I am without a doubt the world’s biggest fan of chocolate, bar none. There may be those who like chocolate as well as I do, but none who like it better. That being said, I have made everything imaginable with chocolate: cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, candies, sauces, and beverages, but have for the most part avoided recipes involving dipping chocolate because I’ve never found melting chocolate that works well, that is, until I discovered Ghirardelli dipping wafers.
The best melting chocolate is Ghirardelli Dipping wafers. This is based on 50 years of trial and error using numerous types of chocolate.
In this article, I will review the top 5 brands, discuss the uses for dipping chocolate, the ideal melting point for dipping chocolate, what attributes make one brand of dipping chocolate better than the others, and the best way to store it.
Here are the 5 best brands that can be used for dipping or drizzling.
|Melting Chocolate Brand||Pros||Price|
|Ghirardelli||Very smooth, melts at low temperature||Most expensive|
|Baker’s Chocolate||Versatile, wide range of products||Mid|
|Toll House||Numerous flavors, seasonal options||Mid|
|Hershey’s||Distinct flavor, inexpensive||Low|
|Wilton||Designed for chocolate fountains, comes in multiple colors||Cheapest|
My favorite of all the chocolates for dipping and drizzling for the following reasons:
- It is a premium chocolate that is excellent for dipping or drizzling.
- It is very smooth and melts at a low temperature.
- It comes in bars, chips, and melting wafers
- It is available in many flavors, including milk, dark, semi-sweet, and white chocolate.
- The only downside to Ghirardelli products is that they are more pricey.
2. Bakers Chocolate
An old standard when it comes to chocolates for dipping and drizzling.
The Bakers products:
- Are more affordable than Ghirardelli but slightly more expensive than many other brands.
- Come in bars and dipping wafers.
- Are available in semi-sweet, unsweetened, bittersweet, German, and white chocolate bars and dark and milk chocolate dipping wafers.
- The only downside to Baker’s chocolates is that they take on a chalky appearance and grainy taste once they have been melted and resolidified.
3. Toll House
Toll House is also an old brand that has been around since the 1930s and is very familiar to most people for making chocolate chip cookies.
- They are more affordable than some.
- They come in morsels for baking.
- They are available in many flavors, including semi-sweet, hot fudge sundae, chocolate peanut caramel, disco semi-sweet and edible glitter, fun fetti, strawberries and cream, spring easter basket, milk chocolate, premier white, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and peanut butter, and butterscotch, many of which are seasonal.
- Unfortunately, the downside to Toll House is that they tend to become chalky in appearance and have a grainy taste if not stored properly.
This is another old brand that is familiar in the world of baking. I have, throughout my adult life, chosen only Hershey’s cocoa for baking, and Hershey bars remain to this day one of my all-time favorite treats.
Their baking chips are a more recent product, and I have not had a lot of experience with them.
- They are comparable in price to Bakers and Toll House.
- They come in baking chips and mini baking chips.
- They are available in cinnamon, sea salt caramel, semi-sweet, milk chocolate, special dark chocolate, sugar-free chocolate, butterscotch, Reese’s peanut butter, and milk chocolate English toffee.
Something to look out for: Hershey’s baking chips are also prone to becoming chalky and grainy if not stored properly and if they have melted and resolidified.
Wilton candy melts are specifically made for dipping and for melting in chocolate fountains.
- They are not expensive.
- They come in melting wafers.
- They are available in vanilla or light chocolate flavors.
- They come in many colors, including orange, green, dark cocoa, blue, lavender, turquoise, red candy, pink candy, light cocoa, bright white, yellow, and bright pink.
- The primary downside is that the candy will lose its consistency if overheated or if moisture has accumulated.
What Are The Uses For Dipping Chocolate?
Here are some of the best-known uses for dipping chocolate:
- For drizzling over frosted cupcakes for extra decoration and a dazzling chocolate taste.
- For drizzling over cakes to decorate and add additional chocolate flavor.
- For drizzling over cheesecake to decorate and add flavor.
