Wilton's candy melts used to be much better years ago but now they suck. I simply hate Wilton's candy melts. I always have to add some shortening to get them to cooperate. Shortening works as well or better than Paramount crystals and it's something we all have on hand. But they are still gross. Really not something I would call "eating" chocolate.
Guittard is great but I can't always find it in my local stores. Ghirardelli has huge blocks of white or chocolate that melts like silk and taste great. I love it for dipping candies, strawberries and making mints but I can only get at Sam's during the holidays. If I just need melted chocolate for sticking stuff together I use the almond bark you get on the baking isle at the grocery store. You can color and flavor it and melts much better than Wilton's.
tiggy2, I agree with you. The Chocoley bada bing bada boom chocolates are great! I don't use anything else either. I use several of their products and have been very happy with all of them. Yes, they're a bit more expensive, but well worth it!
I really like the Merkens
Can you use high quality tempered white chocolate (like valrhona 35% white chocolate) instead of candy melts?
What do the candy melts have that gives an advantage?
candy melts have the advantage of not having to temper the choc
I have never had any trouble with them unless I over heat the chocolate. It can't be warmed up to quickly or stay heated at the wrong temp for long periods of time. Then the consistency does change, and often it ceases. I always use paramount crystals to achieve the right consistency for dipping. The crystals don't change the taste, in my opinion, the way shortening or other oils do.
I really like Merkens and the colored chocolate works better then the candy melts. the candy melts have a high about of wax in them already and give off a after taste.
I agree with AmysCakesNCandies! I have used both and have not had one bit of problem with Wilton's. How strange that several have. I guess our Michaels stocks fresh melts! I prefer the Merkens only because they taste better than the Wiltons, but I don't have easy access to them so I usually buy the Wiltons.
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.
I first started with any melting chocolate last Christmas. Wilton was perfectly fine. Then I tried working with some over the summer and got the lumpy mess. I had suspected what you all are saying - that it was too old. Over the holidays they sell more and are fresher and for my needs they are local and inexpensive. Perfect for my kids to use.
Any advice for some online sources of merkins or other fresh candy melts? Next time I have a project involving candy other then at Christmas I will skip the wilton and order something in.
Pretty much hate everything "Wilton", although their measuring cups are ok with isomalt. If you can get Guittard I'd go with them, but Merckens is an acceptable 2nd. Since you have so much of the Wilton, you could try getting a block of the "candy coating" chocolate and melting them together since the blocks tend to melt to a thin consistency.
Exactly what are Paramount Crystals? I've seen them but wasn't quite sure what they are or what they do.
I started this thread about 2 years ago and have been using Guittard A'Peels for most of my chocolates, but rarely use the Wilton candy melts (Halloween colors purchased with coupons mostly). I ALWAYS have the Paramount Crystals on hand to thin out the chocolate as needed. I continue to be in LOVE with the Guittard A'Peels, both in dark chocolate and white chocolate.
I am relieved to see I am not the only one who has struggled with Wilton candy melts. It is also comforting to know that it perhaps was not my failing but a difficult product. I found that some colours would melt ok, others just would get to a different consistency and some would be full of lumps. As a competent cake maker with over 20 years experience I found the whole process extremely frustrating. I am going to look around for another make of candy melts as I really liked the finished product and would like to do some more.
Where can you buy Mercken's and Guittard brand? AC Moore?
You can usually purchase either Guittard A'Peels, Merckens compound chocolates, and Paramount Crystals at several places:
Specialty cake supply stores
The only craft stores in my area on the West Coast are Michaels and Joann's. Neither of these craft store chains carry any Merckens or Guittard products; they only carry the Wilton Candy Melts. Neither Michaels nor Joann's carry Paramount Crystals.
If you have access to a wholesale buying license #, you can purchase product directly from CK or other bakery supply warehouses. Here are examples of online stores that sell the CK brand of Merckens compound chocolates to hobby bakers in smaller quantities. There are many, many, more sources to purchase these products.
If you are "new" to chocolates, it is VERY important to know EXACTLY what you are ordering or you may receive real chocolates that contain cocoa butter which require tempering. Candy melts go by several different names: Confectionery coating, Rainbow Wafers, Confectionery Coating or Summer Coating.
Spend a few minutes and google this phrase, "difference between real chocolate and compound chocolate".
Thank you, Very helpful :)
Better cake supply stores have Merckens. You may have to order Guittard.
Merckens has approximately a 3 month shelf life. You can extend that a bit with either the paramount crystals or crisco. The taste is so much better than Wilton.
AI agree the Wilton melts are incredibly hit and miss to melt to the right consistency. They also in my opinion taste terrible so I'm not keen on making this worse by adding any more fat to it. Can source Merckens easily in uk so might give this a go. Tried green and blacks organic milk cooking chocolate today and found taste very good. Not sure about snap. Also found very little waste with this so not sure it will be much different on price.
Merckens has a three month shelf life? pffth, no way. I have some way older than that and its fine. I generally order my chocolate once a year. I may order 100-120 pounds, but by the end of the year, it's well, a year old.
I've never had a problem with Wilton's Candy melts and they set with a nice shine as well. I tried other brands too but honestly there is not much difference in taste EXCEPT for CK omgosh how horrible. I use Wilton's all the time and they do move fast in the store I shop in because every few weeks they are out of stock. I make Sucker and Pretzel Party Favors and I've had nothing but compliments and Customers to come back and order again and I NEVER add Shortening to them.
Thank you for the advice, I have used Wilton a couple of times to practice with. First time was great, second time it clumped up and would not melt properly at all! Very frustrating to have this happen. Will try Guittard and the Mercken now. Really happy to see that Mercken comes in a sugar-free option also.
ASeriously Leah? I used to work for a confectionery store that always said that. And honestly, I did see a difference in melting after a period of time. Not in taste, just in melting. But thank you for that info
I use Mejer brand candy coating and I love it! I also use Kroger brand as well. Not only does it melt very smooth and super easy to work with, but most importantly it tastes delicious!!!
Well, I should have read all these reviews before using the Wilton's Candy Melts. They were absolutely horrible to work with. It was Impossible to get a smooth finish as the consistency remained always thick, no matter what I tried. It took me much longer than it should have to decorate them. Will definately be trying out Merckens next! Thanks for all the helpful information everyone!!
Where do you purchase these other brands?
I Got my candy melts from The Cake Decorating Company and they taste of white chocolate
Wilton and Merkens brands chocolate are imitation varieties. You'll get much better results using a genuine chocolate with real cocoa butter.