So, A Customer Made A 'suggestion'

Sugar Work By jescapades Updated 31 May 2007 , 3:25pm by crgsnbrown

jescapades Posted 22 May 2007 , 11:41pm
post #1 of 40

i made 6 chocolate dipped strawberries for someone dh works with and threw in a key lime cheesecake stuffed strawberry free. i asked dh how she liked her strawberries and he said, 'she asked if she could make a suggestion.' i guess she and her dh went to nyc a while back and bought some chocolate dipped strawberries from a street vendor. they loved tham and asked him what kind of chocolate he used and he said cadbury.

i use wilton melts because i like them and it keeps my prices down. if i use a more expensive chocolate, i would have to jack up my prices, which i don't want to do (and i certainly don't want to eat the extra cost). so, now i don't know if she liked them. should i think about another chocolate? should i be upset that that was all she said?

i am just feeling a little down on myself because i had hoped she would love them and say so... icon_sad.gif

thanks for letting me get that out.

39 replies
becky27 Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:02am
post #2 of 40

i think that that person sounds rude and ungrateful....i am sure there was nothing wrong...she also sounds jealous....everyone was probley praising you and since it wasn't about her she just had to go and say something negative...unhappy people often do stuff like that!!! i am sure your strawberries and pie were delicious!!!!

ShirleyW Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:10am
post #3 of 40

I have to agree, good chocolate tastes better, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Jess try making a recipe of the Sarah Bernhardt chocolate glaze sometime and dip your berries in it, it is made with Guittard chcolate chips which are much better quality than Ghirardelli or Nestles but not as expensive as block chocolate. The glaze sets up enough that it doesn't come off on your finger if you touch the berries, but it is softer or creamier than just melted chocolate, it has a nice mouth feel and doesn't shatter when you bite into them. I just can't eat Candy melts, they taste too waxy to me.

rezzygirl Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:43am
post #4 of 40

Good quality products cost extra dollars!! People are willing to pay for that. I wouldn't use the melts if I'm trying to impress. Even melted choc. chips would be better. Maybe you can get a small quantity just for dipping strawberries? Ghiradelli has one available in grocery stores that would definetely be a step up from the melts.

I wouldn't be insulted by her suggestion, melts have a much different taste than chocolates. I've followed advice of many of my customers and they keep coming back!

I like the sound of the key lime cheesecake stuffed strawberries!! Made my mouth water just thinking of it! YUM!

indydebi Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:53am
post #5 of 40

"Why yes, the price of my berries HAVE gone up! I took your wonderful suggestion and started using a higher quality chocolate."

Premium ingredients come at a premium cost.

Cynda Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:56am
post #6 of 40

Dont take it personal. You can try it and see how that works if they dont want to pay for quality chocolate then give them what they want.

Teekakes Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:58am
post #7 of 40

I wouldn't take it as an insult but would turn to my advantage as constructive critisism. I would now simply offer her and everyone else two different qualities of chocolate coatings, one being more expensive than the other. Let her and anyone else that wants to pay the higher dollars for the higher priced ingredients. My husband and I both have a rather expensive taste in the chocolate department and do not care for the melts either.
Take the comment as a positive for yourself! icon_smile.gif

BeckySue Posted 23 May 2007 , 12:59am
post #8 of 40

Ok Shirley - I just looked at the recipe for the chocolate sounds divine! I will have to come up with an excuse to bake something just so I can try it out! LOL icon_rolleyes.gif

jescapades: don't take it personally. People have different tastes (especially when it comes to chocolate) and some are better at expressing themselves than others. I am sure she was trying to give you a polite suggestion, but it came out wrong. Keep your chin up!! icon_wink.gif

ruralepicure Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:09am
post #9 of 40

I've never tried the chocolate covered strawberries with candy melts.

I hope that I don't sound snobbish by saying this but actually, you can't really call them chocolate covered strawberries if you aren't using chocolate. If my understanding is correct, candy melts are not chocolate.

I say to try out a few kinds of chocolate and increase your prices as needed. The key lime cheesecake stuffed strawberry sounds DELISH!!

Valentinemommy2002 Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:09am
post #10 of 40

Jescapades...I of course don't know your husband but if he is like many may have been said in a less offensive way than was construed to you? I personally don't like the taste of melts either but I bet you did a great job. Try not to take it personally especially since it was coming to you 2nd hand.

heiser73 Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:09am
post #11 of 40

First of all, I can imagine how you feel. I hate it when I make something that I think is going to be so good and someone says "maybe next time you should try this", or "I think I liked your last icing better"..I'm always trying to perfect recipes but I still hate it when they don't love what I just made. Though, most of the time it's my family that tastes things for me. But I know I would be soo upset if a customer gave me a suggestion like that. Even if they were right I would still be crushed, at first at least!!

