Melting & Such

Double Boiling

When you’ve read enough recipes on baking, you’ll find a lot of them calls for melting stuff. Whether it be chocolate, butter, or marshmallow, at some point during your baking journey, you’re gonna need to melt something. And if, like me, you don’t have a microwave oven at home, double boiling will really come in handy.

Now I have actually tried melting chocolate directly in a saucepan before – I was told it would be fine. It was not. The chocolate didn’t melt smoothly, it had kind of a rough texture, not quite as liquid as I wanted. It even sort of felt like it was scorched.

Double boiling, on the other hand, gives everything melted a really nice smooth texture and its the perfect replacement method for melting when you don’t have a microwave. What I do is:

  1. Fill my saucepan halfway or three-quarters full with water and place it on the stove.
  2. Place a glass bowl that would fit perfectly on the rim of the saucepan. When I say glass bowl, a transparent one may come to mind. But my glass bowls are not transparent and they work fine.
  3. Put in whatever you want to melt into the glass bowl and turn on low flame.
  4. Let it sit for a while until you see the ingredient starting to melt and start stirring with a spoon to ensure everything melts evenly.

If you are a seasoned baker/cook, chances are you would readily have a glass bowl that fits perfectly on the rim of a saucepan you own. But what happens when you need to melt a large amount of something and your little bowl is just not gonna cut it? This happened to me recently when I was first making my marshmallow fondant and I had to melt a substantially large amount of marshmallow my little bowl could not contain. This is how I improvised:

  • Fill my frying pan almost up to the brim with water. (I have fairly deep frying pan)
  • Place an oven rack on the rim of the frying pan.
  • Place a larger saucepan on the oven rack and proceed to melt the marshmallows as you would double boil anything else.

This was purely experimental, and I’m happy to say it worked well!

This was the beginning stages. By the end of it (which took close to 2 hours – I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up burning it), it looked like this:

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