The Perfect Way to Melt Chocolate In the MicrowaveSkills
Adding a touch of melted chocolate to cookies, strawberries, pretzels, or marshmallows is an easy to way to elevate your favorite sweet (or salty) treat. While you can melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stovetop or over direct heat in a saucepan, the quickest and, in my opinion, easiest way is to melt chocolate in the microwave. If you need chocolate for dipping holiday cookies, coating truffles, or adorning berries, this is a foolproof method for melting chocolate in the microwave.
What Is Seized Chocolate and How Do You Fix It?Skills
This is how you can fix it and prevent it in the future!
How to Drizzle Chocolate: The Fastest and Easiest MethodSkills
It's one of the easiest ways to instantly bring your dishes to the next level.
What’s the Difference Between Fudgy, Chewy, and Cakey Brownies?Skills
They each bring something a little different to the table. Here's what sets them apart.
4 Easy Ways to Melt White ChocolateSkills
Plus, how to save it if it seizes.
What Exactly Is White Chocolate?Skills
Yes, it's real chocolate.
What’s the Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa?Skills
Learn more about the main differences between cacao and cocoa, plus, how you can use each.
Feb 14, 2022
The 5 Essential Types of Chocolate and What to Do with Them (Besides Just Eating Them)Skills
Here's what you need to know about each of the 5 main types of chocolate.
Feb 12, 2022
The Surprising Ingredient You Should Skip in Your Chocolate Cake Skills
This might be the one time that butter isn't better.
Feb 11, 2022
5 Smart Tricks for Tasting Chocolate Like a ProSkills
After trying these tips, you'll never say a chocolate bar taste "chocolatey" again.
May 25, 2021
The Best Method for Tempering Chocolate at Home
Skills Showdown
Make everything from chocolate-dipped strawberries to hot chocolate bombs with ease. How sweet is that?
Feb 13, 2021
Why Does Chocolate Turn White? It’s Because of Chocolate Bloom.Skills
Before you toss out that weird-looking chocolate, stop and read this!
Dec 22, 2020
The One Surprising Thing You Should Never, Ever FreezeSkills
It's also one of the more expensive ingredients in your kitchen.
Aug 17, 2020
This $4 Ingredient Is the Secret to the Very Best Chocolate Desserts
Taste Makers
You need this in your pantry.
Feb 11, 2020
To Give Hot Chocolate a Major Upgrade, Try Adding MisoSkills
Yep, the stuff you put in soup. But hear us out: It's *really* good!
Dec 7, 2019
5 Chocolate Treats for Your Zodiac Sign: VirgoSkills
This month we partnered with the Astrotwins to reveal the ways your zodiac sign informs your chocolate preferences. According to the Astrotwins, “Each zodiac sign has a distinct set of personality traits — and believe it or not, there’s a chocolate recipe out there to match every horoscope sign.” You pride yourself on being at the top of your health and wellness game, so for you, Virgo, chocolate is about wholesome decadence, with a touch of sensuality.
Jun 8, 2019
5 Chocolate Treats for Your Zodiac Sign: AriesSkills
This month we partnered with the Astrotwins to reveal the ways your zodiac sign informs your chocolate preferences. According to the Astrotwins, “Each zodiac sign has a distinct set of personality traits — and believe it or not, there’s a chocolate recipe out there to match every horoscope sign.” You, daring Aries, thrive on physical adventure, but when it comes to chocolate the tried-and-true, reliable classics that conjure nostalgic memories are what win your heart.
Jun 8, 2019
5 Chocolate Treats for Your Zodiac Sign: PiscesSkills
This month we partnered with the Astrotwins to reveal the ways your zodiac sign informs your chocolate preferences. According to the Astrotwins, “Each zodiac sign has a distinct set of personality traits — and believe it or not, there’s a chocolate recipe out there to match every horoscope sign.” You, Pisces, embody traits from all signs of the zodiac, and as such, chocolate is all about endless depth and layers of sweetness.
Jun 8, 2019
5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy This Valentine’s DaySkills
This time of year, hearts are abundant in every way, shape, and form. There are the classic heart-shaped candies, of course, but also cookies, cupcakes, and pizzas. Even breakfast gets in on the action with heart-shaped eggs and bacon! (See all the heart-shaped things here.) But it’s rare we actually stop to think about our real heart — and I’m not talking about in the emotional sense.
