What is Confectionary Coating? fake chocolate.
Whenever you make chocolate decorations you have to perform a series of steps called tempering. This insures your chocolate will harden properly . All kinds of crazy things happen to chocolate if it’s not tempered. See my post “Why do you temper chocolate”.
In some cases you might not want to, or have time to go through the tempering process, it takes about 20 minutes to temper chocolate by hand. Even if you have a chocolate tempering machine, it still takes about 15 minutes.
Suppose you want to whip out a chocolate decoration in a jiffy, for example, make a garnish or fancy flourish to chic up a dessert. Instead of using real chocolate, you can use something called confectionary coating, which is chocolate flavored candy.
Real chocolate needs to be tempered for decorating
confectionary coating does not
To use, just carefully melt and you’re ready to create your masterpiece. As long as you don’t overheat, you’re good to go.
Confectionary coating goes by many names including compound coating, candy coating, chocolate coating, chocolate melts, melting chocolate, dipping compound, and a host of others. I call it confectionary coating, or fake chocolate.
Popular brands of confectionary coating
Guittard makes a great confectionary coating called A’Peels dipping compound. What’s nice about A’Peels, is it comes in a few different colors (and flavors), this makes it easy to add a splash of color to your projects, instead of having to tint white chocolate the desired color. Guittard’s A’Peels have a nice fluid consistency (which is good for decorating), and is the best tasting of all the brands (I think). It’s really the gourmet choice for confectionary coating. Guittard makes excellent (real) chocolate as well, and that is what they are known for. They just happen to offer a nice confectionary coating with their line of chocolate. Yay Guittard!
Guittard A’Peels and Merckens are available in many colors
Keep in mind confectionary coating has a chocolaty “flavor” (and other flavors too, such as vanilla, lemon, strawberry…), but it’s not real chocolate. Still, it’s a great alternative if you just want to try out a few chocolate decorating techniques, or/and you don’t want to get into chocolate tempering just yet. It’s also less expensive than real chocolate.
Merckens also makes a nice tasting confectionary coating available in many colors, including “super” white (not ivory, like the other “whites”, as in (real) white chocolate, which is actually ivory, to almost yellow in color). Merckens is popular to use for dipping cakepops. CK offers the color black (which is handy). You can find them at Global Sugar Art, and other places such as Amazon.com and Fancyflours.com.
You can also pick up a bag of Wilton’s Candy Melts to practice techniques, but it’s a little thick to use, and the taste is questionable. Wilton is available at Michael’s Craft stores. Wilton’s Candy Melts are the least expensive brand.
TIP: practice chocolate decorating techniques
first with confectionary coating
For home chefs, I recommend practicing chocolate decorating techniques with confectionary coating before using real chocolate if you’re just getting started chocolate decorating. The learning curve will be much easier, if you practice tempering chocolate a few times, learn the techniques (with confectionary coating), then combine the two.
Occasions when you might want to substitute real chocolate for fake chocolate:
- For a kids party, confectionary coating is perfect, it’s convenient to use, and kids will surely not notice the taste difference between real and fake chocolate. I would even use Wilton’s Candy Melts!
- To practice a new chocolate decorating technique before using real chocolate.
- For making a quick dessert garnish when you don’t have time to temper chocolate.
- Decorations that are not intended to be eaten, for example a table centerpiece, or even a cake topper. Consider using confectionary coating for these projects.
NOTE: I would use REAL chocolate for confections such as truffles, bonbons, fruit dipping etc. unless you love the taste of fake chocolate, some people do!
Moral of the story: confectionary coating is not as persnickety as chocolate.
Where to Purchase
You can order Guittard A’Peels and Merckens by the pound at Global Sugar Art.com.
Until next time,
Peace, Love, Chocolate,
The Chocolate Addict.com
NOTE: please understand that I am an academically challenged right-brainer, and forgive any typos, grammatical faux pas, and things that don’t make sense.