siobhanbrown Posted 3 Dec 2012 , 2:39am
post #1 of

Hi, 

 

I am new to this and have been watching videos and reading articles about dipping pretzels in chocolate.  Last year for Christmas I attempted Oreo bombs but had a bad time dipping them as I did not temper my chocolate.  I used cheap stuff too, which i'm sure had an effect.  This year i want to do decorated chocolate dipped pretzels, but I am curious.  What is the best chocolate for dipping?  I know using a Hershey's bar won't work.  I want something that is affordable and available at my local store.  Any expert advice is welcome!

 

EDIT; I have seen that some candy coating doesn't need to be tempered.  Is the chocolate candy coating that doesn't need to be tempered lower quality than the chocolate that needs to be tempered?

20 replies
AnnieCahill Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 12:10pm
post #2 of

The candy coating, like Wilton candy melts, is not real chocolate and does not need to be tempered.  But if you can find a coating that you like, it's formulated for dipping and doesn't need to be tempered.  I am going to place an order online for Guittard A'Peels to use for some modeling chocolate, because I think the Wilton candy melts are disgusting.  The A'Peels apparently have a real chocolate taste and also do not need to be tempered.  I should add that I haven't tried the actual Wilton chocolate candy melts, just the colored ones.  Those might be decent, but I doubt it.

radtech Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 1:53pm
post #3 of

I have recently tried Ghirardelli chocolate that I purchased at Sams Club and really like it.  It melts very nicely and it easy to use.  They have both dark and white chocolate sold in 2.5 pound blocks.  It tastes much better than the Wilton candy melts.  One more thing, it doesnt' need to be tempered!

AmandaVermont Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 2:04pm
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AThis is an old fashioned recipe for an easy coating that does not have to be tempered and, in my opinion, produces fine professional results with a wonderful coating.

18 ounces good quality chocolate. You can also use Nestle Toll House Morsels / chocolate bit. If you use chocolate bits I would recommend only the Nestle brand or a gourmet chocolate bit. Do not use other supermarket brands. They don't come out well in my experiences.

Break the chocolate into small, chocolate chip size pieces if you are buying bulk chocolate bricks.

Melt together:

18 ounces chocolate

1/2 bar of food grade paraffin wax

If you melt using a double boiler method do not get even a spec of water into the mixture. It can ruin it.

I keep the melted mixture warm using a mini crock pot that that is sold for small 2 person households. That works very well So you don't have to keep it over the stove. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave and then add in the paraffin after you rive from the microwave. If you use that method, make sure you use a vegetable peeler to grate small strips of paraffin into the chocolate. It will melt much more quickly.

To me, this is way easier than tempering chocolate and provides great results if you make sure to use good quality chocolate with the best taste.

Hope you find this useful. The wax is located at any good supermarket.

AmandaVermont Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 2:06pm
post #5 of

AIn my previous post that should say: after you remove the the chocolate from the microwave.

siobhanbrown Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 5:55pm
post #6 of

I bought some Ghirardelli baking chips, and am goiogn to try those.  They are more like wafers than chips per se.  Hoping for good results.

remnant3333 Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 6:36pm
post #7 of

Let us know how the Ghirardelli chips turn out because I too have some of those but have not tried them.
 

siobhanbrown Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 5:55am
post #8 of

I was able to melt the dark chocolate Girardelli baking chips using the microwave and the seed method.  It worked ok, but I ran into issues with topping my pretzel rods.  You really have to let them set for awhile before topping because the toppings run right off the rods.  It was a lot of hurry up and wait with the chocolate becoming just stiff enough to top them.  Anyways, the chocolate wasn't greying or spotty but it was less glossy than I thought it would be.  And it seems that it easily melts when you touch it or when you put it in a bag.  This is even after being in the fridge.  This wasn't a big deal beacuase most of my pretzels had topping to buffer the chocolate and the bag.  I did do some peanut butter reeses pieces pretzels that only had candy on the front, so the backs melt bad.  I thought good tempered chocolate didn't melt easily to the touch.  Anyways, the chocolate test I did seemed to indicate my chocolate was in temper, as it did have a good snap after being int he fridge.  

 

If anyone has any idea why my chocolate still melts easily when touched, I'd appreciate the input.  Thanks!

BakingIrene Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 3:55pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhanbrown 

I was able to melt the dark chocolate Girardelli baking chips using the microwave and the seed method.  It worked ok, but I ran into issues with topping my pretzel rods.  You really have to let them set for awhile before topping because the toppings run right off the rods.  It was a lot of hurry up and wait with the chocolate becoming just stiff enough to top them.  Anyways, the chocolate wasn't greying or spotty but it was less glossy than I thought it would be.  And it seems that it easily melts when you touch it or when you put it in a bag.  This is even after being in the fridge.  This wasn't a big deal beacuase most of my pretzels had topping to buffer the chocolate and the bag.  I did do some peanut butter reeses pieces pretzels that only had candy on the front, so the backs melt bad.  I thought good tempered chocolate didn't melt easily to the touch.  Anyways, the chocolate test I did seemed to indicate my chocolate was in temper, as it did have a good snap after being int he fridge.  

