A food processor is great for a hundred different things, from chopping sweet potatoes and onions to shredding cabbage. However, can it grate chocolate?
Yes, it’s possible to grate chocolate in a food processor. You need to use a shredding disc and feed the chocolate through the feed chute to do so.
In this guide, I’ll explain what sort of foods a food processor can grate, how to grate chocolate in a food processor, and alternative methods for grating delectable, luxurious chocolate bars.
What Foods Can a Food Processor Grate?
A food processor’s standard cutting attachment is an S-shaped blade. It’s used primarily to chop fruits and vegetables, but it can also purée softened ingredients and whip cream. However, a food processor can do much more than just chop; it can also grate.
So, if you didn’t already know, there are certain food items that you should not put in a food processor, such as animal bones, gelatin, and ice (for certain food processors). For the most part, foods that are too hard or too hot should stay away from a food processor’s bowl.
As for everything else—cauliflower, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, and chocolate—you can feel confident chopping or grating them in a food processor.
How to Grate Chocolate in a Food Processor
Grating is one thing a food processor does best. Because the cutting attachment spins at a consistent rate, you don’t have to worry about uneven shreds. However, you do have to worry about how to grate your ingredient—in this case, chocolate—without ruining the cutting attachment, the bowl, or the chocolate shreds.
The only “specialized” tool you’ll need is a shredding disc. It doesn’t come standard with most food processors, so unless you have one already or you can pick one up, then you’ll have to come up with alternative ways for grating chocolate (I’ll help you with that in a bit).
So, assuming your tool and supplies are on hand, and you have your chocolate bars on hand, here’s how to grate chocolate in a food processor.
1. Cut the chocolate into long strips
The goal is to insert the chocolate into the food processor’s feed chute. To do this, you might have to slice the chocolate bar lengthwise to get it narrow enough to fit. If it can already fit through the feed chute, move on to the next step.
2. Place the chocolate, the shredding disc, and the food processor’s bowl and lid in the freezer for 10 minutes
Unless you’re a fan of melted chocolate, heat and chocolate are sworn enemies. If you try to shred a warm chocolate bar, you’ll end up with smears of chocolate all over your food processor’s blade. At best, you’ll end up with melted chunks sitting inside the bowl. So, before doing anything, make sure you freeze your chocolate for at least 10 minutes.
While you’re at it, you might as well place the shredding disc and the food processor’s bowl and lid in there, too. Basically, you need to chill any part of your food processor that makes contact with the chocolate.
3. Install the shredding disc in your food processor
Now that your chocolate and food processor components are chilled, it’s time to assemble the food processor. Place the bowl on the base and align the center of the shredding disc with the bowl’s shaft. Cover the bowl with the lid and install the feed chute.
Work as quickly but as safely as you can while doing this. The longer the food processor is out of the freezer, and the more you handle it, the easier it will be to melt your chocolate.
4. Grate the chocolate by inserting it through the feed chute
When your food processor is ready to go, take the chocolate bar out of the fridge, turn the food processor on, and carefully insert the chocolate through the feed chute. You will need to push it down with the guard to maintain constant contact with the shredding blade disc. Proceed with the following chocolate bar chunks until you have enough grated chocolate.
Hold the pulse button down in 1- or 2-second increments. The longer you allow the food processor to run, the more heat it will produce, and the easier it will melt your chocolate.
Empty the bowl frequently. To prevent the shredded chocolate from melting, remove the shreds from the food processor bowl before proceeding with the next batch. This will give the motor some time to cool down.
Work in small batches. If you overfill the food processor bowl, the individual chocolate shreds may transfer heat to their neighbors, which will leave you with a runny mess.
Place the bowl, shredding disc, feed chute, and chocolate in the freezer after every 5 minutes. Everything will warm up when left at room temperature. To prevent your food processor from melting your chocolate, disassemble it and place the bowl and all of the accessories inside the freezer for another 5 minutes.
Alternatives for Grating Chocolate
If you don’t have a food processor, or if your food processor isn’t compatible with a shredding blade disc attachment, you can use the following alternative for grating chocolate. You will still have to chill your chocolate bars before using any of these tools.
The classic tool for grating chocolate, cheese, and vegetables is a box grater. It has four sides with four distinct blade styles for producing various shaving sizes and shapes. To grate chocolate, you should use the regular grating side or super-fine grating side for finer shreds.
A microplane is a handheld grating device that is normally used for grating nutmeg, citrus zest, and chocolate. This tool produces ultra-fine shreds, which are great for dusting cakes or topping whipped cream.
A rotary grater is a specialized grating tool that spins the food ingredient and holds it against a cylindrical cutter. The more you turn the handle, the more shredded chocolate you’ll get. This tool is, by far, the easiest-to-use alternative to a food processor for grating chocolate.