My cake balls keep cracking and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I'm refrigerating for 1-2 hours to firm them up (per Bakerella's instructions), then dipping in white "chocolate" coating (you know, the wafers or bark--not real chocolate) that's been thinned with paramount crystals. I'm dipping with a spoon and tapping the spoon on the side of the bowl to remove excess, then placing the ball on a sheet of waxed paper. And about 50% of them have cracked. So far. By the time they've all set, I'm thinking 75-80% might be ruined. I realize that suddenly cooling the chocolate could cause cracking so I'm trying to let the balls sit out of the fridge for a bit before dipping but even that doesn't seem to help. Plus then they start to crumble into the bowl of melted chocolate. Then I thought that the areas that were cracking were the thinner areas where the ball had been sitting on the spoon. (The chocolate in the area of the ball seems to stick to the spoon a little so it ends up uneven--another issue that I'd love help with if anyone has any pointers!) So then I tried tapping the spoon a little less to allow a thicker shell of chocolate. Still cracking. I was thinking that maybe a perfect cake ball is just impossible but then saw flawless-appearing ones on this website. Any ideas? Mom's Christmas party is tomorrow--shoot, it's after midnight--I mean TODAY, and I told her I'd bring something! Thanks in advance!
I can't help you about the cracking, I did notice a couple of mine did that last night when I was making them, my chocolate seemed thin this time. I thought I had added too much Crisco. That was a tip I had saw on here.
My issue is, when I drizzle another color chocolate over the top of the completed cake balls, that chocolate cracks every time not sticking. If you lightly touch one, the top drizzle just breaks off.
I guess any answer might solve both these issues?
The might have been a little too cold when you dipped them. I usually let mine sit for 5 minutes out of the fridge and they don't crack
I'm wondering if your chocolate is too hot when you apply it. Check to make sure your white chocolate is at the right temper in order to keep from having crystalizations and cracks from on you cake balls. ^.^
One thing that has helped me is using a small crock pot. A small one cost me about $9 which is loads cheaper than wiltons chocolate melting pot. I set it on warm an it keeps my chocolate at just the right temperature. I also let my cake balls sit out for at least 5 minutes. I recently did a bunch of cake balls for my sons friends....the ones I dipped in the crock pot-no cracks, the ones I melted chocolate in microwave, cracks. Hope this helps. Have fun cake balling!
Your cake balls need to be as warm as possible (and still hang together) and your chocolate needs to be as cool as possible (and still be liquid enough for dipping). It's the temperature variations that cause the cracking.
As far as the rest of it, I've found it doesn't matter if I use melts, chips or bark, or whether I nuke them or use a double boiler. If you're not putting them on a stick, you might try dipping them with a fork to get more on the bottom and avoid puddling.
mplaidgirl2 has pretty much nailed it. I used to lose about 75% from cracking. I quit letting them set-up too long in the fridge. No need for it. 20 min. works fine. Bring them out and let them rest for about 5 min. to knock most the chill off. Start dipping. Works well now. Just FYI, I only use the microwave to melt the chocolate and the candy melts, no crock pot or other method.
Thanks for all the responses! Guess I'll have to fiddle around a little more to figure it out. I'm using the wafers or bark so temper isn't an issue--those don't need to be tempered. And even the ones that have sat out of the fridge for half an hour are still cracking when dipped. I used to use a fork but always had lines on the sides when I did that and was told I should be using a spoon instead. Maybe my fridge is too cold--I'll try taking them out sooner and I might try my mini crock pot too--great idea on that one! Much better than re-heating the chocolate over and over again!
I have made ALOT, I mean ALOT of cake pops I have never had one crack and I believe it's because I don't put them in the fridge. After I dip the stick in the melts and put them in the cake pops I SOMETIMES put them in the fridge just until it dries, like 2 minutes, but that's it...never to "firm them up".
Now having said that, I am about to make about 100 cake pops today....watch them all crack!
You guys have the solution. I have learned to do them completely at room temp. No time at all in the freezer or fridge. The mix needs to be a bit stiffer than anything that needs to be "firmed up" in the fridge. I do let them sit at room temp so that the outside is a wee bit/tiniest bit dry to the touch.