Anyone who's baked with chocolate at home knows that trying to get smooth melted chocolate is an entire ordeal. Sure, grating and chopping the chocolate beforehand helps, but depending on the kind of chocolate you're using, it might still be an uphill battle to get that silky, lump-free consistency you're looking for. Fortunately, there's one easy shortcut where you won't have to worry about unevenly melted sections or having to fix seized chocolate: Buy yourself a few chunks of paramount crystals and melt them in.
If you've never heard of paramount crystals, don't worry -- they're not some chemical-laden additive. They're just chunks of crystalized vegetable fat (partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil with a bit of preservative, if you want to get technical) that might possibly be the best thinning agent for melted chocolate, depending on what you're making. It's perfectly tasteless, giving it an edge of versatility over coconut oil or cocoa butter, which do add a slight taste. It's also a better option than vegetable oil and vegetable shortening because it stays solid and snappy at room temperature and doesn't make your end product sticky or too soft. Best of all, they give your chocolate a nice and glossy finish that resembles tempered chocolate without all the work.
Using Paramount Crystals In Chocolate
Using paramount crystals in your chocolate is simple: Just crush up the crystals and add them to your melted chocolate. You'll want to start with small amounts and incorporate them fully before adding more so you can keep tight control of the consistency of your chocolate. Add too much, and you might end up with a smooth but overly thin batch that won't work in most recipes. Going a tablespoon at a time is the recommended pace.
Paramount crystals are also good for smoothing out the consistency of candy coating or melted yogurt chips for dipping and coating. Unfortunately, the catch is that you shouldn't use it for candy pops or anything else that needs to expand after coating. Because the paramount crystals add a snappy rigidity, it's liable to crack under pressure instead of expanding with whatever it's molded around. If you're looking for softness in your end product, it's best to go with more flexible thinning ingredients like coconut oil and vegetable shortening.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.