SO... I have been popping for the past two day and I feel my that creative juices are happy again. It's been a tough summer with the heat her in the Northeast Atlantic area. Lots of days in the 90's some hitting 100 and the humidity is always outrageous. It was a reasonable 85 the other day and I had an order to make, so I cranked the AC down to 73 (I heard the dollar bills fly past my ears as it ran) and made some wonderful cake pops. On one day I made 3 dozen and NO CRACKS!!!
I was stunned... but then I noticed something... I had a full mug of candy melts and I was dipping straight down and back up again. When I have small orders I usually melt 6 oz or so in a small bowl and I coat one side then the other and maybe the sides depending on the shape. That got me thinking, that maybe my cracks were a result in the chocolate on side A hardening while I am coating side B and maybe that SEAM is where the cracks are happening.
I've never seen or noticed a seam after tapping off the excess and allowing the coating to flow around the pop, but I'm sure there has got to be a weak spot along that line.
Just to test this theory, I dipped again for a second day. I made different shapes and used different colors, but I also melted a lot of coating to completely dip the pop in one movement. Viola! No cracks again :)
Here's how I melt my chocolate and deal with pops:
Entire bag of Wilton Melts in microwave for 45 sec at 70% power in a CERAMIC mug.
A ceramic mug/bowl gets hot and I use that heat to slowly melt my candy. Give the melts a good stir and let it sir for a minute and stir again. It will be half lumpy and half melted.
Return to microwave for 30 sec at 60% power and let sit for a minute before stirring. I use a spatula to stir and scrape the side and get the heat evenly through the candy.
It should be 90% melted by now. Lumps are ok for now.
I take 3 to 4 out of the fridge and stick them. I do not return them to the fridge. I set them in the stand and keep sticking them. After a dozen are on the sticks the first pop is ready to get dipped.
Give the candy a good stir and now all of the lumps should be gone. The temperature has come down and the candy is smooth. Don't be tempted to heat again, keep stirring. If you feel like you MUST heat do it for 10 sec at 50% power. Stir, stir, stir! Candy should be less than 100 when dipping.
Dip straight down and back up again. Tap off excess. Stand up to dry.