2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:08pm
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Help! Ok, last year I tried doing cake balls and it didnt work out, I just couldnt work with the choc. melting...so I ended up with my CAKE BALLS TOWER CAKE in my pics...out of buttercream and ALOT of hours into it!!!!

so this year the same customer wants CAKE BALLS ....AGAIN!!!! I did alot of reading and so forth, and its EASY! Why cant I do it!???

I thought maybe it was the choc.'s I got so I tried again last night and took my time, thought Ill do some for easter as practice. I baked my strawberry cake, and froze my cake balls waiting for the melted choc. This time I bought BAKERS ALMOND BARK...Wow!!! It melted and I was able to make like 15 cake balls out of a whole package, not many bug I did it. So I thought I have Wilton Disks candys to melt, Ill do it slow and the same way...NOPE!!!!

I did it the same way in the microwave, and the first batch crystalized!!!! so I got another package thinking maybe it was an old package, and nope this time it wouldnt melt!!! it got cakey and mushy but still not melted.

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???? I HAVE 20MORE CAKE BALLS TO DO TODAY FOR TOMM....I'd prefer to work with the microwave an not a broiler on the stove.

30 replies
kellymarie Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:25pm
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That's very odd??? I know when water contacts chocolate mets they tend to seize up...did you add any flavorings to the mix?

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:28pm
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No, not at all!....I did as I did the other BAKERS CHOC....I put it in a glass bowl, and did it 30 secs at a time. kept stiring it also....and wont melt...

and Ive used several different bags of those Wilton candy disks, thinking maybe I had an old bag and it was stale?....lol

I cant do this!!!! whats the deal?

ziggytarheel Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:41pm
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I have the most consistent success using a double boiler to melt my chocolate (with my old Revereware sauce pan and insert, so steam doesn't come through). As long as I melt it fairly slowly, I don't have a problem.

How powerful is your microwave? Do you often have things that cook it in faster than others do? Slower?

The discs must melt eventually. Are you using full power? Half power? How many times have you pressed "start" on your microwave?

It sounds like when it crystallized, either you melted them too long so they got too hot, or some liquid got in them somehow. And, I would guess that the discs are not melting now because they need more time.

I've been using those discs for 26 years and never had them not melt. Keep at it. icon_smile.gif

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:50pm
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Microwave has never had a problem cooking foods like it suppose too....like I said it did my BAKERS CHOC. just fine.

I did put them in a 6" deep bowl and I did:
30 secs, stop, stir good, 30 secs, stop stir...

I have NEVER worked with a double broiler!!!! and so afraid!!!! and now I have to do these in the sneak cause they are for tomm..and so doing the broiler thing will let the cat out of the bag...faster in mircowave...lol

I cant believe this!!!! So is it not possible to do them in the mircowave?....or do I need a flatter surface and spread each disk out seperate?...Im assuming Im using full power...I dont even know the size of my microwaves wattage!

psmith Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:58pm
post #6 of

That is so strange! One thing you might check though-are you covering your chocolate in the micro? If even a drop of condensation gets into the chocolate it can seize. Sometimes moisture can collect on the roof of the micro and fall into the item being cooked. Maybe if you aren't covering, put a paper towel over the top and try it? Otherwise, I am at a loss here. It must be very frustrating for you. icon_sad.gif I can say that I have had very good success with Merkles chocolate wafers though. Any of the Wilton white or pastel colors I have used have been horrible to work with. This may be another 'Wilton' issue?

ziggytarheel Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 2:58pm
post #7 of

How much total time have you microwaved the current bowl? And how full is the bowl?

If I microwave, I'm using using smaller amounts, maybe half a cup at a time. I'm not really familiar with larger amounts and how long that takes. But even a half a cup can take several 30 second intervals. And they keep their shape when they are "melted" until you stir them.

Try putting a 1/4 cup of discs in a small bowl/Pyrex measuring cup and see if they melt with less than 5 30-second bursts.

Kepi Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 3:05pm
post #8 of

When I make my cake balls, I melt the chocolate in my slow cooker (on low) and I've never had any problems with it. You might give that a shot!

