What's the best way to grate chocolate without getting it messy and melting all over one's fingers? I've been using a fine cheese grater, and while it does the trick, the chocolate melts in my hand as I hold it... How can I improve this process?
I would recommend staying away from a grater and either using a knife or a chocolate chipper (http://www.amazon.com/Lee-43198-Chocolate-Chipper/dp/B00005NUVX). The less friction and the more you keep your hands off it (because your hand will melt it as you have discovered) the better.
I was using a knife to "grate" chocolate, when my mom gave me...a cheese slicer (the one that looks a bit like a cake lifter)! Tip the chocolate bar onto its side, and as you would slice cheese, you "slice" chocolate, and then you get either finely grated whisps or thick curls, depending on the pressure used. Also, the chocolate has no time to melt, as it goes so quickly AND you only touch the back and front with 2 fingers. It works like a dream. I'm sure a potatoe peeler would have the same effect.
If you have the shelf space for one more gadget, a drum grater is an excellent solution. The friction isn't enough to melt the chocolate, and you are not touching it with your fingers. It is also more convenient for cheese and nuts than a standard grater. I find it much more convenient and quicker than knife chopping, and it produces uniform results.
Freeze the chocolate then put it in a mini electric food chopper.
A potato peeler works wonders!!