Jun 8, 2019
How to Drizzle Chocolate: The Plastic Bag MethodSkills
We don’t know about you, but we have yet to encounter a tray of cookies that couldn’t use at least a little chocolate drizzled on top. If you do a lot of baking and a lot of chocolate drizzling, picking up a a squeeze bottle is definitely worth it. But if you’re an occasional baker and don’t want another thing rattling around your cupboards, this method using household items is just as good.
Jun 5, 2019
Quick Tip: How to Get the Best Chocolate FlavorSkills
If you’re making something chocolaty – crinkle cookies, chocolate mousse, brownies, fudge – and really want to turn up the chocolate flavor, there’s a simple trick you can use with just about any recipe. Do you know the secret ingredient?It’s espresso! A shot or two of straight espresso or a few tablespoons of very dark coffee along with the liquids in your recipe have the effect of enhancing the chocolate without adding much discernible coffee flavor.
Jun 4, 2019
The Trick to Making (Intensely Dark) Chocolate Cakes or CookiesSkills
It's the secret behind the color of Oreos.
May 6, 2019
Chocolate Féves for the Perfect Chocolate Chip CookiesSkills
Is the perfect chocolate chip cookie this year’s No-Knead Bread? And if so, are chocolate féves this year’s instant yeast? When the No-Knead Bread recipe came out there was a run on instant yeast and Dutch ovens as people raced to try this fabulous bread. Now these chocolate discs are in the baking spotlight, since the recipe promises they give much better results than plain old chocolate chips. So, where do you find these things?
May 3, 2019
Quick Tip: Chop Chocolate with a Serrated KnifeSkills
Chopping chocolate for things like brownies and fudge was always one of our least favorite kitchen tasks. That is, until a pastry chef friend suggested we try using a serrated bread knife!Chocolate is naturally quite brittle and will fragment under pressure. The grooved “teeth” on a serrated knife are like many tiny wedges pushing into the chocolate and getting it to fragment in several places at once.
May 3, 2019
What Can I Do With Cacao Nibs?Skills
Q: On a whim, I purchased a 1/3 lb. bag of organic cacao nibs. They smell delicious; almost savory.I’ve had them in chocolates before, but other than making my own, what can I use them for?Sent by PepperReedEditor: Cacao nibs (sometimes called cocoa nibs) are one of our favorite little extras for the baking cupboard. They are a great substitute (in moderation) for nuts or sweet mix-ins like chocolate chips, adding a grown-up bitterness and savory crunch to cookies and cakes.
May 2, 2019
Can I Substitute Cacao Powder for Cocoa Powder?Skills
Q: Can you substitute cacao powder for cocoa powder in recipes?I bought Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Powder at Whole Foods, and I wanted to know if I can substitute the powder for cocoa powder in recipes, like brownie recipes.Sent by MiaEditor: Mia, I have read a few different perspectives on cacao versus cocoa powder, and while there is some debate over the merits of raw processing, the two ingredients really do seem to be nearly identical.
May 2, 2019
Belgian Chocolate: Why So Darn Good?Skills
I go through phases. I used to be a decidedly dark chocolate gal, but these days I flirt with the milk chocolate side of things as well. In the winter, a cup of hot chocolate is often dessert and in the summer, a few squares of a Ritter bar does the trick. It’s certainly not news to you that some chocolate is much better than others, but why is this so? I decided to look at the ultimate favorite, Belgian chocolate, to see what sets it apart.
May 2, 2019
The Other Chocolate Chip: Carob ChipsSkills
I have always felt alternately fascinated and frustrated by carob chips. They’re advertised as a low-sugar chocolate substitute, but as any true chocolate devotee will confirm, they are definitely not chocolate. So what’s up with carob chips? Do you ever bake with them?Carob chips are made from the pod of the carob tree, a small Mediterranean shrub. The pods are dried, roasted, and ground into carob powder before being made into chips or used in other applications.
May 2, 2019
What Can I Do to Make Cacao Nibs Easier on My Teeth?Skills
Q: I recently bought cacao nibs, but I CANNOT just eat them as they are because they are far too hard and tough on my teeth. I’ve tried boiling them, but nothing much happens, and all I can think to do is grind them to powder. But how to do that? And then how can I use them?Sent by RickEditor: Rick, you could try grinding up cacao nibs in a spice grinder or coffee grinder to make them a little easier on your teeth.
May 2, 2019
Advice for Making Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti Ahead of Time?Skills
Q: I’ve been asked to make a large batch of biscotti for an upcoming celebration and my plan was to bake most of it in the weeks beforehand and keep it wrapped in airtight containers in the freezer. The biscotti are half dipped in chocolate, and after freezing and thawing, the test batch is starting to bloom. I live in a very dry, cold climate, and after being pulled out of the freezer, the biscotti were stored in an airtight bag in a dark drawer.
