This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of confectionary, from the science and the process behind tempering chocolate, to an in-depth look at how to melt and use Candy Melts, and different ways in which you can present your creations!
With a great taste and smooth texture for consistently delicious results, Wilton's Candy Melts are specially designed for treat dipping, drizzling over desserts, piping to create designs, moulding to create sweets, and just about whatever else you can think up! What's more, they don't have to be tempered first – simply melt them in a microwave, a fondue pot or on the hob.
Not only are Candy Melts versatile and easy to use, but they're also available in wide variety of colours to cater for just about any baking project imaginable! From vibrant green and royal blue to bright white and rich red, there's no doubt they'll pack a colourful punch in your treat-making. Although the original flavour is irresistibly delicious, Wilton also regularly release special flavours to tickle your taste buds, such as peanut butter and dark cocoa mint.
Candy Melts have their name for a reason – they're incredibly easy to melt! Plus, as a bonus, you aren't limited to one method. But there are a few precautions you should take before you melt. Firstly, ensure that your equipment is dry – wet utensils could mess with the fullness of the colour. Next, please make sure you don't over-heat the Candy Melts on a high setting – the coating will lose its lovely consistency! So, what are your options?
The quickest and most convenient way to melt Candy Melts is in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. To do this, simply empty one pack into your bowl and heat for 1 minute at 40% power, or on the defrost setting. Remove the bowl and give it a thorough stir, then repeat the process again at 30-second intervals this time, until the mixture is melted to a smooth consistency.
Another way to melt Candy Melts in the microwave is by placing them in a piping bag or squeeze bottle. This option follows exactly the same process as microwaving in a bowl, however the end result allows you to squeeze the melted Candy Melts cleanly into moulds or pipe designs directly from the bag.
Melting Candy Melts on the hob follows a similar process to melting chocolate – placing either a glass bowl or another pan on top of a water-filled pan. Fill the lower pan to below the level of the top pan and heat the water until it's simmering, then remove it from the heat. Empty your Candy Melts into the top pan (or bowl) and position it on top of the bottom pan. Stir the mixture at a constant speed (without beating!) until it reaches a smooth consistency.
As an alternative method to using a microwave or the hob, you could melt your Candy Melts in a fondue pot. This method is preferable if you're looking to dip cake pops or other treats into Candy Melts, allowing you to fully immerse them into the mixture. Simply follow the directions on your fondue pot to heat up the Candy Melts, stirring at a consistent speed until the mixture is smooth.
What are Confectionary Moulds?
Moulds are hollow containers that shape hot liquids while they're hardening. Building upon this basis, confectionary moulds (or, 'candy moulds') are plastic sheets with several shaped cavities for use with Candy Melts. A simple way to create fun, detailed candy shapes for use as cake embellishments or individual sweets, they're available in a huge amount of designs to cater for many themes and occasions. Wilton not only design confectionary moulds, but they also produce a range of lollipop moulds that are designed to accommodate lollipop sticks too!
How to Properly Use Confectionary Moulds
Using a confectionary mould seems pretty straightforward, right? But as with most things, producing perfectly detailed candy shapes takes practise – so we've put together some steps for Candy Melts novices.
For the easiest application, melt the Candy Melts in a piping bag or squeeze bottle (please refer back to How to Melt Candy Melts for more information on this). If using a bottle, shake it a little to remove any stray lumps – it's important that the mixture is completely smooth for the moulding to work best!
Squeeze the melted Candy Melts into the centre of a cavity in your mould, until the cavity is roughly three-quarters full. In other words, don't worry about reaching every single corner of the design with the mixture right now! Repeat this step until all the cavities are full.
Lightly tap the confectionary mould several times on your work surface, thus removing any air bubbles and spreading the melted Candy Melts into every corner of the cavities.
Put the filled confectionary mould in the fridge or freezer and leave to set. This could take upwards of 10 minutes, but the best way to double-check is by looking at the underside of the mould. If the cavities appear a little frosted, that indicates the candies are ready to take out, however if there are dark patches, the Candy Melts may still be a little too soft.
Cover your work surface with wax paper or parchment paper, then turn the mould over and gently tap to unmould the candies, and ta-da! You have your first shaped candy pieces!