When it comes to melting chocolate, it is much easier to deal with small pieces than large blocks. Chocolate can burn easily, whether you are melting it in the microwave or in a double boiler, and smaller pieces mean a faster and more even melt. I generally chop off a piece of a larger block of chocolate, then cut it down from there. It is undeniably faster and easier when your chocolate comes out of the bag ready to go, which is why chocolate chips are often chosen as the easiest chocolate to melt into brownies and cake batters.
It is also why Trader Joe’s introduced their Baking Chocolates in an easy-melt form. These chocolates – which come in bittersweet and unsweetened, the two types most often called for in baking recipes outside of chocolate chips – are disc shaped and packed in resealable plastic bags. They melt down in half the time of larger chunks of chocolate and they’re good quality, with a nice rich flavor and good cocoa/fruity notes. My favorite feature, however, is that they are pre-measured so that 6 discs equals one ounce of chocolate. This makes it incredibly easy to pull out one or two ounces for a recipe like Dark and Milk Chocolate Brownies without needing to chop anything or pull out a kitchen scale.
They only come in 8-ounce bags and, though they’re not expensive, I would still stick to larger chunks of chocolate for recipes that require 12+ ounces (some flourless chocolate cakes), but these are definitely a great option for everyday baking. And, yes, you can chop them up into chocolate chips in a pinch if you need to, as well.