May 2, 2019
What to Look for When Buying White ChocolateSkills
When a recipe calls for a good-quality white chocolate, do you know what to look for when you compare brands and labels? And does what you choose determine if your recipe will succeed? Here are a few tips for buying the best white chocolate for baking and melting. Many argue that since white chocolate doesn’t contain the dry cocoa solids that are in chocolate liquor, it’s not really chocolate at all.
May 2, 2019
What Can I Make with Milk Chocolate Bars?Skills
Q: Every year for the holidays, my parents buy me and my husband a set of large (very sweet) milk chocolate bars. We are both dark chocolate lovers and have no clue what to do with these sweet confections. I’d love some recipes or ideas on what to do with them. Sent by Kali Editor: Since you don’t love the flavor of the bars, consider using them in recipes where other flavors and textures might be more dominant, like ice cream or as a candy coating.
May 1, 2019
5 Ways to Get Fancy with Your Sugar CookiesSkills
Adding a little extra touch to cookies seems appropriate around the holidays, especially if you’re giving them away as gifts. This is also the time of year, however, when a thousand other things are vying for your attention. Here are five easy ways you can turn ordinary sugar cookie dough, even the store-bought kind, into jazzed-up cookies that make them even more giftable and unique!
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Natural and Dutch Cocoa Powder?Skills
Cocoa powder is a bit of a confusing ingredient. Some recipes call for unsweetened cocoa, some call for cocoa powder, some call for natural cocoa, and some call for Dutch cocoa. What does it all mean? What’s the difference? (And is there any relationship between cocoa powder and hot cocoa mix?) Let’s find out!
May 1, 2019
How Can I Use Chocolate Extract?Skills
Q: I purchased a bottle of chocolate extract for a specific recipe a friend gave me. Now I am wondering why we don’t see this ingredient used more, and how else I can use it. Sent by Alice Editor: Readers, do you have any advice on how to use chocolate extract?
May 1, 2019
What Is Single-Origin Chocolate?Skills
At its most basic, single origin means that the chocolate is made using cacao beans from one specific place or “origin.” That might not sound so special, but most chocolate is made using a blend of beans from a lot of different countries; companies like Hershey’s and Mars even create proprietary blends so that their chocolate always tastes exactly the same.
May 1, 2019
What Is Baking Chocolate?Skills
While wandering the baking aisle of a grocery store, you’ve likely come across stacks of what is referred to as “baking chocolate.” How does that differ from the chocolate a few aisles over in the candy section? And what kind do you actually need for that cake? Baking chocolate, in its most traditional form, is unsweetened chocolate.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate?Skills
Whether it’s topped with a few plump marshmallows or a heaping scoop of freshly whipped cream, a mug of piping hot chocolate is one of winter’s greatest pleasures. But wait — is what you have in your hands hot chocolate or actually hot cocoa? The terms are used interchangeably so often that it probably seems like they are identical beverages. While both mean an instant remedy for cold winter days, are they one in the same?
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Melting and Tempering Chocolate?Skills
We use chocolate in everything from cakes and brownies to sauce and homemade candies, but when is it best to simply use melted chocolate and when should we use tempered chocolate? And what’s actually the difference between melting and tempering? While the processes for melting and tempering both use heat to transform chocolate, the specifics of each are quite different.
May 1, 2019
5 Fun Mix-Ins for Your Hot CocoaSkills
This winter chill doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon, and for once it’s totally okay with me. It’s not that I’ve turned a new leaf and started embracing the cold, but I am a fan of hot cocoa. I’ve been more than happy to embrace this warming drink, and to give it a few new upgrades with the help of some mix-ins. When it comes to hot cocoa I’ve always been a traditionalist.
May 1, 2019
5 Useful Things to Know About Baking with ChocolateSkills
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.
May 1, 2019
This Is Why Your Recipe Uses Cocoa Powder Instead of ChocolateSkills
From deep, rich cakes and cookies, to brownies and other treats, the ingredient that brings some of your favorite chocolate desserts to life might not be what you expect. Instead of chocolate, these sweets often start with a hearty dose of cocoa powder. But do you know why? While cocoa powder and chocolate originate from the same source, the cacao bean, processing results in the bean taking on two different forms.
May 1, 2019
Chocolate-Dipped Watermelon WedgesSkills
This sweet combo certainly doesn’t come without strong opinions. And we’re of the belief that a little bit of dark, melted chocolate is the one-ingredient upgrade your watermelon needs this summer. If you need to be convinced that watermelon is in fact dessert, chocolate is definitely the way to do it. While fresh fruit dipped in chocolate isn’t anything new, this isn’t exactly a common pairing.
