preciosa225 Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 7:39pm

I am so frustrated! I have tried using chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and now candy melts and my modeling chocolate always comes out crumbly. I watched and followed sweetwise's video on youtube and still had a problem! Why can't I get this right? This time I used 1 bag (14 oz.) wilton candy melts and 1/3 (2.6 oz) light corn syrup; I melted the candy melts in the microwave on low heat just until it was melted (I have experience doing that because I use to make a lot of lollipops) and then added the corn syrup and stirred it until combined. I have it in a ziplock bag now because I have thrown away three batches already and thought maybe there is some way for me to fix this one instead of wasting more money....PLEASE HELP!!!!

62 replies
JamAndButtercream Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:00pm

Hi,
I was having the same problem, a CC member told me this,
Heartsnsync -
First, yes, Merckens is a brand of chocolate wafers that are easily melted. For 1 lb. of wafers I gently melt these - do not let them get hot only hot enough to melt the wafers. Matter of fact, they should only get to about luke warm to touch. Once the wafers are completely melted (no lumps left at all), add 1/3 c. corn syrup and stir until well blended and the mixture becomes stiff. Use a spatula to spread the mixture onto a wax paper lined flat dish. I leave mine uncovered at room temperature over night. At first there will be an oily residue on top but by the time it rests this reabsorbs into the mixture. Once the resting time is up I peel it off its paper and place into ziploc bags. To use, break off a chunk and work it with your fingers to soften (it only takes a matter of seconds to pull together). If the mixture seems to oily sprinkle your mat with a bit of confectioner's sugar and kneed some into the chocolate (but not too much). The main thing is not to handle it any more than necessary.

Hope this helps, good luck! icon_smile.gif

preciosa225 Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:08pm

Thanks. Did this work for you? Does yours ever get crumbly or is it tootsie roll texture from the beginning?

bobwonderbuns Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:08pm

When you are melting the chocolate, if the chocolate is old it won't be smooth and shiny in a melted state. You NEED this to happen. Otherwise it will give you crumbly modeling chocolate. You can rectify this situation by adding paramount crystals to the melted chocolate until it's smooth and glossy and flows off the spoon. AT THAT POINT you can add the corn syrup (by the way, you can add regular Americolor gel colors to corn syrup, mix well and add to the chocolate to color it if you like -- works like a charm!) and then proceed as usual. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out! icon_biggrin.gif

JamAndButtercream Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:14pm

Hi,
I have not tried this technique yet so I'm not sure, I was in the same boat, the first time I tried making it, I made it and put it in the fridge, BIG mistake, ruined it. Second time made it, left it out of the fridge and it crumbled, ruined again, thought I added too much syrup. Third time made it with less syrup, and it crumbled again!!! icon_mad.gif
I was getting fed up of wasting ingredients too! I'm making small amounts because it keeps going wrong, I'd love to nail the recipe because modelling choc in the uk is expensive!!

fondantgrl Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:22pm

I concur that the candy melts MUST be very smooth and 100% melted....
on this cake here that I made (covered and decorated /w white modelling chocolate), I had to do it twice. The first time was a flop.. very hard and crumbly. The second time, I took my time melting it in the mocrowave and stirring it well, and it came out very nicely..: I used Wiltons White Candy melts.

I have posted this photo already b4, so I apologize :

Image

glendaleAZ Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:28pm

Hi preciosa225,

I'm not sure about all the steps you took, so I will just tell you how I make mine and then you can compare the two, and hopefully find something in my comments that will help. : O )

I put my Wilton candy melt in a large bowl. I heat for only 15 seconds and then take them out to stir them up a bit. I put the melts back in the Microwave, but this time for only 10 seconds, and then I stir them again. I repeat the same process (10 seconds - stir) until the candy is "almost" melted. It's very important to not over cook the candy, so to avoid this I will pull the candy from the Microwave when I see that only a few small candy "hard" bits remain. I will then just stir the candy by hand until the small bits melt.

I then added the corn syrup, and mix until just blended. I double wrapped my candy in plastic wrap and then put it in a zip lock bag (make sure you don't have any air in the bag) and let it sit out on the counter for 24 hours.

After the 24 hours I kneed the candy (it's going to be a little hard) for 3-6 minutes (but, the warmth of your hand will soften it up).

The candy clay should now be ready.

Oh, not sure if you know (I didn't), but be sure to only use coloring that is specific for candy.

