Melt chocolate over very low heat in a heavy saucepan, in the top of a double boiler over simmering (not boiling) water or in the microwave on high. Break up chocolate bars for faster melting.
Start with dry utensils and equipment. A drop of water can turn melted chocolate into a stiff, unworkable mass.
If the chocolate becomes hard or brittle, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening or oil (not butter) per ounce of chocolate. Stir over low heat until the texture returns to normal.
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