Skill level


Equipment you will need for this technique


Heatproof bowl

Wooden spoon

Learn how to melt chocolate in a saucepan with our easy video guide. Melt the chocolate just before using to make chocolate buttercream icing , cakes, or desserts.

Fill a medium sized saucepan about a quarter full with boiling water and bring to a simmer over a low heat.

Put a heatproof bowl on top, make sure it isn’t touching the water and that no steam can escape up the side of the bowl, which can let water droplets into the chocolate.

Break the chocolate up into small, even pieces and add to the bowl. The smaller the chocolate pieces, the quicker it will melt.

Simmer gently for 2–3 minutes, until most of the chocolate is melted, stirring a couple of times with a rubber spatula.

Turn the heat off and allow the chocolate to continue to melt slowly in the residual heat, this usually takes 3–5 minutes.

If you over-heat the chocolate, melt it too quickly or let in any water or steam, it can ‘seize’ and go lumpy. To rescue it, you can make a chocolate sauce by adding cubes of butter to the heatproof bowl and stir, until the butter has melted and the chocolate and butter have combined. Alternatively you can make a chocolate ganache with the seized chocolate by adding warm cream to the heatproof bowl and stirring, until fully combined and silky.