How to melt chocolate in the microwave

The simplest and quickest way of melting chocolate is in the microwave. It's ideal when you're making something quickly like cornflake cakes or chocolate bark.

Bowl of melted chocolate

For recipes where the chocolate just needs to be melted and drizzled over or stirred into something else before baking, melting it in the microwave is quick, simple and convenient. 

To get a shiny professional finish for more complex chocolate work – like making an Easter egg, for example – you're best tempering the chocolate using a bain marie, marble slab and a digital thermometer. See our guide to what you need for chocolate work
 

Pick the right bowl for the microwave

You must use a microwave-safe bowl, ideally borosilicate glass or a ceramic. Look for bowls marked as being microwave safe on the base or without any metallic designs. The process of melting chocolate involves stirring, so make sure you take the spoon out of the bowl each time before returning it to the microwave, especially if it’s a metal spoon. 

The bowl will heat up quite a lot, so use an oven glove or tea towel to protect your hands when lifting it in and out. 

Make sure the bowl you’re using is completely dry and clean. If there’s a little water or oil in the bowl, the chocolate could split and become grainy and unpleasant. 
 

Stir every 20-30 seconds 

Melting chocolate in the microwave isn't totally without perils. As the heat from a microwave can be fairly fierce and starts from within, you must make sure that you pause cooking every 20 to 30 seconds to give it a stir – otherwise your chocolate could burn, and burnt chocolate has a terrible flavour.

Glass bowl of melted chocolae being stirred


Basic recipe for melting chocolate in the microwave

Coats around 26 marshmallows or drizzles over 12 biscuits

  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate
  • your choice of marshmallows or biscuits 
  1. Break or chop the milk chocolate into small pieces, ideally all very similar in size, then put them in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Do the same with the white chocolate, putting it in a separate microwave-safe bowl.  
  3. If your microwave has multiple heat settings, switch to ‘low’ or ‘defrost’.
  4. Microwave the milk chocolate for 30 seconds (or 20 seconds if at a high temperature) then take the bowl out and give it a stir.
  5. Place the bowl back in the microwave and repeat the process of cooking for 30 seconds, stopping, stirring and returning to the microwave until the chocolate has melted.
  6. If there are one or two lumps that still have not melted, keep stirring it outside the microwave to melt the last few pieces in the residual heat of the bowl. 
  7. Once the chocolate has melted, leave it to cool for a minute or two before using, because microwaved food continues to cook for a little while afterwards.
  8. Repeat this method with the white chocolate. Use the melted chocolate to dip and coat marshmallows, to drizzle over biscuits or use in your recipes. 

Top 5 melted chocolate recipes

Hot chocolate stirrers

Hot chocolate stirrers with wrapping and sprinkles
We all know a few diehard chocolate fans – make them one of these hot choc stirrers as a gift and they'll never want to use powdered cocoa again.

Cardamom & pistachio biscuits

Biscuits half dipped in chocolate, with some gift wrapped
Everyone will love these beautiful biscuits and they make an impressive homemade gift. Dip them in chocolate and sprinkles to finish.

Nanaimo bars

Dark and white chocolate square bars
Need ideas for a coffee morning or afternoon tea? These bars from Canada are so moreish, with a crunchy biscuit base, custard layer and chocolate topping.

Sweet shop bark

Chocolate bark decorated with sweets, creme eggs and colourful toppings
This adaptable chocolate bark is chock-full with Easter goodies. Top with any treats you fancy and break into shards to make a great homemade gift.

Chocolate sponge cake

Chocolate cake topped with frosting
Good Food reader Eve Scott shares this easy, foolproof recipe for chocolate sponge cake, perfect for a birthday, afternoon tea or weekend treat.

Find out more about how to melt chocolate...

How to melt chocolate using a bain marie
How to work with chocolate
How to make chocolate fondant
How to make ganache
How to temper chocolate

 

 

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