Good candy making starts with properly melted wafers.
Methods for Melting Candy Wafers
This is the most popular method of melting candy wafers, because it is a dry-heat method that is quick and convenient for individuals using their home kitchen.
Using a microwave-safe bowl, heat candy wafers at 50% power for 30 second intervals until wafers are melted. Make sure to stir in between each 30 second round in the microwave. Candy wafers will not change their shape unless they are stirred.
Double Boiler Method
Having an actual double boiler is wonderful; however, a pot of hot water with a larger bowl on top will deliver the same results. Heat the water in the pot to a simmer, and then turn off the heat. Immediately place your large bowl over the top of the pot and place the candy wafers inside. Allow the heat from the hot water to warm the bowl of wafers until melted. If you need to warm the wafers up again, repeat the process. Be aware, a double boiler can introduce steam or water into your candy making equation, and that can be a little risky.
Using the heat of water will take a little longer to melt the candy; however, this method works great if you plan to use a large amount of one kind of wafer.
Candy Melter Method
For you serious candy makers, ChocoMaker® offers the perfect candy melter. This is a small appliance that works very much like a double boiler, but without any water. It is made to keep candy wafers at the correct temperature. Like the double boiler, this method works well if you plan to use a large amount of one kind of wafer or you do not have a stove or microwave handy.
Candy melters have two settings: melt and warm. When you first put the wafers into the bowl, keep it on the melt setting until they are completely liquid. Switch to the warm setting to keep wafers at the optimal temperature for dipping, drizzling, and molding. Be aware that candy wafers will burn if they are kept on the melt setting for too long after they are melted or if they are not stirred intermittently.
This is not as much a melting method as a way to keep melted wafers warm. For anyone who typically has many small bowls of various candy wafers melted at one time, a warming tray can come in very handy for that application.
Using a warming tray will require following the manufacturers instructions for keeping the heat low – you will need to find a balance between keeping the wafers warm but not burning them. Also, covering the bowls with a lid can keep the top surface of candy wafers from developing a skin.
Tips for Melting Candy Wafers
Small Batches = Happy Candy Makers
Melt only what you think you will need for a particular project. This takes a little practice, but after some time you will get a feel for how much product is needed for various recipes. For example, dipping sandwich cookies requires more melted candy wafers than dipping pretzel twists.
As a beginning candy maker, working in small batches will do you a world of good, for multiple reasons. First, life is much easier working on a smaller scale. Also, if wafers are burned or you add too much flavoring, you will not have destroyed all your candy (see article Did I Melt My Candy Wafers Correctly?).
How Many Times Can I Re-Melt My Wafers?
Candy wafers can be melted several times, but if you want to hear an actual number, we’re going to say 3 times. After melting wafers more than 3 times you may start to notice “UCBs” (unidentifiable chunky bits), which will start creeping up and making your candy pieces look not-so-pretty.
Many candy makers use Paramount Crystals to thin out their wafers. They are essentially chips or thin flakes of palm kernel fat (the same that is in the wafers already). By raising the fat content, your wafers will have a thinner viscosity. Using shortening will also do this. I always recommend adding only fats that are solid at room temperature to ensure that your molded pieces are not too soft when they set up.