Learn how to store and melt chocolate, as well as turn it into a beautiful garnish for desserts.
Keep chocolate wrapped in a tightly covered container or sealed plastic bag in a cool, dry place. If stored in a place where temperatures reach higher than 70° F, chocolate may "bloom" or develop a harmless gray film.
Keep cocoa powder in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.
In the microwave: Place 1 cup chocolate pieces or 6 ounces chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 70 percent power (medium-high) for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave on 70 percent power for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes more. Stir every 15 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
On the stove: Place chopped chocolate or chocolate pieces in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until chocolate just begins to melt. Remove saucepan from heat and continue stirring until smooth.
Chocolate Curls: For large curls, draw a vegetable peeler across the broad surface of a bar of room-temperature chocolate (milk chocolate works best). For smaller curls, use the narrow side of the chocolate bar.