Alex Guarnaschelli's Quick Method For Rescuing Separated Chocolate Sauce

You bought the finest chocolate to create the perfect sauce for an elegant dessert. With the ideal, easy-to-follow recipe, you thought your dessert would be epic, but then something happened to the chocolate. It suddenly looks clumpy, and the silk-like texture is now more like coarse, granular mess instead of the smooth lusciousness you were expecting. What happened, and what can you do about it?

As you melt chocolate, its ingredients, sugar, cocoa, and fats, liquefy and disperse evenly, creating that creaminess we love. As noted by Hotel Chocolat, if moisture is introduced to the mixture in any way, even a simple drop on the edge of the bowl or a wet spatula, the water binds with the sugar nearly instantly, causing it to lump together, creating a thick, dense structure. 

Seized chocolate, as it is called, isn't going to create the sauce you were hoping for, but all of that expensive chocolate does not have to go to waste just yet: Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a tried-and-true way of fixing seized chocolate.

Rescue separated chocolate sauce with the right addition

Speaking to People, Alex Guarnaschelli shared a simple way to fix separated chocolate sauce to bring it back to the consistency you desire. She says, "My mom always added more cream or butter, but it didn't work. The easiest fix is to balance the excess of fatty ingredients: Just stir in a few spoonfuls of warm water." Take it one spoonful at a time to reach the proper texture. Seized chocolate does not necessarily taste any different (unless you've burnt it), and it's safe to continue to use in your recipe. If all else fails, you could alter the recipe a bit and turn it into a decadent brownie, shares Gygi.

Prevention is always best when possible, and for that, consider doing all you can to keep all surfaces that come in contact with the chocolate as dry as possible, including all of the utensils. If melting in a double boiler, keep the heat low to minimize the amount of steam produced, which can be the culprit if a few droplets make it into the sauce, per Gygi. That can help ensure you have the best chocolate recipe outcomes possible.