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Can you put chocolate chips close to the blech on Shabbat in hopes of melting them?

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    Possible duplicate of According to Halacha are you permitted to melt cheese on Shabbos? – Ploni Jun 25 '17 at 3:01
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    @Ploni one difference - chocolate melts at under Yad Soledes. – Shmuel Brin Jun 25 '17 at 4:24
  • @ShmuelBrin According to many opinions so does chocolate. – Ploni Jun 25 '17 at 7:03
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    @Ploni - another difference - this is chocolate. How is this a duplicate at all? Note especially the cheese-specific concerns raised in the other questions. – msh210 Jun 25 '17 at 15:04
  • @Ploni I don't believe anyone says that chocolate melts at above Yad Soledes – Shmuel Brin Jun 25 '17 at 17:28
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It depends why you want to melt the chocolate chips.

Chocolate is a special food in that it is already cooked (see here) but turns into a semi-liquid once heated. The rule for dry solids that turn into liquids once heated (e.g., sugar, baby formula) is that they cannot be reheated above yad soledet bo (109-113 degrees F, 43-45 degrees C) because of the rule of yesh bishul achar bishul bedavar lach (see e.g., here)

As such one should avoid putting chocolate where it might go over that temperature. But as R Daniel Braude writes (Learn Shabbos, p. 139)

If [...] the liquid will not reach 109/43 degrees even if it will stay there throughout Shabbos, one may place it near a heat source. For instance, one may place a container of ice cream far enough from a blech or covered hot plate that it will soften slightly and be easier to serve, yet will never reach 109/43 [degrees].

Now there is a question whether melting constitutes a prohibition of molid (creating a new entity). Shemirat Shabbat K'Hilchata (vol. 1, p. 99) writes one is allowed to melt ice cream so long as one does not place it where it could reach 113/54 degrees. Similarly one can freeze ice cream as it is generally thought of as food.

With chocolate, it might depend whether you are trying to create liquid chocolate (which might transgress molid) or looking to soften up the chocolate chips to create soft chocolate (which would be permitted according to the sources above).

Of course, consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here.

  • Do you have a different or other evidence for your "might"-qualified claim that melting's permissibility depends on the purpose (rather than on the result)? – msh210 Jan 20 at 22:47
  • @msh210 I based it on SSK allowing to melt ice cream since the intent is not to create a liquid but softer ice cream which is easier to eat. Now the same ice cream, if left long enough, would turn into a liquid, so the SSK bases it on intent and "general thought as food" rather than purpose. I see the same is true for chocolate which is normally seen as a food, not a liquid. – mbloch Jan 21 at 4:09

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