How to Melt Chocolate Without a Microwave

by Book Recipe

This week’s video post is pure technique, folks! Because my chocolate lace and doily videos stirred up so many questions about how I melt and handle my chocolate, I decided to answer you all with a video!

In addition to covering how to melt chocolate, this video addresses three other key things: (1) how to tint it, (2) what causes chocolate to seize and how to recover seized chocolate, and (3) the melting/handling characteristics of real chocolate versus commonly available candy melts.


  1. VIDEO INTENT: This video is intended to be a companion video to my lace wrap projects, for which I DO NOT recommend tempering the chocolate, but where getting the chocolate to the right piping consistency is key. For freestanding real chocolate decorations (my lace wraps are not freestanding), it is also important to temper the chocolate (i.e., work it/take it through a range of temperatures, so it sets firm and is less susceptible to bloom – aka clouding – and melting). Alternatively, you can use compound/coating “chocolates” that do not require tempering. Again, this is not a tempering video, as tempering is not needed for my cake wrap projects. Tempering may be addressed in a future video, however.
  2. MY PREFERRED TYPES/BRANDS OF CHOCOLATE: I prefer to use a premium couverture chocolate because its relatively high cocoa butter content gives it great flow-ability and mouth-feel. Brands I most often use are Callebaut, Valrhona, Ghirardelli, and Guittard. I avoid the usual store-bought brands like Nestle and Hershey’s, as well as candy melts, as they typically don’t flow as well and are more waxy due to non-cocoa butter fat substitutes. They also set a lot faster, which may make it harder to pipe a long and complicated chocolate piece – like one of my lace wraps – before it hardens.
  3. CANDY MELTS IN THIS VIDEO: I am working with Wilton candy melts in this video; some compound/coating “chocolates” melt more fluidly than this brand. I chose Wilton as the comparison point because they are the candy melt most commonly available in chain craft stores here in the Midwest.

Recipe video

Bon Appétit

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