Can you melt semi sweet chocolate in the microwave? If you are using a microwave to prepare melted chocolate for dipping, glazing or baking recipes, then the ultimate guide to melt chocolate in the microwave will give you mess-free results in a short amount of time.
The name semisweet doesn’t necessarily indicate the amount of sugar in the chocolate. The designation is an old fashioned term to label the chocolate.
Semisweet chocolate is dark chocolate made with cocoa solids, sugar, and typically with vanilla and an emulsifier as well. Even though it is a standard ingredient in baking, semisweet chocolate identifies the differences with cacao percentage.
The cacao percentage refers to the percentage of cacao butter in the chocolate, the higher percentage equals darker color, stronger flavor and less sugar. But, can you melt semisweet chocolate in the microwave?
Cut the chocolate bar into small uniform sized chunks with a knife. If you are using chocolate chips, you can skip cutting them.
Place the semisweet chocolate in microwave safe bowl and nuke for 15 seconds on medium power level. Give the chocolate a stir with a rubber spatula, and then continue heating for 10-15 second intervals until it is silky and smooth.
When microwaving chocolate, keep a close eye and don’t let it overheat, burn or seize up. So, is semisweet the same thing as dark chocolate?
Is dark chocolate and semi sweet the same?
According to the USFDA, dark chocolate is classified as any chocolate containing 35% or more cacao (solid or butter) in them. Semisweet chocolate typically contains about 50% of sugar found in milk chocolate, therefore it is much less sweet.
Dark chocolate is a category of chocolate that also includes 100% pure cocoa, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate. As a result, dark chocolate and semi sweet chocolate are not the same.
How do you melt semi sweet chocolate?
Similar to dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate is super easy to melt in the microwave. Reserve a portion of the chocolate to stir into the mixture once the bulk portion has been successfully melted.
Finely chop semisweet chocolate and combine three-quarters of chocolate in a glass bowl that is microwave-safe. Set to medium power level and nuke for 15 seconds then stir well.
Continue microwaving in 10 second intervals and stir until chocolate is melted. Add the remaining portion of chocolate, stir well and use carryover cooking to melt the semisweet chocolate into a smooth consistency.
Why do semi sweet chocolate not melt in microwave?
Semisweet chocolate comes in different shapes and sizes consisting of both chocolate bars and chocolate chips.
Semisweet chocolate has a melting point of between 86 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the melting point is affected by the cocoa butter content, and a lower amount of cocoa butter makes them more resistant to heat.
Baking chocolate chips are ideal for melting because they are already small and uniform in shape, so they will melt much more evenly. Make sure to set aside ⅓ amount of the chocolate pieces, and stir them in after the rest of the chocolate has melted.
Things to know before melting semi sweet chocolate in the microwave
From double boiler to stovetop, there are many ways to melt chocolate for your recipe. Using the microwave to melt semisweet chocolate is the easiest and fastest way without making too much mess around the kitchen.
Here are essential tips to know before melting semi sweet chocolate in the microwave:
- Keep your chocolate and tools dry. If water or steam gets into the chocolate, it will seize up and crystalize into a stiff and grainy paste.
- Finely chop your chocolate. Small uniformed size pieces melt quickly and evenly.
- Select bar chocolate instead of chocolate chips. The chips don’t melt easily because there is less cocoa butter.
- Cover the cooled chocolate and let it harden. Store it at room temperature after it has been melted to reuse the leftover chocolate at another time.
- Adjust the power level of microwave and always start with medium temperature and shorten intervals of time.
To microwave semisweet chocolate for melting, use a heat-safe bowl, adjust temperature to medium and nuke for 15 second intervals while stirring often to make a smooth and glossy semisweet chocolate.
Whether you are making baked goods or adding chocolate sauce over a scoop of ice cream, semisweet has rich flavor with slight sweetness that hits the middle point between dark and milk chocolate. No wonder it is and essential ingredient for every baker.