I was melting chocolate and it turned into a thick, grainy mess. What happened–and what can I do about it?  

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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Your chocolate seized, and there are ways to fix it. But first, you should know that it was caused by even a tiny amount of water or steam (or any other liquid. Oddly enough, the fix is to add more liquid. Renowned food scientist and cookbook author Shirley Corriher uses the rule of thumb that for every 2 ounces of chocolate, you must have a minimum of 1 tablespoon of liquid. Liquid might include butter (butter contains about 18% water), cream, corn syrup, alcohol, or water.

Also, you can melt the chocolate with the butter or cream for better results. For more tips, watch our how-to video on melting chocolate.

Marge Perry
Dec, 2010

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