Apti Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 3:46am

In October I took my very first candy class from my Wilton cake instructor (whom I love!). Everything she tried to show did not work. Now I know why after taking a 2nd, NON-Wilton candy class from a private instructor, Kathleen Lange of Confectionary Chalet.

Kathleen used Guittard A'Peels and the difference was astounding! Guittard melts to the correct "pancake batter" consistency, dries shiny, has a lovely "snap" and tastes great. I had tried and tried to get the correct consistency with the Wilton and now don't believe it is even possible. I told Kathleen I'd purchased about $30 worth of Wilton when they were on sale at 25% off. She sighed and said that the craft stores and Wilton put them on sale when they are at the end of their 6 months shelf life so they can restock. The older a candy melt is, the harder to melt.

I am going to use as many of the Wilton Melts as possible on my gingerbread houses--after all, I don't have to worry about them melting in a heated room, do I? Then, the rest I'm giving away to an after-school care program. I purchased Guittard Dark Chocolate A'Peels and am planning to make lots of glorious, dark, shiny, tasty chocolates with snap that look professional. I haven't tried Merckens yet, but have heard very good things about that product. Which do you prefer? Guittard or Merckens?

60 replies
madgeowens Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 3:53am

apti, try adding some crisco shortening to your chocolate wafers, it will thin it nicely and give it shine...I always melt mine with a pan of water on the stove under another sauce pan.....hth

thumbs Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 4:02am

I can't stand Wiltons melts either. I have to add so much shortening that it makes the chocolate unstable to work with.

I like Merkens as long as they are fresh.

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 4:09am

Of the brands sold where I live, Merckens is the best. The independent vendor who sells them here only orders what she needs immediately, so her product always works.

No matter what brand you buy, they've got to have a fast turnover - they've got to sell fast enough so a fresh supply is always at hand.

The trouble with craft store melts is that they sit in the manufacturer's warehouse, then the distributor's warehouse, then the retailer's warehouse or storage area, until they get on the shelves. From what I've been told by a few sources, this can sometimes take up to 2 years.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 4:56am
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumbs

I can't stand Wiltons melts either. I have to add so much shortening that it makes the chocolate unstable to work with.

I like Merkens as long as they are fresh.




If you add paramount crystals to them, they melt nicely and work well.

Rae

madgeowens Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:07am

I don't add much crisco and it turns out fine. Maybe you have to much heat under the chocolate. Sorry I can't be more help. I use them and have no trouble. However if I want better tasting chocolate I will ise a better chocolate.

MissFluff Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:30am

Thanks for the Guittard candy melt suggestion! I recently bought a few candy molds and you probably just saved me a lot of grief, because otherwise I was planning on buying the Wilton melts!

Apti Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 12:42pm

Madge, I tried thinning with shortening, no go. Tried melting in double boiler, no go. Tried melting in microwave, nope. Tried melting in Wilton Pro Candy Melter, nope. I have heard wonderful things about Paramount Crystals, but didn't have access to any and haven't gotten any online yet. However, the Guittard used in candy class worked beautifully without any shortening or paramount crystals.

When Kathleen melted the Guittard in the microwave in class, it would drip off the spatula exactly like pancake batter. We went thru about 12 pounds in the class, so it wasn't a fluke. The Wilton never, ever dripped! If I continued to heat it, it burned. Even in the Wilton Pro Melter for an hour, it never dripped. When I tried it earlier with cake balls, ended up very lumpy, never a smooth covering. I don't think the actual taste is that different between the two products, but the workability and appearance and snap is amazingly different.

NerdyGirl Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 12:58pm

I can honestly say I've never had a bit of trouble with Wilton Candy Melts. Maybe my stores sell fresher items, or I just get lucky. In fact, there are about a dozen skulls for a pirate themed cake on my counter and they look (and taste) great.

neelycharmed Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 1:04pm

I don't use wilton ( haven't for years because some days they would work fine, and the next time , they would be a lump of nothing and go in the garbage). If I need to use melts, I use Merckens.
I don't have access to the brand you have recently used, but they sound lovely to work with.
I wonder where you can buy them?
Jodi icon_smile.gif

madgeowens Posted 4 Dec 2010 , 4:00am

Yes if the candy is very old, it will get terrible, I bet thats what is the trouble.

sewsugarqueen Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:04am

I have to agree about how terrible the Wilton Melts are. Just from the taste you know there are a lot of additives ( I call it the wax/fat taste).
The quality and percentage of chocolate in it is just not the same as Merkens or a better line like guittard, lindt etc.
sometimes it is the colour--whatever used to get the colour makes the stuff not melt nicely. Once you go to a better brand for taste I don't think you will go back to Wilton's. Gingerbread house sounds like a good use for them.

hbarberycakes Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:17am

Meeeeee! I can't stand using them. And of course they were the first ones I tried playing with. I kept thinking I was the biggest idiot for not being able to figure them out. Mine didn't melt right and everything. Turns out Wilton just stinks for melts!

