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    12 Tips To Up Your Chocolate Game Straight From A Pastry Chef

    How to avoid clumping, nail the perfect cookie — and what to do if the outside of your chocolate turns white.

    Chocolate is delicious, but working with it at home can be intimidating. Sometimes it clumps up, sometimes it burns — it's not an easy thing to master.

    Here are 12 of his best tips:

    1. When working with chocolate, make sure all your surfaces and tools — bowls, spoons, measuring cups — are completely dry.

    2. For chocolate doughs and cake batters, use cocoa powder instead of flour to prevent them from sticking to the counter or in their baking tins.

    3. If your recipe calls for melted chocolate, don't use chocolate chips — some of them are actually designed not to melt.

    4. Don't stir your melted chocolate with a metal spoon — the coldness might "shock" your chocolate.

    5. Let chocolate set (AKA harden) on plastic wrap to give it a shiny finish — perfect for chocolate bark or fancy garnishes.

    6. If you're trying to dip something in chocolate, but it's too thick to coat it nicely, add a little bit of vegetable oil.

    7. Look out for things that are labeled candy melts, and treat them differently.

    8. To safely melt chocolate at home, either melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave — never over direct heat.

    9. Use a serrated knife to chop up bars of chocolate — it's much easier and will save your hand from hurting.

    10. If you notice your chocolate has a dull white or grey, don't worry! It's called "bloom" and can simply be remelted.

    11. Keep in mind that white chocolate can be a bit trickier to work with — because it burns much easier.

    12. Don't store it in the fridge.

    Have any genius tips for working with chocolate? Let us know in the comments below!