 

If anyone has any idea why my chocolate still melts easily when touched, I'd appreciate the input.  Thanks

You have to hold the seeded tempered chocolate at no more than 88F while dipping because a warmer temperature melts your nice seeds and you have to re-temper.  Keep your chocolate thermometer in the pot as you dip. Stir it around to make sure you don;t have a hot spot. You might also consider one of those electric dipper pots (tell Santa he has to get a good quality one). 

 

It sounds like you got a good temper, and then you melted it while dipping.  The easiest way to keep chocolate in temper is to keep some of the cold supply chocolate out of the batch.  Grate it up and mix it in a spoonful at a time as you dip, so that there are seeds present at all times. This will also help you to see when you have overheated your chocolate, because the grated chocolate should melt slowly. 

 

And please never never never add paraffin wax to chocolate that you intend to sell as "chocolate" because that violates most food regulations. You may call it "chocolate flavoured candy coating"  or something similar but "chocolate" is regulated just as "butter" is regulated.

BakingIrene Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 3:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhanbrown 

I bought some Ghirardelli baking chips, and am goiogn to try those.  They are more like wafers than chips per se.  Hoping for good results.

 

I believe that Ghirardelli like Merckens uses the wafer format to designate the candy coating (NO cocoa butter) when they are packed in bulk. At least in my area, flat wafers are all candy coating and the chips have a bin label saying they are "sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa, flavouring". 

 

Nestle calls their candy coating "Peter" and those letters show up even when the blocks are broken up for bulk sale.

 

You would sort of be able to tell from the price...real chocolate with cocoa butter will sell for a LOT more than candy coating.  The blocks of candy coating sell for $2.99 a pound where the real chocolate sells for $5.00 and up.  

siobhanbrown Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:21pm

i read the ingredients, and Girardelli baking chips do contain cocoa butter.

siobhanbrown Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:26pm

Oh God this confused me.  I went ahead and added the seed until it got low enough in temp, but I wouldn't think that the chocolate would, just sitting there, rise in temp.  Do I have to continually add more seed as I dip?  Nowhere I got info from mentioned that, they said heat to required temp (depending on type of chocolate) and then start adding the seed to cool.  I cooled it to between 88 and 90 (i used dark chocolate).  It did thicken as I dipped, but I microwaved it for 5 second bursts to thin it out a bit.

rjcakes Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:39pm

If your chocolate is in temper then you should not have to refrigerate it. Molded chocolates benefit from being refrigerated becasue the cold helps release the chocolate from the molds. Chocolate open to the air like the coating on pretzels should be allowed to sit at room temperature to harden. If it doesn't harden, then the chocolate was not in temper. I've made a bunch of chocolate covered pretzels over the last two weeks and never refrigerate them. Let the chocolate drip off your pretzel after dipping (I help mine along with a butter knife) then lay on your parchment paper, decorate, then leave to harden. Correctly tempered milk chocolate should harden within 15-20 minutes.

HTH!

RJ

siobhanbrown Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjcakes 

If your chocolate is in temper then you should not have to refrigerate it. Molded chocolates benefit from being refrigerated becasue the cold helps release the chocolate from the molds. Chocolate open to the air like the coating on pretzels should be allowed to sit at room temperature to harden. If it doesn't harden, then the chocolate was not in temper. I've made a bunch of chocolate covered pretzels over the last two weeks and never refrigerate them. Let the chocolate drip off your pretzel after dipping (I help mine along with a butter knife) then lay on your parchment paper, decorate, then leave to harden. Correctly tempered milk chocolate should harden within 15-20 minutes.

HTH!

RJ

My chocolate hardens, I just put it in the freezer/refrigerator to quicken the process since I don't have much counter space in my kitchen.  The issue is that when I touch it, it melts.

BakingIrene Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 4:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhanbrown 

Oh God this confused me.  I went ahead and added the seed until it got low enough in temp, but I wouldn't think that the chocolate would, just sitting there, rise in temp.  Do I have to continually add more seed as I dip?  Nowhere I got info from mentioned that, they said heat to required temp (depending on type of chocolate) and then start adding the seed to cool.  I cooled it to between 88 and 90 (i used dark chocolate).  It did thicken as I dipped, but I microwaved it for 5 second bursts to thin it out a bit.