But I will say that I'm not a huge fan of the taste of candy melts. I really like to use Symphony bars. I can usually get them on sale at my grocery for $1, and they are just really good, but still not soo expensive. I live in a small town so I don't have access to guittards, or anything like that, but everyone loves the symphony bars. I have used cadbury before too and that is good as well. They are both readily available and usually can be found on sale so maybe you wouldn't have to increase your prices so much. It's just a thought. I hope I've helped some.

Your stuffed strawberries sounds amazing though. And just remember sometimes we have to go through trial and error until we get the right recipes that we are happy with and so are our customers. Try not to be too upset, because you are super talented and I'm sure regardless of the chocolate your berries tasted awesome!!

moptop Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:12am
post #12 of 40

I gotta agree with your customer - give some good chocolate a try. Folks who are into chocolate (and those are likely the folks ordering choco covered strawberries) really do appreciate the taste and texture of the real deal AND will have no trouble paying extra for it. Try Callebaut - it's one of the lower priced fine chocolates... tastes wonderful. Other good ones to try are Guittard, Scharffen Berger and Valhrona. I order all my chocolate from . They're very competitively priced, have an insane selection, ship it quick and always add a little extra treat in my package for me to enjoy.

FromScratch Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:12am
post #13 of 40

Hmmm.. I wouldn't take it personally. It's a matter of taste. Some people like candy melts.. some don't. I personally don't like them. I don't think of them as real chocolate, and I am willing to bet that many people would agree with me. Most people see chocolate covered strawberries as a luxury.. so they will pay for them. Especially if you can say they are covered in premium chocolate. I'd switch to a better chocolate and charge accordingly.

And like Shirley suggested, I also use a very firm ganache to cover my chocolate covered strawberries (I only make them for me since I am selfish and won't share.. LOL). It has a great mouth feel compared to just plain old chocolate which breaks off in big chunks. A firm ganache melts in your mouth with each bite.

Edited to add that I can get Ghiradelli chocolate at my grocery store.. if you ask the manager they will probably order something like that for you. A bar costs me $1.99.. they sell it in chip form too.. worth a shot. icon_biggrin.gif

jaitee69 Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:25am
post #14 of 40

Hey Jescapades!

If it makes you feel any better, I personally have only used merkens to make my covered strawberries and have never had a complaint! I like the fact that it firms up nice and doesn't melt easily. I haven't used other chocolates because I feel they would be soft and not really be like the chocolate covered strawberries I've tasted before. If I found a recipe that would give me the same consistency as the merkens, I would consider trying it though! Chin up!


doescakestoo Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:28am
post #15 of 40

I am in total agreement with the others on this string. Use better chocolate on your strawberries. They will taste so much better and the chocolate will be smoother on the taste buds. Make it and they will come and pay top dollar for it.

1234me Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:28am
post #16 of 40

am I the only one who uses chocolate almond bark?

DelectableCreations Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:30am
post #17 of 40

i think that the fact you did that to be generous and she couldn't show any kind of appreciation for it just shows that she wanted to find something to cut you down with. this might not be the case.. and suggestions are NEVER bad.. but she could have thrown in a thank you or a compliment as WELL! you did a very nice thing! be proud thumbs_up.gif

aoliveira Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:36am
post #18 of 40

Candy melts are not really considered chocolate because of the low content of cocoa butter and all the "extra" stuff they put in. That's why they're not called chocolate but candy melts. It tastes terrible by itself. It's ok to use for home or things like that. But I wouldn't sell chocolates made with candy melts. Anyone who knows about chocolate can tell good quality chocolate.

But the fact remains that you did a nice thing and she should just be graceful and shutup.


StephW Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:37am
post #19 of 40

Jessica, I saw the pics of your strawberries in my Stuffed Strawberries post - they look delicious!!

I would not take the customer's advice as an insult. I don't like the candy melts either. I have used Ghirardelli in the past and now I am using Callebaut. They do cost more - but when you figure that you are going for a high end taste with something as decadent as Keylime cheesecake stuffed strawberries - well then I think that deserves the best ingredients you can afford.

I'll bet she'd be willing to pay the extra it will cost.

Great idea with the filling... yummmmm!!!

Granpam Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:39am
post #20 of 40

I generaly use Chocolate almand bark for my cake truffles but I used some on some test strawberries on Saturday and wasn't pleased with the result. I have an order for a grooms cake with chocolate strawberries for the 8th and I have never done them before. I am now going to try Shirley's sugestion. Thanks Shirley.

I think she may have been trying to be helpful but she should have at least been gracious about it and at least thanked you for the berries.

moydear77 Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:47am
post #21 of 40

Just a thought...when I think of good choclate it is not Cadbury. (like the easter eggs??) I don't even consider nestle chips very the ingredients on some!

