Melting Wafers: The Key to Easier Tempering?

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2018

They simplify the tempering process—but how do they taste?

Tempering chocolate for dipping fruit or cookies takes patience and care to create a shiny, snappy coating—even when using our foolproof microwave technique. So we were intrigued when the producer of our favorite chocolate baking bar came out with Ghirardelli Chocolate Melting Wafers (available in white, milk, and dark chocolate), which substitute palm oil for the cocoa butter in premium chocolate, allowing them to be melted in the microwave with no fuss whatsoever. We melted a batch of Ghirardelli wafers and used it to dip cookies, pretzels, and strawberries, comparing these with the same items dipped in tempered chocolate.

THE VERDICT: The Ghirardelli wafers set up shiny and snappy, but they tasted a bit waxy and lacked the robust flavor of the tempered premium samples. That said, if you don't have the time or patience to temper real chocolate, the Ghirardelli wafers will do in a pinch. (Avoid the “candy melts” that are available in craft stores. These contain almost no real cocoa and barely taste of chocolate.)

Works in a pinch

Best to avoid