After you add the seeds (using 2 parts melted, one part seed) you have to keep chocolate warm to dip for any length of time.

 

Think: chocolate is at 88 and room/food is at 65, it WILL cool off.  So use a double boiler with the water in the bottom from the tap at 92F. Use enough water to surround the bottom of the chocolate container, to keep it at the right temperature for as long as you need. Stir the chocolate gently to keep it all at a constant temperature. Traditionally, dippers used bare hands and that was enough heat to keep the tempered chocolate flowing. YES they do a hospital-type scrubdown first...

 

Every time you reheat in the microwave, add some more seeds.  The microwave heats in a different way than the double boiler, it will melt your seeds a lot faster.

 

The other thing to remember is that real chocolate baking chips are different than professional grade coating chocolate.

 

Baking chips are intended to be melted once in the oven, and to then more or less set up inside the cookie or cake or whatever.  So they have more cocoa and more sugar (cheap) and less cocoa butter (expensive). And that makes them harder to dip with, because the cocoa butter is what makes the dipping chocolate flow smoothly. You could add 1 ounce of real cocoa butter to 24 ounces real chocolate baking chips and you would see a difference in the results.

 

Your chocolate disks might be something better than baking chips. Look at the nutritional information box  for fat content.  If cocoa butter is the only fat ingredient, then higher fat % means more cocoa butter and therefore easier dipping.  You can add a small amount of cocoa butter as well.

 

I personally struggled with this for years, until I spent the $$$ on Callebaut broken-up block. Then I saw a whole block with the label, it had the seeding explained in a graph, that's how I knew it was professional grade. WOW what a difference...

BlakesCakes Posted 17 Dec 2012 , 10:36pm

Dealing with tempered chocolate can be a real pain when you're dipping.  A nice way to get around having to temper is to do a mix of candy coating and good quality real chocolate--that way, you get the benefits of both.

 

The ratio is 1/3 candy coating + 2/3 real chocolate.

 

Melt the candy coating in the microwave--short bursts at 50% power, stirring in between, until completely melted.  Add in finely chopped real chocolate to the melted coating, stirring gently until it's all melted and blended together.

 

You can re-heat the mixture in the microwave at 50% power for a few seconds at a time.

The result sets up nicely.

 

Do everything with chocolate in small batches. 

 

Use a microwave safe plastic bowl (glass gets hot spots and scorches whatever hits those). 

 

Remember, every "dip" adds "bits" to your chocolate.  This can cause crystallization and leads to graininess.  At some point, you may have to start over with a fresh batch to get the look you want--hence, small batches.  The leftovers can be saved an eaten--another nice benefit!

 

HTH

Rae

rjcakes Posted 18 Dec 2012 , 4:43pm

Will your chocolate harden without refrigeration? That's the test! ;-) It will not melt in your hands or when you touch it when it is left to set at room temperature. Best of luck!

RJ

sfudge Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 2:19pm

Chocolate melts at 90 your body is naturally 98. Any real chocolate will melt when you handle it. Wax melts at 125.The more wax it has the less it melts. But also the worst it taste.  I wouldn't worry about it too much. people expect  to get chocolate on their hands while eating it, that's part of the fun licking it off your fingers. :)  I hope this helps because I can see you are probably overwhelmed by all the conflicting info.

MBalaska Posted 18 Oct 2013 , 9:29pm

Best Chocolate for dipping?  Whatever you like to eat.  My method Alaska style:

 

--Take a disposable clear plastic 16" piping bag & seal the bottom about 3 inches up.  Or you could just roll up the bottom and put a bulldog clip on it.  The point is that you want a flat bottom.

 

--Put the bag into a Pastry Bag Holder, like this    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EXWJ8Y/ref=asc_df_B000EXWJ8Y2584030?smid=APKCMXSV67IYL&tag=pgmp-838-97-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395109&creativeASIN=B000EXWJ8Y

 

--Roll down the top edge of the pastry bag, just a few inches to firm up the edge so it stays open.  Pour in the melted chocolate and dip pretzels. You can dip so fast it never gets cool.

 

--Add more melted chocolate as needed.

 

but here's the best part..... as the chocolate gets used up and the level of choc goes down in the bag, just press in the lower sides of the bag and the chocolate comes up and coats the choc.

 

Set them on the table to dry, I use the shiny side of Butchers paper, they set firm in minutes. So if you're going to sprinkle, do it after just a few are on the paper.

poohthebear Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 2:41am

Does anyone use almond bark?

MBalaska Posted 4 Mar 2014 , 3:39am

Quote:

Originally Posted by poohthebear 
 

Does anyone use almond bark?

 

Almond bark is essentially Confectioners Coating.  It's OK for dipping. It's really yummy on pretzels.

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