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Hey, fondue, I’m Sandra Dee

18 Dec

Strange how I can link something as innocuous as fondue to a lazy interpretation of an Italian insult and reference one of my all-time favourite movies in one go, but that’s totally how I jelly-roll.

In case it wasn’t blatantly obvious (and why wouldn’t it have been?), this post is about fondue.  Well, kind of.  So… not really.

I’m doing well so far, huh?

Anyway, because I’m so fancy and shit I was browsing through a K-Mart brochure, and I saw their chocolate fondue sets.  I’ve seen them before, but it not being 50 years ago, I never considered buying one.  But then I realised it might come in handy to melt the… melts.  (To be honest, if the had used the word ‘cheese’ instead of ‘chocolate’ on the box, I might not have thought of using it.  S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T.)

chocolate fondue set

So I bought one of these babies, because it’s only 12 bucks and I will try to use it more than twice and only shove it to the middle of the shelf, not right to the back where it will never see the light of day again, mmmkay?

Considering chocolate fondue includes cream to keep it more liquid-like, I wondered whether the melts might be too thick to properly melt and/or stay melted.

Luckily it all worked out fine.  Took longer to melt than if I was using a microwave or double boiler, but on the other hand it keeps a constant temperature and the chocolate stayed melted to a nice dipping consistency.  And the Wilton Candy Melts worked fine in this, too (the Nestlé and Cadbury ones were, as usual, perfect).

You can also get ones that use a tea light to provide the heat, but I’m way too impatient for that ridiculousness.

I definitely recommend giving one of these bad boys a go if you use melts a lot (or are lazy and would like to sit on the lounge whilst you work… or something).  It also included heaps of accessories – chocolate moulds, sticks, cellophane bags, fondue forks, small bowls and more).

Overall, it was an absolute bargain for the coin I paid, and it works a treat.


Nestlé success-lé

7 Oct

After the Wilton failure, I had great success with melting the Nestlé choc bits for coating cake pops (haven’t tried the melts yet but surely they’ll be even easier).

I melted them in a glass jug then sat the jug in a container of hot water to keep the chocolate warm. The cake pops had been in the freezer for a week, as I’d given up on them after the Wilton fiasco. They were therefore obviously very cold. I think this made the chocolate begin to reset too fast (plus the water was cooling), so I would avoid having the pops so cold next time.


I was happy with the coverage, however it could have been a bit thinner – I think that was just due to the temperature of the cake and the fact I was too lazy to reheat the chocolate after it had started to cool. If the pops had been for a party or something (not just as a test), I would have made the effort to keep it warmer while I worked with it. But, hey…

I will possibly use these for all my chocolate coverings, but am concerned about how they will hold up at room temp (especially in summer, in Australia).

Wilton’s Candy (non-melting) Melts

12 Aug

After I bought the cake pop machine I went out and spent a pile of money I didn’t really have on a pile of crap I didn’t really need… candy melts, cake pop sticks and cellophane bags. With Christmas in mind, I got white, red and green melts.

Went home and made the first batch of pops. All good. It was fast and easy. Put the white melts in a mug (for easy dipping) and whacked them in the microwave for 30 seconds on half power – they softened a little. Stirred. Back in for 30 seconds on full power. Stirred. Still hard, dry clumps. Kept at it until the mug got so hot I was too scared to heat it any longer, but it had thinned enough that I could spread it on with a palette knife.


I then tried using a stainless steel dish over a simmering pot of water. It did nothing. Possibly got worse. At this point I just threw it out. Still had 12 pops in the freezer but was so over it I couldn’t be bothered with them.

A week later, I went out and bought a glass jug, in case that made a difference. Tried that out and it certainly did… nothing, that is. This time it was worse – they just turned to a big, dry clump when I tried to stir them.

I’d also bought a couple of bags of Nestlé choc bits and melts to try out. I threw a few choc bits in with the Wilton melts, and they (the choc bits) melted as soon as I stirred them through. (I have no pics for this – it looked so shit I didn’t bother…).

Then I tried the Nestlé melts by themselves in the glass jug. Worked like a fucking charm. Covered the other 12 pops in about five minutes, as opposed to the hour I’d spent trying to do the other 12 with the Wilton ones.

I’ve read that old melts can stuff up. Considering they’ve been imported to Australia, them being old is possible, but still not acceptable – they cost $8.95 a bag.

I still have the red and green ones. If they don’t work, I’m going to take them back.

So yeah. Kind of a shitty introduction to cake pops. Thanks, Wilton.

Talk about…pop ca-akes!

13 May

Shoobie doobie doo wop…

So I caved and bought a cake pop machine. Never really wanted to get on that bandwagon… They can look cute, but not terribly appetising (probably due to the lack of frosting, cream and other more indulgent-looking ingredients).

Anyway, a friend said she was considering cake pops for her wedding and asked for my help, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I know “proper” cake pops are made with crumbled cake mixed with frosting, but remember I wasn’t that into it in the first place, so that just seemed too fiddly for me to bother with. Plus all that manual shaping and shit… forgeddaboudit!

I’m a huge fan of unitask appliances that I use twice then push to the back of the cupboard, so obviously I didn’t balk at the idea of buying a machine for the sole purpose of cooking tiny spherical cakes.  I spent a couple of hours searching for a machine online, and eventually stumbled upon a Kambrook model that I then got from Big W for $29. Bargain.

Makes 12, which is great (bugger making six at a time, like some other machines do), but because you’re filling so many in one go, my first two always start to cook and expand too much and come out looking like Saturn, with a ‘ring’ around them. No biggie, but will try just doing 10 at a time from now on.

You also get 24 plastic sticks and a tray to stand them in while they set (holes could be a bit deeper to keep them more upright, because sometimes the decorated pops fall against each other).

So here’s the machine. Kambrook Little Chefs Cake Pop Maker RRP $34.95.