Tammy

JamAndButtercream Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:30pm

@fondantgrl
Hi, so this wonderful cake was made with homemade white modelling choc? do you think the crumbly problem is that the chocolate was not melted properly?

southerncross Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:40pm

I used to have the texture problem too until I decided to melt the chocolate the old fashioned way and not use the microwave. I heat water to a boil in a pot , then take it off heat. I put the chocolate (white or dark) into a bowl and set it over the hot water. then I wait sometimes up to 20 min. until the chocolate is soft and can be stirred. It works ever time. I figured that I was just getting the chocolate too hot in the micro ...remember it continues to warm up after you take it out of the microwave. I figured the warming of chocolate over hot water would be slower and safer and so far it's worked. I do the same for ganache....no microwave....just pour hot cream over the chocolate. it takes longer but I'm never disappointed.

glendaleAZ Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:40pm

bobwonderbuns - I didn't know you could add regular Americolor gel to the corn syrup and then blend into the melted candy -- I will have to try that next time I work with chocolate. When I first started making candy I tried to add coloring gel to the candy - what a mess I had.

fondantgrl - Your cake is really pretty.

Tammy

bobwonderbuns Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by glendaleAZ

bobwonderbuns - I didn't know you could add regular Americolor gel to the corn syrup and then blend into the melted candy -- I will have to try that next time I work with chocolate. When I first started making candy I tried to add coloring gel to the candy - what a mess I had.

fondantgrl - Your cake is really pretty.

Tammy




Yes, people just LOVE to argue that point -- UNTIL they try it! icon_razz.gif No need for flo-coat in that process because the gel colors are almost all cornstarch and the chocolate seizes up anyway when you add the corn syrup before turning it out and wrapping it. Oh yes, and NEVER put it in the frig!! icon_rolleyes.gif

preciosa225 Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:52pm

Thank you all for your help. I am going to try it again because this batch is definitely ruined. Maybe I am heating it too much but it seems smooth and shiny when I am done. However, once I add the corn syrup it seizes a bit (which is what I hear is supposed to happen) but then it gets crumbly and breaks apart. It releases A LOT of grease/oil while sitting and I've tried kneading that back into it but no help! I am going to take all of your tips and try again! Wish me luck!!! And thanks again! By the way, that cake is BEAUTIFUL!!! icon_smile.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

I concur that the candy melts MUST be very smooth and 100% melted....
on this cake here that I made (covered and decorated /w white modelling chocolate), I had to do it twice. The first time was a flop.. very hard and crumbly. The second time, I took my time melting it in the mocrowave and stirring it well, and it came out very nicely..: I used Wiltons White Candy melts.

I have posted this photo already b4, so I apologize :

Image




Fondantgrl, your cake is lovely.

bobwonderbuns Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 8:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by preciosa225

Thank you all for your help. I am going to try it again because this batch is definitely ruined. Maybe I am heating it too much but it seems smooth and shiny when I am done. However, once I add the corn syrup it seizes a bit (which is what I hear is supposed to happen) but then it gets crumbly and breaks apart. It releases A LOT of grease/oil while sitting and I've tried kneading that back into it but no help! I am going to take all of your tips and try again! Wish me luck!!! And thanks again! By the way, that cake is BEAUTIFUL!!! icon_smile.gif




AH!! You didn't say that before -- I know what the problem is. When you say that it releases a LOT of grease and gets crumbly and breaks apart -- you have mixed it too much!! You just want to incorporate the corn syrup, STIRRING QUICKLY and then pour it out onto plastic wrap, wrap it tight and DON'T TOUCH IT until the next day, when you knead it little by little until the whole batch is kneaded. Try that and let us know how it works.

glendaleAZ Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 9:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Oh yes, and NEVER put it in the frig!! icon_rolleyes.gif





Learned that one the hard way too. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

lyndim Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 9:34pm

Great advice everybody!

fondantgrl Posted 27 Aug 2011 , 9:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamAndButtercream

@fondantgrl
Hi, so this wonderful cake was made with homemade white modelling choc? do you think the crumbly problem is that the chocolate was not melted properly?




