Merckens Milk (vanilla) Candy Coating or "summer coating" is made from cocoa with vegetable shortening as the fat. This makes it easy to handle and melt with no tempering necessary. To melt, choose these two methods:
1.) Double Boiler Method: Heat the bottom of your double boiler with the recommended amount of water on the stove till it simmers. Remove from the heat and insert the top portion of the double boiler over the steamy water. Place your coating chocolate in the pan and stir until melted. DO NOT melt the chocolate on the stove. If it becomes overheated, it will thicken. To thin it down, remove it from any heat source and add a small amount of solid shortening (like Crisco), allow the heat of the chocolate to melt the shortening.
2.) Microwave Method: Place the coating chocolate in a plastic microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 50% power for one minute. Remove and stir. Continue heating at 50% power for 30 second intervals and stirring until it is melted. The coating chocolate will hold it's shape in the microwave until you stir it, so you can't judge if it is melted by looking through the window. Chocolate will burn very quickly in the microwave, so it's best to take your time and check it often.
Known for consistent and superior quality, the Merckens brand of chocolate has been used by premium chocolate retail confectioners in North America since 1921.
The Merckens line of Rainbow compound wafers is a leading brand in the retail confectioner, home candy-making and cake-decorating markets. Merckens chocolate is also a key ingredient in seasonal novelties, fund-raising and private-label candy bars. ADM works closely and collaboratively with customers to determine the Merckens product that will best meet their needs.
The Merckens Chocolate Company was founded in Buffalo, New York, USA, in 1921, when German immigrant August Merckens Sr. purchased Reed Chocolate Company, which had been established in 1908. The company was purchased by Welch Candy Company in 1961 and its operations were moved to Mansfield, Massachusetts. The company was acquired by National Biscuit Company in 1963 and became a Grace Cocoa Company in 1990. In 1997, ADM purchased Grace Cocoa Company and Merckens became a brand of ADM Cocoa.
A number of chocolate products were developed by Merckens, including Yucatan Vanilla Brown Chocolate in 1928, Ivory Milk in 1929 and Marquis Milk Chocolate in 1938. Its Rainbow Confectionery Products were introduced in 1947.
Over the past 20 years, Merckens has opened two new state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1992, and Hazelton, Pa., in 2009. The 46 451-square-meter (500,000-square-foot) Hazelton facility produces chocolates, compounds, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
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