How to fix ruined, melted chocolate

This may or may not be a familiar scene to you.

You start off with a recipe that requires melting chocolate over a Bain-Marie. It asks you to add a liquid, either before you start the melting process or after.

It melts perfectly at the beginning, just like this below – smooth, shiny & easy to stir. Beautiful.


You add the liquid, and to your horror, the melted chocolate has started clumping. It also starts giving some resistance as you stir.


It seems as though the more you stir, the worse it gets.


Finally, all the glossy, smooth chocolate has suddenly become a clumpy matte & grainy lump.


You curse yourself because you have ruined this expensive Belgian Dark Chocolate and you don’t have any extra to make it again.

How could you stuff up something so simple???

That’s another trip to the store.

A hole in your pocket.

A waste of time.

A dent in your culinary ego.

You resolve to binning it and starting again.

I say –  STOP.

YOU can fix it. Yes, YOU – the one who ruined it. Because, there’s a trick.

The trick does seem a bit counter productive, but it works.

The trick is simple. Add more liquid. But wait… liquid ruined it? and you are asking me to add… more???


Add a few tablespoons of warm liquid. Most of the time this turns out to be water.

When you add the liquid, it starts looking a bit questionable. You think at this point you may as well use it as some sort of practical joke.

However, don’t give up – have faith. Just keep stirring.


…and stirring.

Scrape the caked bits on the side of the bowl back down into the chocolate / liquid mass.


Keep stirring & scraping until all of the sudden it starts to look like it’s coming together!

At this point if it’s still clumpy, return it to the Bain-marie and stir. It will become smooth and shiny again.


This is what it will look like. Dark, smooth, shiny, easy to stir. You get a smoother consistency the more water you add. Stop when you are happy.



22 thoughts on “How to fix ruined, melted chocolate

  1. This is a wonderful solution! It really works and saved my chocolate dipped strawberries for Mother’s Day!

  2. I had this happen just now, I added more liquid but obviously still quite thick, could this be because my Bain Marie was a cereal bowl and not a glass bowl please

    1. Sorry for the late reply! it wouldn’t matter what sort of bowl the chocolate is in; it depends on the fat content of the chocolate you started off with. I’d imagine more water is required with a chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa, and less with say a milk chocolate?

  3. Omg thank you!! I’m making Halloween treats for my sons class for tomorrow and my chocolate clumped up, its the only chocolate I have and all the stores are closed already. After having a meltdown I found your post and it saved my chocolate, thanks a bunch !!!!

  4. Interesting! But I do have a question: won’t all the extra, not asked for, added liquid result in something completely different and prevent the chocolate from hardening?

    1. Sorry for the late reply Pia! Yes it will make it a ‘sauce’ and the chocolate won’t solidify – but using water to fix it while it is ruined allows you to re-purpose it – however if it curdles in the first place I’d assume one would be trying to make something saucy anyway? hope that helps!

  5. I am frustrated. I have tried and tried following your method and for whatever reason, it just won’t remelt. The water seems to stay separated from the chocolate. Originally I melted dark chocolate down added 2 tsp coconut oil and then a 1/3 cup of peanut butter homemade so nothing weird in it and then the maple syrup. Soon as the maple syrup went into the mix it did the lumping.. I am giving up frustrated.

    1. Oh no sorry to hear that! I’ve only ever don’t it with pure chocolate, not when anything else like coconut oil and peanut butter are added to the mix

      1. That’s ok I appreciate the reply and your page offering help. You know I am 61 yrs old and have been cooking avidly for probably most of my life, hey I’m Italian and have been baking and making sweet treats and melting chocolate down for the last 30 yrs, and have never seen chocolate do this. Always learning something new, lol!

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