What to do when you are melting chocolate and it suddenly clutches, tightens, stiffens, and hardens?
Try putting a little oil on the problem - about 1 tsp of oil per ounce of chocolate. Then beat vigorously until the chocolate agrees to behave.
Of course the best bet is to not let this happen - and most modern chefs avoid it by using the microwave to melt chocolate - not the more traditional double boiler or bain marie.
Another tip - the more additivies a chocolate has - the greater the probability it will mis-behave. Stick to really pure chocolates for the best results.
Can any good brand of chocolate be used for dipping strawberries and still set up hard when cool? If not, can anything be done to it or added to the melted chocolate to ensure it will set up hard to the touch?