Yes, everything you see here on my cake is made of Wiltons White candy melts that I used to make modeling chocolate.... The candy melts might look melted, but it has to be stirred very well...b4 adding th corn syrup.. I let mine cool just a little bit..in my experience, if I add the corn syrup while really hot, it tends to separate and the oil or grease comes out.

kokopuff Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 3:49am

I always put my corn syrup in with my candy melts before putting them in the microwave.It does tend to be oily but once cooled down it mixes back in.I let it cool on wax paper.If I need to use it right away I put it in the freezer for a few min. before kneading.The first time I made candy clay I burned it because I added color before melting it and because it seized up I thought it wasn't melted,lesson learned there,I learned to always add the color once mixed and cooled but I will have to give the corn syrup trick a try,thanks bobwonderbuns for the tip.I can't figure out what you are doing though,other than adding color before microwaving maybe?I have abused wiltons...put it in the freezer,fridge you name it and it still works great for me.

gidgetdoescakes Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 4:22am

I take two sauce pans...one a little larger than the other making a double boiler....put a small amount of water in bottom pas, and put chocolate in the top pan stirring it as it melts MAKING SURE NO WATER GETS INTO THE CHOCOLATE)................when the chocolate wafers are almost melted I remove from heat and continue stirring until it is completely smooth, adn then add corn syrup stir to combine and then scoop out onto wax paper then put in a zip bag....I refrigerate until it hardens up then store at room temp...cut off a small amount needed and warm in hands and knead until its workable...hope this helps....I am old school....don't trust the microwave so much icon_smile.gif

mrsmudrash Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 4:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Quote:
Originally Posted by preciosa225

Thank you all for your help. I am going to try it again because this batch is definitely ruined. Maybe I am heating it too much but it seems smooth and shiny when I am done. However, once I add the corn syrup it seizes a bit (which is what I hear is supposed to happen) but then it gets crumbly and breaks apart. It releases A LOT of grease/oil while sitting and I've tried kneading that back into it but no help! I am going to take all of your tips and try again! Wish me luck!!! And thanks again! By the way, that cake is BEAUTIFUL!!! icon_smile.gif



AH!! You didn't say that before -- I know what the problem is. When you say that it releases a LOT of grease and gets crumbly and breaks apart -- you have mixed it too much!! You just want to incorporate the corn syrup, STIRRING QUICKLY and then pour it out onto plastic wrap, wrap it tight and DON'T TOUCH IT until the next day, when you knead it little by little until the whole batch is kneaded. Try that and let us know how it works.




I agree!! It sounds like you're overmixing it. I melt the wilton melts slowly (like the other people have mentioned), wait until they cool a bit, mix in my corn syrup until it begins to seize, then give it another one or two stirs.

Now, this is where my process differs from everyone...but I've had SO much luck with it, I'd recommend trying it. After I mix the chocolate/syrup mixture slightly, I blob it onto a piece of seran wrap, pat it down to 1/2" or so and watch over it (open - I don't cover it). Every few minutes I dab it with a paper towel to get rid of the wax. I do that until it stops weeping wax. I then let it sit and wait for about 1.5 hours until it's almost firm, but slightly flexible (I do not wait until the next day or when it gets hard hard...it needs to be stiff, but flexible when you pick it up)...THEN I knead it all up together like crazy and it smooths beautifully very quickly! Then I wrap it up for when I need it.

I tried doing this because I was having problems with little bits of dried chocolate/wax in my chocolate and I couldn't get them out. This way when I knead it while it's still pliable, I can really work all the chocolate smooth without breaking my hands. I've never had a problem with cracking/breaking modeling chocolate since!! Try it...you'll love it! icon_smile.gif

fondantgrl Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 5:21am

I wait for about 5 mins. b4 I add the corn syrup.. I do not suck out the grease out of it because to me that grease should be in there and is a part of the entire mixture and is not meant to be taken out of the mixture. But if the corn syrup is added too early, then that grease will come out, but if the temp. is right, it will mix in w/ out a problem and helps the modeling chocolate a lot more silky smooth..

not my opinion, but my experience..
Here is another chocolate modeling cake I wrapped in in Wiltons Candy melts modelling chocolate;

Image

JamAndButtercream Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 10:28am

Great advice, everyone I think I'll attempt another batch too! icon_smile.gif

knlcox Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 12:14pm

This entire post is such wonderful advice! I think I'll try to make a batch using all the tricks I've just read!

gourmetsharon Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 12:45pm

thanks for all the tips and hints. I've been hesitant to try making it.

shelbycompany Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 1:05pm

Great advice. I will be trying out these tips this week. Thank You!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 1:08pm

Agreed, you guys are AWESOME!! I'm going to try a few of the new techniques I've heard about on here!! icon_biggrin.gif

I do, however, have a question -- if you have a batch of set up, crumbly candy clay, can you remelt it and add paramount crystals then reset it? Would that work?

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