Wilbur offers many product options in dark, milk, and white chocolates as well as dark, milk, and white confectionery choices. “But isn’t all chocolate the same?” This is the general thought; however, the question cannot be answered with a yes. Real chocolate has to be made with cocoa butter and has to include a certain percentage of chocolate liquor in its ingredients. Confectionery or compound products have a vegetable oil base and may or may not include cocoa butter and/or chocolate liquor in its ingredient statement. Chocolate products usually have a lower melting point than confectionery products, and the melting process and working process needs to be done differently between the two. Also know that each type of product has variations in the grade of the product.
Working With (Cocoa Butter Base) Chocolate Products:
Tempering chocolate is the process of heating and cooling that gives chocolate the proper gloss, hardness, and texture. This is the key to the success of your product.
Degree of difficulty: high. Most commonly used by professionals.
Use of an automatic tempering machine such as a Hillard or Sinsation machine is handled in the following way: Put broken pieces of chocolate in the back of the machine and set the temperature between 88–90 degrees F. Continue to replace small amounts of unmelted pieces into the back of the machine as you dip or mold.
Note: Always remember to refer to the equipment manufacturer’s instructions also.
Double Boiler/Stove-top method involves slightly different handling technique. Using a double boiler, heat the water to 180 degrees F, then remove from the direct heat. The pan containing the broken chocolate pieces sits on top of the heated water. When the chocolate is melted, raise the temperature of the chocolate to 118 to 120 degrees F. The coating should then be slowly cooled to the appropriate seeding temperatures (82–84 degrees for milk chocolate, 84–86 degrees for dark chocolate). Once seeded, the coating should be gently raised to its proper use temperature (87–89 degrees for milk chocolate, 88-90 degrees for dark chocolate) by re-warming the water in the double boiler. A candy thermometer is needed to accurately read the temperatures. This process must be repeated each time chocolate needs to be melted, even if some of the melted chocolate remains in the pan. Following this procedure will assure a well-tempered product, ready for use, with a nice gloss and good snap to the chocolate.
Working With (Vegetable Oil Base) Confectionery Products:
Degree of difficulty: low. Most commonly used by in-home users.
Instructions are based on a 600-watt microwave. Since microwaves vary, but inevitably generate extreme heat, you must determine the proper heat setting for your microwave. We recommend using your microwave at 50% until you get the feel for the proper temperature.
Place one pound of wafers in a microwaveable container for one minute. Stir product as much as possible. Return to microwave for 15 to 30 second intervals until melted to 115–120 degrees F. Stir between intervals. Be careful not to overheat.
Cool product to 92–98 degrees F and mold using clean, dry molds. Molds should be at room temperature, not colder than 70 degrees F. Stir several times whenever you are melting or cooling product so that your temperatures are accurate and to prevent streaky results.
Double Boiler Method
Place one pound of wafers in a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Stir until melted. Keep water away from product. Keep the water at a temperature between 130–150 degrees F. Water at that temperature will be hot enough to melt the coating but not hot enough to burn your hand if touched. Melt product slowly to 115-120 degrees F. Stir product frequently. Prevent all moisture (steam vapor) from contacting product.
Cool product to 92–98 degrees F and mold using clean, dry molds. Molds should be at room temperature, not colder than 70 degrees F. Stir several times whenever you are melting or cooling product so that your temperatures are accurate and to prevent streaky results. (Hint: Heating at too high of heat or the addition of any water will destroy the coating.) If coating is too thick after melting process, do not increase temperature or add water. Simply add a small amount of lecithin to thin to the proper consistency. Another method to thin is to add paramount crystals; but do not exceed a 5% level. Remember never to heat or cool product without stirring.
How to Mold With Wilbur® Wafers
Cool melted coating to 92–98 degrees F. The molds should be at room temperature and free from moisture. Pour melted coating into molds. Tap molds on table several times to remove air bubbles. After depositing, place molds in a cooling tunnel at 45–55 degrees F or in a refrigerator until set. Mold will release when turned over and tapped. If not, return to cooling tunnel or refrigerator for a few more minutes. Remember, larger molds will take longer.
How to Paint, Decorate, and add Flavors to Wilbur® Wafers
Using a paint brush and painting directly into the mold, choose the Wilbur® Wafers color of your choice. Let each color dry before adding a new color so they do not run together. Let dry completely, then fill mold with coating.
When decorating, place coating in a pastry bag or plastic squeeze bottle with a fine tip. If coating gets too thick, reheat in a water bath or microwave. To clean, let dry and scrape out of bottle or bag. You can re-melt and use again.
Only oil-based flavorings should be used with Wilbur® Wafers. A water-base flavor will cause coating to thicken and create lumps.
Easy Tips for Hand-Dipping
Cream centers such as Wilbur’s® Peanut Butter Melt work best at 65 degrees F. Nuts, pretzels, cookies, and fruits work best at room temperature. Cool on wax paper in refrigerator or cool room.
Problems and Corrections
The Chocolate Is Too Heavy and Thick
This is due to the influence of water or steam. If moisture in any form comes into contact with the chocolate, it will cause it to thicken, rendering it useless for chocolate work. It can be used for cooking and fillings.
Chocolate Left Tempered Too Long Before Using
The fat has slowly solidified in the chocolate, causing it to become pudding-like. Reheat to 113 degrees F and repeat tempering process.
The Chocolate Has Cooled Too Much
Add some warm chocolate or gently warm the bowl until the chocolate reaches correct working temperature. This will not work for chocolate that has become pudding-like.
Streaks Appear in Finished Products
A “fat bloom” appears as a visible white dull film on the surface to cause severe whitening of the surface, with soft or crumbling textures on the interior. The working temperature is slightly too warm. Add some grated chocolate and stir until it cools to the correct temperature.
Stripes Appear on the Finished Products
The chocolate is not properly mixed. The working temperature is too low. Stir thoroughly before and during use. Add warmer chocolate to bring the temperature back to correct working temperature.
Molded Items Are Dull When Removed From Mold
The molds were greasy and not polished well, or items were left in refrigerator too long.
White Marks Appear on Demolded Items
The molds were not dried properly. Water can become trapped in molds with heavy patterns. Make sure they are completely dry before filling.
Working with Chocolate