- For drizzling over pies, especially French Silk Pie.
- For dipping pretzels and cookies.
- For dipping fruit such as strawberries and pineapple.
What Is The Ideal Melting Point For Dipping Chocolate?
We all have had the experience of chocolate melting in our hands before we can finish eating it and know that if we leave it in the sun or in any hot spot (including a ladies’ handbag, I might add), it will begin to melt right away. And, we know that some types of chocolate melt easier than others.
The ideal temperature for melting chocolate evenly for dipping or drizzling is between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The brands of chocolate with purer ingredients melt at the lower end of that range. That temperature range can be achieved using several methods, but the most commonly used methods are a water bath and microwave melting.
Two Best Methods For Heating Dipping Chocolate To Melting Point
The two best and most popular methods for heating chocolate to its melting point for dipping and drizzling to garnish desserts are either.
- The boiling water method – For the boiling water method, heat water in a flat pan or skillet on the stovetop. Then, place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl or small saucepan and place the bowl or saucepan into the boiling water. The boiling water method allows greater flexibility in adjusting the heat under the chocolate. Start stirring after about 30 seconds to determine when the chocolate has melted to avoid overheating. The chocolate can be reheated as necessary by simply placing the bowl or saucepan back into the hot water for a few seconds.
- The microwave method – To melt chocolate by using the microwave, simply place the chocolate into a microwave-proof container and microwave on high in 15-second increments to avoid overheating. Stir after each 15-second period to determine when the chocolate has melted to avoid overheating. Simply microwave for an additional 15-30 seconds when the chocolate becomes too thick to dip or drizzle.
Tips for melting chocolate for dipping or drizzling:
- Avoid overheating. When chocolate is overheated, the texture, as well as the flavor, can be affected.
- If it is necessary to reheat, just heat it for a short time to avoid overheating.
- Avoid adding moisture which will cause the chocolate to seize or become dull and lumpy with small chunks of hard chocolate.
- If it is necessary to thin, it is better to add a little oil.
How to fix seized chocolate:
Many people “fix” seized chocolate by adding oil to reconstitute the texture of the chocolate. Just keep in mind, however, the more oil you add to the chocolate, the less pure chocolate flavor you will have.
My recommendation is to use the seized chocolate in brownies or other desserts and start over with fresh chocolate wafers for dipping.
What Attributes Make Some Brands of Dipping Chocolate Better For Dipping?
Some of the most important attributes or properties of melting chocolate include:
- Chocolate pieces should be small, whether they are chips or wafers, for uniform melting.
- Dipping chocolate should contain a small amount of oil to increase the time it remains melted.
- Dipping chocolate should re-solidify to its original texture and appearance.
- Dipping chocolate should not develop a chalky appearance when it re-solidifies.
- Dipping chocolate should contain more cocoa butter than chocolate used for other purposes.
- Dipping chocolate should melt at the lowest possible temperature.
- Dipping chocolate should melt smoothly and evenly.
Best Storage Method For Chocolate
The best storage method for keeping chocolate in the perfect condition for dipping and drizzling until you are ready to use it is between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The best area in your kitchen would be a dark, dry pantry away from any heat source or direct sunlight.
Many people store their chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer because they like their chocolate that way. Still, for the purpose of baking or dipping and drizzling, chocolate should not be refrigerated. The primary reason for this is that chocolate contains cacao butter which is a fat that becomes brittle when cold.
All of the brands mentioned in this article work very well for dipping and drizzling, although there may be some adjustments that must be made for their use. For example, some melt at a lower temperature than others, and some begin to re-solidify faster than others and must be reheated more often. All, however, can be used successfully.
These brands are the ones that I am familiar with, and I realize that in different parts of the country and the world, there are many other brands of chocolate that I have never seen. So, my advice would be to all who work a lot with chocolate to experiment with the brands that you have easy access to and find the ones that you have more success with and stick with those. As I always say, “I’ve never seen chocolate that I didn’t like, just some more than others.”
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, check out The Best Chocolate Extract Substitute (And How to Make It).
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