Cooking with Chocolate

Cooking with chocolate is fun and can produce some amazing dishes. But before you dive in, there are a few things you should know. This article will get you started on the right track.

Cooking with Chocolate 101

Chocolate can add flavor and texture to a wide variety of delicious desserts. You can also pair it with many popular ingredients such as vanilla and mint, and unexpected ones like salt and chili peppers. Chocolate is a natural in sweet dishes, including cakes and brownies, but it also goes well in savoury fare, such as Mexican mole and mashed potatoes. Cooking with chocolate can be tricky, but with a bit of practice you can turn it into a fun activity the whole family will enjoy.

Baking Chocolate

Baking chocolate, also known as unsweetened chocolate or bitter chocolate, adds richness and delicious flavour to dessert recipes. You can use it to create filling for brownies and cakes, provide the melted chocolate for a chocolate fondue, or to top off a fresh batch of frosted cupcakes. It can be added it to warm winter beverages such as hot chocolate. There are two varieties of baking chocolate: semi-sweet and bittersweet. In many recipes you can use them interchangeably, but semi-sweet chocolate has a stronger taste that your family may prefer. 

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips add delicious chocolaty goodness to many dishes and treats including cookies, pancakes, puddings and sauces. Chocolate chips are sold round, flat and teardrop shaped. The shape is relevant if the chips will be left intact, not if melted. They're also available in white chocolate form, swirled white and dark together, and flavoured with mint or butterscotch. Although versatile, chocolate chips can't be used as a substitute for baking chocolate because they contain only a small amount of cocoa.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a delicious dessert that suits almost any celebration — and you don't need to buy the most expensive chocolate to make a great-tasting cake. When baking, place the cake in the middle shelf to ensure even cooking. Wait for the cake to cool before placing the chocolate icing on top as the heat could scorch the chocolate. For a tasty chocolate frosting that can also be used on cupcakes, simply blend unsweetened cocoa powder with white sugar, butter, vanilla extract and milk.


Chocolate brownie squares and bars are tasty treats and can be easily cut into small portions for use in packed lunches. There are many different textures you can achieve through baking, from fudgy to flaky to chewy. Fudgy brownies are dense with a moist inside created through the addition of egg yolks. Flaky brownies are fluffier inside, a result of adding milk and corn syrup while reducing the amount of flour. Chewy brownies have a texture that falls between fudgy and flaky; they’re moist but slightly crumply inside. All brownies are best served warm and can be topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Melting Chocolate

Melted chocolate is a wonderful addition to both sweet and savoury dishes. Use dark chocolate or milk chocolate, whichever you prefer. Simply chop the chocolate into even- sized cubes and apply heat until it turns creamy smooth. You can follow the same process to melt white chocolate, but be aware that it melts at a much quicker rate. When using chocolate with a low percentage of cocoa, a dash of vanilla extract will provide a smooth, rounded flavour.

Adding shortening will give your chocolate a smooth and silky texture. A half teaspoon of shortening per ounce of melted chocolate is recommended. It also results in a more even consistency, which is essential if using chocolate as a coating for things like apples and strawberries.

Melting Chocolate on Your Stovetop

Chocolate should be melted at a low temperature. A simple way to accomplish this is on your stovetop. Place your chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the chocolate until smooth. Chocolate overheats quickly on a stovetop, so don't leave it unattended while it's heating.

Melting Chocolate in Water Bath & Double Boiler

A better way to ensure you don't overheat your chocolate is to use a water bath. Put your double boiler into action if you have one. If not, simply place a large skillet filled with water over an oven burner. When the water reaches a simmer, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl into the skillet. Stir the chocolate as it melts, while maintaining the water at a simmer. 

Melting Chocolate in Your Microwave

Melting chocolate in your microwave is fast and easy. However, you can't see the chocolate as it melts, so be careful not to cook it too long. Simply put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and set the timer to about 90 seconds per ounce of chocolate. The chocolate will not melt completely, but turn glossy and soft, so you’ll need to stir it on your countertop until it reaches a smooth, uniform texture. 


  • When melting chocolate, make sure your utensils are completely dry because any moisture will clump or harden the chocolate (if this happens, add shortening or vegetable oil)
  • Chocolate should be melted slowly over low heat to prevent burning
  • Use a peeler on a block of chocolate to create curls when decorating a cake
  • Unsweetened baking chocolate has an unpleasant bitter taste when eaten plain
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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