Chocolate - Chop

Large amounts of chocolate, whether from blocks or a multitude of 1- or 2-ounce squares, need to be chopped into roughly 1/4-inch size pieces(not to exceed 1/2-inch) before melting or for use when tempering. This way it will melt evenly and quickly, and the chocolate won't burn, clump and thicken or seize. A heavy, serrated sharp chef's knife with a 10-inch blade works best. Do NOT use a food processor. When using chocolate that has been formed into wafers, there's no need to chop beforehand. 

1. If you have a large block of chocolate, it's best to cut off a portion of it to avoid cutting your hand, overhandling and melting it.
To do:
Place the chocolate on a dry, plastic cutting board. If you use a wooden cutting board, make sure it is really dry or it may contain moisture (when working with chocolate, be moisture adverse). 

Remove a large chunk of chocolate from the main bar. It is easiest to cut across a corner, with a large sharp knife. Place the handle of the knife in your right (left) hand and apply pressure with your left (right) palm on top of the blade, and push downwards to cut it.

If the chocolate doesn't cut, the chunk may be too big. Try to cut a smaller one to start or score it first where you want to break it by making a small trough as a guide, by running the knife's blade back and forth in a sawing motion. Then, place the knife's blade in the trough and try, again.

2. Weigh the chunk to make sure it is the proper amount; you can place it directly on the scale covered with wax paper or plastic wrap. (You will weigh it again after chopping.) Return the large block of chocolate, well-wrapped, to its proper storage area.

3. The next step is to shave chocolate pieces from the chunk, without overhandling it because chocolate melts easily.
To do:
With your knife, push downwards along the edge of the piece of the chocolate chunk to shave off pieces. It comes off more easily if you cut across a corner. Then turn the block of chocolate to the next available corner and cut again. 

Chop chocolate shavings from block chocolate or when using lots of pre-measured 1 or 2-squares, into approximately 1/4-inch evenly sized pieces, as much of the same size as possible. 

1. Gather the chocolate shavings by scraping them with the side of the knife's blade, in a circle with the diameter almost as wide as the blade. If using pre-measured squares, first cut into large pieces.

2. Holding the top of the knife at the point, rock the blade briskly from point to hilt, gradually turning the knife towards you in a semicircle. Gather the pieces together with the side of the knife and repeat the process until the proper size(approximately 1/4-inch) is obtained.

Do not chop into a fine texture; you have gone too far. Do not pick up the pieces with your hands, otherwise you'll soften or melt the chocolate.

3. Scrape the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl with the side of the knife and then weigh to use in the recipe. (Make sure you subtract the weight of the bowl from the total).

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