May 1, 2019
Make Marshmallows into Spooky Eyeball Hot ChocolateSkills
Stare your hot chocolate right in the eyes — spooky, no? Well, not really. It actually is pretty cute. This easy finish to a steaming mug of the good stuff involves ingredients you already have in your pantry, but dresses it up for the holiday and makes it a lot more fun to sip. Start by simmering a pot of your favorite hot chocolate and gathering the mugs. Meanwhile grab large marshmallows.
May 1, 2019
Instantly Upgrade Basic Muffin Mix with Cocoa Powder and Chopped ChocolateSkills
Looking for a way to bring some chocolate into your morning routine? These muffins, made with a double dose in the form of cocoa and chocolate, are the way to do it! We’re starting with our basic muffin recipe and turning it into a truly delightful treat with a double chocolate upgrade.
May 1, 2019
Brownies Go Boo! With Powdered Sugar StencilsSkills
There are few treats cozier than a tray of warm brownies as the weather cools off, making them the perfect snack for greeting guests who come over to carve pumpkins or for bringing to the school’s fall festival. Making brownies even better — whether with an ingredient upgrade or a quick topping — is the kind of fast and fancy festive flair we all need during the fall holiday season. Here’s a great way to make your brownies go boo!
May 1, 2019
What Exactly Is Carob Anyway?Skills
On the hunt for chocolate chips at the grocery store, you may have come across carob chips. Although they do look strikingly similar to the classic cookie favorite, carob chips are not chocolate. While chocolate stems from cocoa pods, carob stems from carob pods. On shelves, it can typically be found in two forms: chips and powder. So what exactly is carob? Here are the facts. Carob comes from a pod of a tree of the same name, which is native to the Mediterranean.
May 1, 2019
5 Times It’s Worth Baking with a Fancy $10 Chocolate BarSkills
You know that fancy chocolate bar stashed in the back of your pantry that’s reserved for satisfying your sweet tooth with a late-night square? You don’t have to hide it away and only enjoy it a few pieces at a time. There are a few baking recipes where a beautiful bar of chocolate can elevate an everyday treat to a fancy dinner party dessert, and other baking recipes where the subtle flavors of that fancy bar won’t be masked by butter and sugar.
May 1, 2019
You’re Storing Your Chocolate Wrong: From Cocoa Powder to Bar — Here’s What You Need to KnowSkills
I firmly believe that having chocolate on hand — whether in the form of powder, baking bars, snacking bars, or chips — is always a good idea. You never know when the craving for brownies will strike, when an unexpected celebration calls for cake, or when you just need to break off a square of good dark chocolate and have a moment. As important as it is to have the sweet stuff on hand, it’s equally important to store it properly to maintain freshness.
May 1, 2019
Why You Really Should Sift Your Cocoa PowderSkills
You’re geared up to make a gooey chocolate bread pudding or flourless chocolate cake and the recipe calls for you to sift your cocoa powder as you add it to the other ingredients. Raise your hand if you usually skip this step. (My hand is up!) Sometimes you really don’t want to dirty another tool in your kitchen and really don’t want to waste an extra minute getting to the finished product, but this is one step you’re better off not skipping if you want the best results.
May 1, 2019
The Secret Step for Tastier Cacao NibsSkills
If you’re a fan of chocolate in every way, shape, and form, then perhaps you’ve given cacao nibs Essentially unprocessed chocolate, cacao or cocoa nibs are the part of the cocoa bean that are ground up and then sweetened and made into chocolate bars. On their own, they’re crunchy and have the flavor of unsweetened chocolate — extra-bitter and fruity.
May 1, 2019
The Best Cocoa to Use for Red Velvet CakeSkills
Red velvet cake isn’t always distinguished as a chocolate cake, but cocoa powder is reportedly the cause of its namesake hue. Food historians suggest that the natural cocoa of the Victorian era, partnered with buttermilk, resulted in the cake’s burnished red hue and led to it being dubbed “red velvet cake.
May 1, 2019
Why (and When) It’s Important to Bloom Cocoa PowderSkills
Cocoa powder is a pantry superstar. Mild and unassuming next to those rich chocolate bars, it nevertheless offers surprising power — if you know how to use it right. If you’ve spent any time baking with cocoa powder, you may have noticed recipes that call for the cocoa powder to be “bloomed” sometimes with hot water (or, in the case of our pantry cocoa brownies, in oil).
