pastryqueen9 Posted 9 Jan 2011 , 11:03pm
post #1 of

I just wanted to get opinions on what's the best brands of candy coating or chocolate to dip cake balls is. Is it best to use the candy coating or melted/tempered chocolate? What kind of flavor do the candy coatings have and can you add flavoring? I've never used them before.

17 replies
leah_s Posted 10 Jan 2011 , 10:31am
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I like Merkens best.

pastryqueen9 Posted 10 Jan 2011 , 4:06pm
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Thanks Leah...I haven't tried Merkens yet I have some up in the cabinet I think I'll try them tomorrow thumbs_up.gif

leah_s Posted 10 Jan 2011 , 5:23pm
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I tried Claussen (Klassen?) once and did NOT like it.

sugarshack Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 4:45am
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merkens, guittards are my favs. almond bark from grovery works very well too.

karabeal Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 5:02am
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I tried Wilton's "Premium Light Cocoa" melts this weekend for the first time. Blech! It is not a passable substitute for milk chocolate.

Neelas_wife Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 5:04am
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Merkens Merkens Merkens! Look no furthericon_smile.gif

karabeal Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 5:28am
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Do the milk/semisweet Merkens chocolates need to be tempered? Or can they be melted without close supervision the way "candy melts" can be? I'm terrible at tempering icon_cry.gif , but I expect chocolate (milk and semisweet) to taste and feel like chocolate. Between my experiences with not-quite-tempered real chocolate and "candy melts," I've become discouraged.

Could Merkens be the answer I've been looking for? Or should I leave the chocolate tempering machine on my current "wish list"?

playingwithsugar Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 5:41am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by karabeal

Do the milk/semisweet Merkens chocolates need to be tempered? Or can they be melted without close supervision the way "candy melts" can be?




The Merckens they are talking about are candy melts. They, like the others, need no tempering.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

karabeal Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 5:54am

Thank you, Theresa.

At the risk of appearing dense (and perhaps I am) I'll ask another question: does Merkens make brown colored, chocolate-like candy melts that require no tempering that taste good enough to be a substitute for "real" chocolate on cake truffles and such? Or are we just talking about white and other colors of cocoa butter candy melts?

Just trying to find a work around for my tempering failures!!!

Thanks everyone.

playingwithsugar Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 6:21am

I decline to express an opinion, because my palate can tell the difference between real chocolate and candy melts. But I've been making chocolates for many years, and have taken several classes on how to work with real chocolate (tempering, molding, dipping, modelling), and we never used melts there.

I suppose that to someone who is less familiar, it would taste like real chocolate.

I will admit that I used the candy melts to perfect my molding techniques, and to learn mold painting. It was a lot less expensive to work with than buying colored cocoa butter to practice with.

And I use them when I make chocolate clay for modelling and decorative purposes, again because of the cost involved.

Mercken's white melts taste almost exactly like real white chocolate.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

lauriekailee Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 11:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

And I use them when I make chocolate clay for modelling and decorative purposes, again because of the cost involved.

Mercken's white melts taste almost exactly like real white chocolate.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




Can you really use the candy melts instead of chocolate for the clay? I didn't even think to make the clay with them...didn't think it would work the same. Do you just add the corn syrup to them?

Skirt Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 1:09pm

Perhaps it's just me but I always have to add something to the melts to get them liquid enough to dip cake balls. I used shortening last time but I saw somewhere that others use something call Paramount crystals?
Ayone else have this problem? If so, what do you add?

pastryqueen9 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:21pm

playingwithsugar wrote:

Quote:
Quote:

But I've been making chocolates for many years, and have taken several classes on how to work with real chocolate (tempering, molding, dipping, modelling), and we never used melt




Theresa, what did you use in your class? The one and only time I made cakeballs I used Giradelli chocolate discs and they came out great, but then I thought well maybe there's some reason floating around out there in the cake universe for not using tempered chocolate and I just don't know. I have a friend who dips her brownie pops in ganache and that works great for her, I'm a little to timid to try that one as yet. I'm sure there are probably pros and cons for using either tempered chocolate or ganache I just don't know what they are. icon_redface.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:45pm

ok, I'm not always getting new post notifications, so forgive me for answering some of these questions so late -

lauriekailee - you use the same recipes for making clay from melts as you do from chocolate.

skirt - paramount crystals are the preferred method of thinning melts for dipping, as they are usually the same fat that is used in lieu of cocoa butter to make the melts - palm oil.

pastryqueen9 - there are several reasons why people use melts instead of chocolate. One is lack of proper training in tempering chocolate, another is expense. The third is convenience - some people do not want to go through all the extra work of using and tempering real chocolate. Melts are also much more shelf stable than real chocolate.

Real chocolate is temperature sensitive, and the littlest blast of air that's too warm or cold will cause the fat crystals (cocoa butter) to bloom - get that white, powdery substance on it. It's alright if it's just plain chocolate, because you can remelt it and temper it again. But nobody is going to buy a filled chocolate that has a white growth on it.

We used Guittard chocolates exclusively at school. I use both them and Ghirardelli. Both products are made in the USA, and are still owned by Americans.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

karabeal Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 7:41am

Thank you Theresa for your helpful posts. Yes, I can also taste the difference between real chocolate and candy melts. I was hoping that someone had invented a not-so-temperature-sensitive chocolate and I just hadn't heard of it yet. No such luck!

Pastryqueen9, I tried dipping some cookies in ganache (for a half chocolate, half white look) and it wasn't good! While ganache sets up well enough to frost a cake with, it is not firm enough for something you will touch or pick up with your fingers. It remained slightly tacky to the touch and made a mess on the display platter.

Back to tempering practice for me!

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 8:24am

I had to do a doubletake at your screenname - there's a chocolatier/pastry chef I know of in Canada named Kerry Beal.

You're quite welcome.

No, they haven't invented a temper-free chocolate yet. And after experiencing, first hand, what the effects of sugar-free chocolates are, I would hesitate to try a chocolate that has temper-proofing stabilizers in it.

In case anyone is wondering, sugar-free chocolates that are made with artificial sweeteners can cause lower gastric distress.

That is all.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

pastryqueen9 Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 1:13pm

Wow! Great information....Thanks Theresa! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

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