chocolatiere mini chocolate melting potis so popular by many customer who wants to wait for delicious chocolates
This "Chocolatiere" costs usd 3-6 and does just one thing; it melts chocolate without the hassle. No saucepans of boiling water on the stove top, just a simple pot nestled inside a heated base. Plug it in and go.
The pan is a little on the small side, holding a maximum of 250g of chocolate. I would have preferred something bigger, but I do like the fact that the whole thing can be put away after use and takes up very little cupboard space.
The base has two temperature settings, cleverly named "1″ and "2″, which the instruction leaflet tells me roughly correspond to around 43C and 60C. It recommends melting the chocolate on setting 2, then keeping it melted in the pot on setting 1, but in reality, you're probably going to burn the chocolate if you do that (something I tried and succeeded at), so I recommend keeping it on the low setting and adding a small amount of patience into the mix.
The instruction leaflet does have a few recipes that involve putting other ingredients into the pan which makes the 60C setting useful, but I would have preferred a lower range myself.
The melting pot comes with a variety of (somewhat flimsy) tools including forks for dipping fruit and truffles, a plastic spatula, plastic skewers and some very thin polycarbonate moulds. Despite the sharp spiky things and base that gets quite hot, this is clearly aimed at kids – or at least for kids to use with adult supervision.
Despite coming with chocolate moulds, one thing that is completely omitted from the instructions is any information about tempering. If you want to make chocolates with a shiny finish and a nice 'snap' to them, then the chocolate needs to be tempered. The process involves cooling the melted chocolate to around 27C (depending on the kind of chocolate), then reheating to around 31C.
The single temperature control on the melting pot doesn't make that easy, particularly if you don't have a thermometer, but by taking the pan out, stirring, and briefly adding it back, I was able to achieve fairly decent results. Probably more by luck than judgement though.
Despite its shortcomings, I find myself loving my little chocolate melting pot.
Although it's not big enough and the temperature controls aren't accurate enough for serious use, if you just need to melt a small amount of chocolate for a recipe or make chocolates with the kids it's perfect. Personally, I think I'll just be taking this to barbecues and setting it up next to a supply of good quality chocolate and a bowl of fruit for dipping. It's significantly simpler than setting up the chocolate fountain that requires four tons of chocolate and added vegetable oil to get going.
Yes, it looks a bit cheap. It's more of a toy than a serious tool, but considering it's under 5 dollors, I think it's great value, and something that I know will see regular use.