May 1, 2019
5 Tips for Even Better BrowniesSkills
There is no denying the pleasure of brownies. Whether you like them fudgy, chewy, or cakey Here are the very best tips and tricks from the Kitchn editors. Eating brownies is fun; cleaning up after them isn’t. The solution? Line your brownie pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This not only makes for easy cleanup, but it also keeps the brownies from sticking to the pan. Win, win. A no-frills brownie is a lovely thing, but don’t hesitate to upgrade.
May 1, 2019
5 Tips About Baking with Chocolate from Alice MedrichSkills
I happily fall into the subset of individuals who believe that it’s not dessert unless there’s chocolate involved. So I most definitely bow down to chocolate queen, Alice Medrich. The author of countless cookbooks, she has been dubbed the “First Lady of Chocolate,” and, when it comes to baking with the sweet ingredient, there’s no better person to learn from. Alice has more tips and tricks than we can count, but these are five of our very favorites.
May 1, 2019
Can You Really Eat Chocolate and Follow a Paleo Diet?Skills
Borrowing habits from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the Paleo diet focuses on a simpler way of eating. It favors whole, nutrient-rich foods, and nixes “new world” foods like processed foods, dairy, grains, and sugar. The restrictions are many, so naturally it would seem like chocolate is certainly not on this diet’s list of approved foods. And yet the internet, cookbooks, and shelves of Whole Foods are filled with chocolate desserts that claim to be Paleo-friendly.
May 1, 2019
Caramelized White Chocolate Is the New Dark ChocolateSkills
White chocolate has gotten a bad rap for far too long. True, it’s extremely sweet and tends to lack the complexity of dark and milk chocolate, but white-chocolate loyalists have been arguing for years that white chocolate has the capacity to be complex and toasty — all you have to do is caramelize it. White chocolate’s biggest strength is its creamy, milky smoothness.
May 1, 2019
Our Readers’ 20 Best Tips for Making Better BrowniesSkills
You know how they say don’t mess with a good thing? I think brownies are an exception. There are so many delightful variations — chewy, fudgy, and cakey, of course, but also super-thin and speculoos-swirled — that limiting myself to just one would be a mistake. Based on your comments over the years, I’d say you agree.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Cocoa Brownies and Chocolate Brownies?Skills
Brownie connoisseurs already know this to be true: not all brownies are created equal, but there’s room in our lives for lots of them. Cocoa brownies and chocolate brownies both have a place in our kitchen, although they bake up with slight idiosyncrasies. Here is everything you need to know about the differences between the two. Both cocoa- and chocolate-based brownies include sugar, eggs, and flour.
May 1, 2019
Does Refrigerating Brownie Batter Overnight Make for Better Brownies?Skills
Recently, as I was reading through the comments on all our brownie recipes, one suggestion in particular stood out: Refrigerate the batter overnight for a richer, chewier brownie.
May 1, 2019
Mistakes to Avoid When Making BuckeyesSkills
If you’ve never had a buckeye, then first and foremost you should know that these sweet confections — that most often appear around holiday time — are pure bliss. They’re made with a ball of smooth peanut butter coated nearly all the way, save for a small area around the top, with a firm, crisp layer of chocolate.
May 1, 2019
The Best Type of Chocolate to Use for Making BuckeyesSkills
Named for their resemblance to the nuts from the Ohio buckeye tree, buckeyes are the impossibly delicious confection made with a ball of smooth peanut butter coated nearly all the way — save for a small area around the top — with a layer of chocolate. When choosing chocolate for this sweet holiday treat, the options are plenty, including chips, wafers, and chocolate bars. But it’s important to remember that not all varieties of chocolate are created equal.
May 1, 2019
What to Know About Pairing Chocolate & FruitSkills
When you think of chocolate and fruit, chocolate-covered strawberries are probably the very first thing that come to mind. It’s hard not to love the treat, whether you splurge at the Godiva store at the mall or you make them yourself for someone you love. That’s really just the beginning when it comes to enjoying chocolate and fruit together, though.
Apr 30, 2019
5 Reasons to Scream Your Love of Milk Chocolate from the RooftopsSkills
Milk chocolate is not the enemy. It’s gotten a bad rap because, well, most of the milk chocolate out there has been pretty crummy quality. If you start with bad-tasting cocoa beans and cheap sweeteners, then throw in some preservatives and other yucky-tasting ingredients, the result isn’t going to be great. The same could be said for dark chocolate. (And I absolutely recommend saying this to the next person who tells you they only eat 85 percent dark chocolate.
Feb 14, 2018