I just tried Callebaut in some cookies and they were divine!

jescapades Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:49am
post #22 of 40

wow, i had no idea candy melts were such a faux pas! icon_redface.gif

i appreciate all the comments and feedback. i actually really like the candy melts and like them with the strawberries. i didn't realize people expected better. i have a huge bag of nestle chocolate chips and one of ghirardelli bittersweet chips, maybe i will try those, at least. or search around for better chocolate.

i am not a chocolate conoseur by any means. give me a plain ol' hershey bar anyday! icon_redface.gif

i will try something different and see what happens. thanks everyone!

BlakesCakes Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:52am
post #23 of 40

I don't think I'd have liked the tone of "making a suggestion", either, but.....another thing to consider is that Cadbury chocolate has a VERY different taste from what we're accustomed to here in the US. I love it, but I know a lot of Americans who don't like it at all.

I can't really think of anything that would taste as different from candy melts THAN Cadbury. I think the lady may have said the same thing if you'd used Callebaut, Ghirardelli, etc.

I agree that with a high end product like dipped stuffed strawberries, using a good grade real chocolate would be a wise move.

You can avoid the tempering issue of real chocolate if you mix 1/3 candy melts with 2/3 real stuff. I've done it and I love the results--great taste and texture with very little extra fuss. Just don't heat either the melts or the chocolate too much--just heat them to the point of melting.


ccaluda Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:52am
post #24 of 40

Ganache covered strawberries. Yummmm

I made a ganache chocolate cake this weekend and for some reason I had a ton of ganache left over (wink, wink). Needless to say my pint of strawberries soon went choco-swimming. Ah sweet bliss. There is nothing more heavenly than juicy strawberries covered in smooth dark chocolate.

jescapades Posted 23 May 2007 , 2:26am
post #25 of 40

okay, so i checked out and i am totally lost! what is good?

when you use pure (real) chocolate to make strawberries, do you have to temper? do you use paramount crystals (like i do with melts)?

help, please??

BlakesCakes Posted 23 May 2007 , 2:38am
post #26 of 40

If you use all real chocolate, you need to temper it or you may get grey, dusty, soft coating.

To make real chocolate flow easily, you can add tempered cocoa butter, real butter, or some crisco. Too much of any of the above means that the chocolate doesn't set up well and stays soft.

To melts you can add paramount crystals to make them flow easily and to set up very hard. If you want them to set up softer, you add a bit of crisco.

And, as I said, you can avoid tempering by mixing the two--1/3 melts to 2/3 real chocolate.


StephW Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:27pm
post #27 of 40
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

And, as I said, you can avoid tempering by mixing the two--1/3 melts to 2/3 real chocolate.


Rae, isn't that really still tempering? Just an easier method? I took a truffles class at Loretta Paganini's and the chef showed us that method, so that's what I do now. But I'm taking a 4 day chocolate class from Burdick's in August - so it will be interesting to see what they show us.

StephW Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:33pm
post #28 of 40
Originally Posted by StephW

Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

And, as I said, you can avoid tempering by mixing the two--1/3 melts to 2/3 real chocolate.


Rae, isn't that really still tempering? Just an easier method? I took a truffles class at Loretta Paganini's and the chef showed us that method, so that's what I do now. But I'm taking a 4 day chocolate class from Burdick's in August - so it will be interesting to see what they show us.

Oh wait, I just reread what you suggested. That's different from what I do. I melt 2/3 of the chocolate on the stove and then once it's melted, I take it off the stove and add the other 1/3 of the chocolate and stir it until melted. Once it's all melted, it should be in temper.

I use all real chocolate and no candy melts at all.

sweetideas Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:44pm
post #29 of 40

I wouldn't take her comment as an insult. I am one for giving the benefit of doubt...maybe she is really impressed with the berries, but thinks they would be better with better chocolate. I agree, I don't think the melts would satisfy me but I AM a chocolate fiend. If money was an issue, there are better-quality melts out there (they start with an M but I don't recall offhand). But I think since your berries are so impressive using better chocolate would be a good idea. Just charge more for them...people who will want them will be willing to pay for a better product ( I would).

breelaura Posted 23 May 2007 , 1:45pm
post #30 of 40

Jess, I wouldn't say using candy melts is a faux pas - just a personal preference one way or the other. I use melts for a lot of things because they're more forgiving than the real stuff.

It honestly sounds to me like she's either honestly trying to be helpful (and really doen't know what she's talking about), or wants to sound fancy-schmancy and sophisticated. None of the chocolate snobs I know go for the Cadbury stuff... not that it's bad, mind you, but the name-dropping sort of stuff is Valrhona or Scharffen Berger.

Perhaps the Cadbury sets a little softer, and that's what she's getting at.

I mix melts with my expensive chocolate simply because I don't want to mess with the tempering (and potentially kill the expensive stuff in the process), and add a little butter (like it better than adding crisco). I want a nice look and sheen but very little snap, so 2/3 real to 1/3 melts (or even 1/4 to 3/4) works just fine.

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