Begin by melting chopped chocolate in a glass or plastic bowl, in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals, stirring between each interval. Using your thermometer, determine the temperature of the chocolate as it begins to melt.
In lieu of using the microwave, you might prefer to use a double boiler (or bain-marie) to accomplish the same end result. This is probably the oldest method of melting chocolate. However there is one drawback with this method, vapor. Chocolate and water do not mix, AT ALL! Great care must be taken when boiling the water during this process, so that it does not contaminate the chocolate with steam.
Here you set the unmelted chocolate in a glass or metal bowl to snugly fit on top of the metal pot. Set your bowl filled with unmelted chocolate away from the stove, fill the pot halfway with water, and bring it to rolling boil. Remove it from the stove and place a small kitchen towel on top of it to prevent the vapor from escaping. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of it and let it stand for a couple of minutes allowing the chocolate to melt. Once this process begins, stir the chocolate and take a temperature reading. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted.