Ever notice how much powder you’re left with after trying to cut pieces from a block or bar of chocolate? The problem isn’t your chopping technique—it’s your chocolate’s hardness. Fortunately, all your sweet needs is a short stint in the microwave. Place the chocolate bar on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on the lowest setting for about one minute (bigger bars will take longer), turning the chocolate halfway through. When the chocolate softens and begins to melt at the corners, transfer it to a cutting board and chop it into powder-free chunks.
Most home cooks don’t own a fancy chocolate fork, used to break up large blocks of chocolate into more manageable pieces. But chances are your knife drawer contains an equally effective substitute: a two-tined fork used to hold a roast while slicing it. Simply place your chocolate on a secured cutting board, then press straight down into the chocolate. It breaks into neater pieces than when cut by a knife—and requires a lot less effort.
Chocolate desserts are a work of art, so why not treat them like one? Instead of using a knife to break a block of chocolate into chunks, use a cheap chisel. Its sturdy edge does as good a job, and preserves the knives’ sharp, delicate edges. Simply place the chisel on the chocolate angled away from you. Then, using short, quick strokes, chip into pieces of desired size.