5 Useful Things to Know About Baking with Chocolate

5 Useful Things to Know About Baking with Chocolate

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Kelli Foster
Feb 13, 2016
(Image credit: Dana Velden)

When it comes time for dessert, I'm about as predictable as they come. I go straight for the item with the most chocolate each and every time. Cake, brownies, cookies, chocolate-dipped candies — yes to them all.

And when baking these treats at home, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind about working with chocolate that will give you a better and more flavorful dessert.

1. A long serrated knife is the easiest way to chop chocolate.

For big chunks and heavy bars of chocolate, a serrated knife is the easiest and fastest way to cut it down to size.

Read More: Tip from Dorie: Chopping Chocolate

2. Boost the chocolate flavor of your dessert with espresso.

Up the chocolate flavor of your recipe by adding a shot of espresso or a couple spoonfuls of extra-dark coffee along with the liquid ingredients, or even espresso powder. It will really enhance the chocolate flavor without adding a strong coffee taste.

Read More: Quick Tip: How to Get the Best Chocolate Flavor

3. For melted chocolate, skip the chips and go for the real deal.

Unless a recipe specifically calls for chocolate chips, keep them in the pantry and use real chocolate instead — especially when melting chocolate. Chips were formatted to be able to hold their shape, so there are better choices when a recipe calls for melted chocolate.

Read More: Alice Medrich's 5 Essential Tips for Working with Chocolate

4. Use a water bath for a foolproof way to melt chocolate.

There are more than a few ways to melt chocolate, but according to Alice Medrich, your best bet is using a water bath. Not only can you see what's happening, but you have more control over the process and are less likely to burn your chocolate than if you were using a double boiler or the microwave.

Read More: The Best Way to Melt Chocolate: Alice Medrich's Smart, Easy Method

5. Melt when mixing chocolate into a recipe; temper when making a candy coating.

Melting and tempering chocolate are two different processes, and they manipulate the chocolate in different ways. Stick with melting when adding the chocolate into a recipe, but temper it when it's being used as a coating for cookies and candies.

Read More: What's the Difference Between Melting and Tempering Chocolate?

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