NanaSandy Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:24am

I have learned alot thru this thread about Wilton melts. I didn't realize there were other brands out there, but will try them now!

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:34am

I've used Wilton & Merkens I didn't notice much of a difference texture wise between them. Although I prefer the taste of Merkens. Never had a problem with either.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:37am

I've used Wilton & Merkens I didn't notice much of a difference texture wise between them. Although I prefer the taste of Merkens. Never had a problem with either.

Sorry, duplicate post icon_eek.gif

HowCoolGomo1 Posted 7 Dec 2010 , 1:38am

Thanks!

JenReiter Posted 22 Dec 2011 , 7:55pm

I had trouble with Wilton's as well. I actually used Mercken's first and it worked perfectly. It was my first attempt at cake pops and they turned out beautifully. The store that sells Mercken's isn't close by so one day I bought some Wilton's at Michael's craft store and I hated it. It was too thick despite adding paramount crystals and vegetable oil. I just threw it out, I got so frustrated with it. icon_redface.gif

Herekittykitty Posted 22 Dec 2011 , 8:58pm

I prefer Merckens but haven't used the Apeels. The only trouble I have had with Merkens was with a color, it never melted, just siezed (no water got into the chocolate and the heating temp was low). Now I just buy white chocolate and color with powdered colors& a titch of oil.

I NEVER get the Wilton's to behave for candy or pops but do use it for candy clay.

ConniM1 Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 6:03pm

I never had a problem with them....they melt very nicely in the Microwave 30 seconds at a time until I get the perfect consistancy and I never add anything to it. I always take from the back of the Rack due to their rotation of candies. I NEVER buy whats on sale. I just made dozens and dozens of Cake Pops for Hubby and Son to take to work and got nothing but compliments on how awesome they were. Personally, I don't like Cake Pops because I have a problem with Candy on my Cake no matter who's Candy it is lol

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Dec 2011 , 8:18pm

I have found that most Wilton products are crap and have finally stopped wasting my money on them. The only Wilton stuff I get now are the occasion cake stand, and in case Of emergency, the gum paste in the bag works well.

docofthedead Posted 1 Jan 2012 , 8:04am

Just the other day I made modeling chocolate for the first time. I made one batch using the white candy melts from Hobby Lobby (whatever their brand is) and another batch using Wilton mets. Side by side, the wilton melts were extreamly yellow. I ended up throwing it out...I have used wilton metls before and didnt have this issue. I wonder if maybe it was old? any thoughts?

ConniM1 Posted 1 Jan 2012 , 1:15pm

It's a possibility...I never had them turn yellow. I sent a message to Wilton {not that it might help} asking to please put dates on their products especially the Melts. I bought some Candy flavors and used Mint and Cinnamon which everyone loved. I also used Nestle Chocolate Chips to melt only because I had some left over and used Butterscotch Chips as well.

tiggy2 Posted 1 Jan 2012 , 2:09pm

I recently started using bada bing bada boom from http://www.chocoley.com/badabingbadaboomdippingandenrobingformula.htm and I'll never use anything else again. More expensive then wilton or merkens but so easy to work with and taste so much better.

AnnieCahill Posted 3 Jan 2012 , 8:42pm

I don't have a problem working with them, but the taste and texture is gross. I get that it's for candy making, but to me it has that gross fake vanilla smell and taste that is nauseating. I also hate the waxy texture. My husband, on the other hand, will eat them right out of the bag. icon_confused.gif

Sweetmaddy Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 1:44pm

I recently started playing with molding flowers, and my first attempt was with the wilton melts. I didn't have any problems melting or molding the candy melts. But did notice depending on the color of the candy melt, tasting was either too sweet or waxy. For my second attempt used real chocolate and the final product was outstanding. A little more expensive but better flavor.

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