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 3:06pm
post #9 of

Ok, Im going to have to try once everyone leaves for a bit, in the meantime, I have to run to the store again!!!! These will be the most expensive cake balls ever!!!! lol

No I dont cover them at all....
1. out of the bag
2. into a glass bowl
3. in microwave 30 secs at a time
4. stop, stir
5. keep the procedure going to try and melt them...

thats what Ive done....Im telling you, if its gonna HAPPEN, IT'LL HAPPEN TO ME!....lol
come on, how hard can this be!!!! everyone does BEAUTIFUL CAKE BALLS, and I cant get ONE!....lol that darn cake towerl tree took me like 14hrs to make with BC icing!!!! lol

kitty122000 Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:51pm

I'd suggest putting it on 50% power (or defrost if you dont have power settings) and cooking it for 90 seconds at first, stir and then 30 second intervals after that, stirring between each interval.

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 6:24pm

Ok, Im back from being in town with more candy melts...lol....Im gonna try this again. DH is taking a nap now, we are both EMS...so our shifts are odd, and this is for DH easter basket...so while DH is out of the way, here I go again...ATTEMPTING CAKE BALLS....lol

thanks for all the support I appreciate it....

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 7:31pm

ok, I went with the Barks Almond...and I tried again....Im stirring it like crazy....and am fast to get it on the cake ball...AND STILL....can not do it!!!!

I got only 2 cake balls that look perfect all the rest look matted!!!! I give up this is the 3rd time trying this. and with different candys.

Notice the choc. came out smoother and I did the rest the same way...but still cant do it right.
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Sipot Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 7:50pm

I make chocolates a lot and always use an electric fying pan with it set on the lowest possible setting fill with water and put a glass bowl in there with the chocolate, that way it stays melted and you can work ith it longer.

I dont have the patience to melt it in there though and use the microwave, I usually do 1.5 minutes until it melts and then stir, the melted chocolate and hot glass bowl will eventually melt the chunks that have not melted yet.

Maybe your bowl and chocolate is quite hot but just not given a chance to melt the remaining choclate chunks? let it sit for a minute and then stir again???

White chocolate melts much faster and seizes much faster than milk chocolate as well so you have to be more careful with white.

2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 7:56pm

ok, so I have to get ahold of a frying pan....put water in it...already hot? or let it get hot in the pan?.....

then put a bowl in the water, and add the choc?...or do I start it in the microwave first and then move to fry pan?...SORRY...
Im so frustrated, this is simple and I cant do it!....lol

and white melts faster...everyone has beautiful cake balls and mine are clumpy and ugly....lol...

Sipot Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:04pm

you can add hot water from the tap or let it get hot in the Electric frying pan, either way is fine, once it is hot (it should not be simmering AT ALL, just hot, I can dip my finger in but not hold it in there) You can jus tput the chocolate wafers/discs in unmelted OR start the melting in the microwave.

When I am turning the dial to start my frying pan I turn it just until the light comes on so it is not really even set to the lowest setting it is lower than that.

Maybe since you are having trouble with the microwave method try just putting the unmelted chocolate in the bowl in the Electric fying pan and waiting for it to melt.

White OR Milk choc can be done that way, I have never had white or milk seize in the bowl in hot water, ONLY in the microwave so try avoiding it to see if that works for you.

katnmouse Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:08pm

On the bright side...you made it to the coating stage...I havent' even successfully gotten that far yet icon_rolleyes.gif

JaimeAnn Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:16pm

The double boiler method is the most consistent. Dont be afraid! and actually all you need is a regular stove top pot and a bowl that fits on top of it covering the whole top of the pot. It can be metal or glass.

Bring the water to a simmer and stir the choc or candy melts constantly while they are on top of the simmering pot till melted. When its all melted LEAVE the bowl on the pot but remove from the stove, the residual heat from the water will keep the choc melted for longer. If it starts to get clumpy or too thick move it back over to the stove and re-warm. If your cake balls are frozen or cold it will make your choc cool off faster and may need to be rewarmed a few times to keep it smooth.
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2txmedics Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:16pm

if only they would be happy at stopping at the coating stage....lol

after I bind them with whipping cream....I freeze them...in a pan at first until hard, and then I move them over to a zip lock bag....I read to freeze them in like almost all my research on different sites!!!

