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.
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.