Typically chocolate chips are used in baked goods such as chocolate chip cookies and muffins. In these baked goods, the chips remain solid and do not need to be melted.
However, this is not the sole purpose of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips, thanks to their small size, are very useful for melting down when you need melted chocolate.
Melted chocolate can be used for a number of different things. For example, you may want to make chocolate fondue, or use it to cover strawberries for an indulgent treat.
In this article, we will be exploring the different methods that can be used when you want to melt chocolate chips.
How do you melt chocolate chips in the microwave?
In our opinion, the easiest method for melting chocolate chips is in the microwave. Most people have a microwave, and typically all you need is one bowl!
Simply grab the chocolate chips and a microwave-safe bowl. Ensure that it is the correct size for your microwave or else it may get stuck!
Pour the chocolate chips you need into the microwave-safe bowl. You do not need to do them bit by bit, just tip the whole bag in if needed (you just need to make sure the bowl is big enough to handle them all when they melt as you do not want it to overflow!).
Set your microwave on full power. This is based on an 800 Watt to 1000 Watt microwave. If your microwave is a higher wattage than this then you may want to use a medium power instead.
Place the bowl of chocolate chips inside the microwave and set it to 10 or 15 seconds. Take it out after the time has passed and mix it with a mixing spoon or spatula.
Place it in again for 10 to 15-second intervals, ensuring to take it out to stir it in between each interval.
When it has completely melted and turned into a glossy, smooth mixture, you can stop. The consistency should be free of lumps and it should look shiny.
Be careful not to heat it after it has reached this consistency or else it may overcook and start to get grainy.
If you find that it has melted completely but is still a little thick and dull in color, you can add a very small amount of oil to the mixture.
All you need is around a quarter to a half of a teaspoon of oil (extra virgin olive oil works well) and your mixture will become glossy and be smooth.
You should only do this if the oil works well for the purpose. For example, if you are looking to use the melted chocolate for dipped strawberries, bear in mind that it may not set as solidly if you have added oil to the mixture.
On the other hand, for chocolate fondue, the oil would not affect the recipe and may even make it better as the smoother and glossier texture is preferable.
How do you melt chocolate chips on the stove?
Melting chocolate chips on the stove has a few more steps than the microwave method, but it does mean that you get a more smooth and equal melt since the heat is applied slowly and evenly.
First, you should heat a saucepan of water on the stove. Fill it to about half full and heat the water on medium to high heat.
When the water has reached boiling point (you will know this as it will start to bubble) turn it down to a very gentle simmer. For this, you should turn the heat right down and ensure it is no longer bubbling.
You can then very carefully place a heat-proof bowl on top of the pan. You need to ensure it is larger in diameter than the saucepan. Take note that the bowl should be stable in your pan as you will need to stir it later and need to ensure it will not topple boiling water and chocolate all over you.
In this heat-proof bowl (we recommend that you use a glass bowl) you can then add in your chocolate chips, taking care not to overfill them. The chocolate chips will begin to melt very slowly over this low, simmering heat. Stir occasionally to ensure it is smooth and equally heated.
The chocolate chips are done when there are no lumps left and the consistency is smooth and glossy. Give it one last stir and carefully turn off the heat.
You should remove the chocolate chip melted mixture immediately to ensure it does not begin to solidify.
To do this you should take utmost care. Use heat-proof gloves, and beware of steam escaping from underneath the bowl. Carefully tip out the hot water down the drain (or you can leave it to cool first if you wish).
You can then use your melted chocolate as you wish, taking care not to let it solidify in the glass bowl.
Do you add butter when melting chocolate chips?
It depends! You can add butter when you melt chocolate chips and it has many benefits. However, this is not a requirement, and your chocolate chips don’t need butter in order to melt.
Adding some butter, or indeed, a small amount of oil as stipulated earlier in the article can be beneficial for helping to make the melted chocolate chips smoother.
If you add butter or oil, it can help to make the consistency of the melted chocolate glossier. It can also be used to ensure that the mixture stays free of lumps.
As well as this, adding some butter or oil can thin out the mixture, which is important if you need thin chocolate rather than thickly melted chocolate.
However, if you just want to melt your chocolate chips on their own, without adding butter or oil, then you can do this too.
Provided you heat them on a low, even heat, or in short intervals if using a microwave, then the consistency should still be smooth and glossy.