JaimeAnn Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:28pm

If this doesn't work out for you , but this is something you still really want to do you may want to invest in an electric chocolate fondue pot. They are only like $20 and keep your chocolate melted and at a consistent temp while dipping.
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KHalstead Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 8:29pm

forgive me if this has been mentioned (I tried to read all the posts).............you need to add some shortening to your chocolate to thin it down. About a tsp. per cup of chocolate will do the trick, it will help it melt down nicer and make it smoother and thinner for dipping!!

2txmedics Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 1:59am

WHAT!!!! I read about putting shortening but then I started to ask and everyone said oh no, that destroys the choc!!!!

and this is the first mention Ive heard of it....ok, so what kind of shortening...like crisco?....or oil based that you pour?....

OMG!!!....lol

JaimeAnn Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 3:06am

Shortening like crisco.......

I don't use it but I have heard a lot of people recomend it.

KHalstead- Does it still set up firm after adding the shortening?

step0nmi Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 3:34am

I've always added a bit of shortening to my chocolate....this helps thin it out some and yes, the chocolate will still harden. you can either do any shortening or even a tablespoon of vegetable oil

I know that when I do a WHOLE bag of the chocolate melts you have to read the packaging. I always start with what it says like 50% at about 1 min 30 seconds or longer. then go with the 30 sec intervals at full power. it DOES take a long time to melt a whole bag though but your problem may be the initial heating up which is the longer time period.

I would try that! the double boiler method never works for me. there is too much sensitivity to getting water in the chocolate and/or burning the chocolate.

mamawrobin Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 9:59am
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeAnn

If this doesn't work out for you , but this is something you still really want to do you may want to invest in an electric chocolate fondue pot. They are only like $20 and keep your chocolate melted and at a consistent temp while dipping.




I have a small crock pot that I use for chocolate. Works like a charm!!

2txmedics Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 3:12pm

And you would have thought I'd built the Taj Malhal!!! DH loved them, and said they tasted WONDERFUL!!! thats a plus, and said it was very much appreciated since DH knows I can not work with candy melts. lol

I have to post a pic of the final product....brb.

Ok here they are....they are lumpy and splotchy and you can see little circles rings on the choc. ones...but honey loved them...lol, gotta love the BLIND!!!!....
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chefjulie Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 3:29pm

I only ever use the Wilton chocolate melting pot that someone posted a picture of above!! It's FANTASTIC!!! Just dump the chocolate in (I use Ghiradelli chocolate coating that I stock up on at Sams during the holidays) and let it do it's thing. I have one for white and one for dark!

2txmedics Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 3:34pm

Wow, so I can use my little tiny crock pot that I got at Walgreens for 3.99? what setting? low???

Im gonna have to try that next. Ok DH said that the choc. on the dark ones, stayed soft, taste good but its soft...not hard shelled and the white ones are crusted hard candy....both taste good.

But why on this? its the same brand of candy melts just one is white and the other one choc. And the choc was made the night before.

bananabread Posted 4 Apr 2010 , 7:36pm

see the bakerella web page maybe you can find the answer to your problems.

KHalstead Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 7:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2txmedics

WHAT!!!! I read about putting shortening but then I started to ask and everyone said oh no, that destroys the choc!!!!

and this is the first mention Ive heard of it....ok, so what kind of shortening...like crisco?....or oil based that you pour?....

OMG!!!....lol





I always add shortening, it gives the candy melts/bakers coating a really nice shine to them and makes it silky smooth for dipping. I add about a tsp. of shortening (any veg. shortening, crisco, etc.) per cup of chocolate and melt them together, stir, and if it still needs to be thinner I add more shortening. It sets up nice and firm and doesn't affect the taste at all.

here are cake balls that I've made diong that to them, you can see the coating gets nice and smooth on them.
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teddybr218 Posted 8 Apr 2010 , 3:07pm

I know that Easter is over but this may help for the next time. I had someone tell me that you should not use glass bowl/cup in the microwave for melting chocolate. The glass heats up before the candy melts and that causes too much heat on the candy melts, which cause them to seize. I bought cheap plastic measureing cups at the dollar store and have not had a problem since.

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