If you want to perfect a cake pop recipe, you’ve probably used candy melts. These wafer-sized pieces of compound chocolate come in many different flavors. They are perfect for making candy-coated confections without having to go through the whole process of tempering the chocolate. Just because they’re easy to work with doesn’t mean candy melts are completely foolproof. There are times when, no matter what you do, those candy melts are still too thick. If you’re having trouble getting your candy melts to the right consistency, the most important step to diluting them properly is to melt them slowly, without overheating.
If you have a bag of candy melts for your next baking project, you can melt them in several ways: in a double boiler on the stove, in bursts in the microwave, or using a candy melter. If your candy melts are still too thick when rolling out these methods, you can thin them with a little cooking oil or a teaspoon or two of vegetable shortening. However, never try to add water or any other water-based liquid. This will cause your candy melts to seize up and you will have to start over.
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Add a little grease to thin things out
Candy melts aren’t chocolate, so they don’t behave quite the same way when melted. Candy melts are made of vegetable oil, which makes them a little easier to work with than chocolate. Chocolate instead contains cocoa butter. Keep this in mind if you need to thin the candy, as all you need is a little melting fat.
If you need to add fat to thin your candy melts, a good rule of thumb is about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening, coconut oil, or other neutral oil per 10 oz. of candy and about 2 teaspoons of fat per 12 oz. of candies. Never try to add milk, water, spirits, or anything with water, as this will cause the fats in the candy to seize up. Also, if using a double boiler, be careful that condensation from the steam in the pan does not enter the bowl of candy melts, as this will also cause the mixture to thicken.
Candy melts come in a wide variety of colors, but there may be times when you want to create your own custom shades. If you want to change the color of your fondants, do not use water- or gel-based food colors, as even a few drops can cause the candy mixture to seize and thicken. Instead, create your perfect palette using dried food colors, as they won’t disrupt the oil balance of the candy.
How to Melt Candy Melts Properly
Like chocolate, candy melts prefer certain temperature ranges and conditions. If you’re melting a bowl of candy melts, go low and slow. Candy melts work best when they don’t exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to control the heat is to melt your candy pieces using a double boiler (or a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). If you want to use a microwave, don’t try to melt everything at once; instead, use small puffs and stir the contents of the bowl between puffs. If you use a lot of candy melts, you can also invest in a candy melter designed to melt and keep the melted coating at the ideal temperature for dipping. If your candy melts too hot, it can overcook and seize, meaning you’ll have to start from scratch with fresh candy.
If you’re new to candy melts, keep a quick-read thermometer on hand to check the temperature of the melting mixture. If you find that even though you’ve melted your candy well, things are still a little lumpy, only then should you mix in some fat to loosen the texture.