocolate sauce is well within the reach of even the novice cook. Especially with this easy approach.
There’s so much trepidation about melting chocolate that I’ve even seen a recipe for a “foolproof” method that involves using a crockpot to melt it over several hours. Seriously?
Chocolate melts easily, at a relatively low temperature. It melts in your mouth or in your hand even—at body temperature of 98.6ºF. So why are cooks so afraid to melt it?
Sure, if you overheat chocolate, it “seizes,” becoming curdled or gritty in the process.
When you heat chocolate, the cocoa butter crystals melt, and the chocolate becomes fluid. But if the chocolate gets too hot, it separates into burned cocoa particles and pale golden liquid. And there’s no way to bring the separated parts into union again.
You can also seize chocolate by introducing too small an amount of liquid into the melted chocolate. To prevent this, don’t add less than 1 tablespoon of liquid per ounce of chopped chocolate.
There are numerous ways to melt chocolate (the crockpot example!). But here are 3 of the most basic approaches.
- In a bowl (or top of a bain marie) set over, but not touching, a pan of barely simmering water, add chopped chocolate, and stir until melted. Cons: Heating the stove, unnecessary equipment, and the possibility of getting water into the melting chocolate.
- Heat cream or butter (in a saucepan on the stove or in a bowl in the microwave), add chopped chocolate, and stir until melted. Cons: Heating the stove and unnecessary pan.
- In a glass bowl, add chopped chocolate, and microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a dry, wooden chopstick (so as not to introduce any moisture). If needed, microwave further in 10-15 second bursts, stirring between each burst. Cons: When done properly, none.
There are also myriad ways to make a basic chocolate sauce or its thinner cousin, Chocolate Syrup. Here are several of the diverse, interesting approaches I encountered recently–minus basic flavoring, such as vanilla and salt.
- Bittersweet chocolate + cream + milk (Culinate)
- Bittersweet chocolate + cream + sugar + corn syrup (Joy of Baking)
- Bittersweet chocolate + milk + butter + brown sugar (David Lebovitz)
- Bittersweet chocolate + unsweetened cocoa powder + water + sugar + corn syrup (David Lebovitz)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder + stout + sugar (Closet Cooking)
- Unsweetened chocolate + butter + water + sugar + corn syrup (Smitten Kitchen)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder + coconut oil + maple syrup (Cakespy)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder + butter + evaporated milk (Something Swanky)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup (3 ounces) chopped, 70% cacao, bar chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, microwave cream for 1 minute, until almost simmering.
- Add chocolate, and stir to melt.
- Add vanilla and salt, and stir to incorporate.
- Use the sauce warm. Or cool, cover, and refrigerate for longer storage. Rewarm before serving.
- Quintessential Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
- Burnt Carmel Sauce
- Peanut Butter Caramel
- Rhubarb Rose Petal Caramel Syrup + 4 Variations
- Spiced Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Disregard Labels Like Bittersweet and Shop for Chocolate by Cocoa Percentage | The Splendid Table
- High Percentage Cacao Chocolate | The Nibble
- How to Make Perfect Chocolate Sauce | The Guardian
- Spur-of-the-Moment Dark Chocolate Sauce Without a Recipe | Food52
- The Best Chocolate Sauce Recipe | David Lebovitz
Copyright 2015 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.