Simple and Easy Beeswax Dipping Chocolate
Did you know that there is an alternative to using baker’s wax or shortening for dipping chocolate?
According to Wikipedia, beeswax is completely edible and considered safe to use in food in most countries around the world. It hardens quickly without the need to refrigerate and beeswax adds a subtle honey smell to the chocolate. If you are looking for a sustainable, all-natural, and healthy dipping chocolate, then this might be the one for you!
The Fine Art of Dipping Chocolate
When I first started working on this recipe, many readers commented on my Instagram feed that did not even know you could use wax in dipping chocolate. For most of them, they either just melted chocolate by itself or used a mix of coconut oil and chocolate for dipping. And while both of those do work, they have a few limitations. That is where wax comes in. But more on that in a minute.
Canning or Baker’s Wax: What’s in a Name?
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Scene II.
I have to admit I was taken a little by surprise that so many people didn’t know about this little trick. Dipping chocolate made with wax was the first way I learned how to make a chocolate coating. My mother was from Michigan and every year right around the holidays we would make peanut butter balls (a.k.a Buckeyes for you Ohioans out there).
It was a family affair. As kids, my brother and I would help by rolling out the balls while our mother would dip them. Of course I would watch her melt the wax and chocolate and I remember she always used baker’s wax (i.e. paraffin wax).
At the time that didn’t mean much to me but now as an adult and mother, it does. So I started to do some research and found that the paraffin wax for canning and cooking is the same as the paraffin wax used in candles. Now if you don’t already know, paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product from refining lubricating oil. And while candle paraffin wax is not considered edible, baker’s wax is. Luckily your body does not actually digest the stuff. It just passes through your system.
But despite paraffin wax being nondigestable, I am not ok with putting anything related to petroleum on or in my body (keep in mind petroleum jelly is a petroleum by-product as well). And while food-grade paraffin wax is considered safe to eat since your body doesn’t actually break it down, I’m not entirely sure how anyone would think that eating anything related to lubricating oil is a good idea.
But beyond that, society needs to move away from their dependence on fossil fuels and everything related to it. It is no mystery that what is bad for the body is also bad for the environment.
Downsides of Using Coconut Oil or Just Chocolate for Dipping
If you follow any of my other recipes and diy projects, you’ll know I absolutely love coconut oil! I use it for my hair, skin, teeth, soaps, lip balms, cookies and other desserts, and even some low heat cooking. There is a jar of it in my bathroom, bedroom, livingroom, and, of course, kitchen. I cannot sing the praises of coconut oil enough.
However, using coconut oil (or just chocolate) instead of wax for dipping chocolate does have some downsides. Don’t get me wrong! Plain chocolate and coconut oil in dipping chocolate taste great as a chocolate coating. Here are some downsides though:
- Both plain chocolate and coconut oil do not instantly harden as quickly as dipping chocolate with wax. You can stick it in the fridge to speed up the process of course. But there are some goodies like muffins or doughnuts that tend to dry out when refrigerated. Dipping chocolate with wax hardens in just a few minutes.
- Plain chocolate and coconut oil with chocolate have a lower melting point than chocolate mixed with wax. Again if what you are dipping can be stored in the fridge, then this is not such a problem. However, you can’t usually store these same things at room temperature without the possibility of the chocolate melting off and sticking together. And then there is the problem of transporting these goodies to a party or gathering especially on a hot day.
Tips for Making Using Beeswax
Making a dipping chocolate is incredibly easy and straightforward. However there are a few things I think are worth mentioning when it comes to using beeswax and making dipping chocolate.
- Beeswax will solidify on contact. This is good for when you are dipping but not so good when you are measuring. Beeswax doesn’t hold heat very well and if you try to measure hot beeswax into a spoon or cup will cause it to solidify a bit on contact. This is why hot beeswax will instantly coat your finger if you touch it. Because of this I suggest you use a kitchen scale and weigh your beeswax in a solid state. If you don’t have one, warm up the measuring spoon or cup before using.
- Use a double boiler or crock pot for melting your beeswax and chocolate. Not only will this gently heat up your ingredients but you can keep the dipping chocolate warm while you dip. This is a real time saver since dipping can take time! And after a while the beeswax and chocolate will start to solidify if left at room temperature too long. Warm dipping chocolate will stay smooth to ensure an even coat each time.
- Do not melt beeswax in the microwave! You might be tempted to use your microwave to melt the beeswax and chocolate since it is quicker than a double boiler. But seriously don’t do it. If you want to see what will happen, go here.
- Buy beeswax from a place you trust. Now while beeswax is edible, I would highly suggest you buy beeswax from a source you trust. Local beekeepers are always a good option. Short of that, make sure that you are buying beeswax that is organic and free of chemicals.
Suggestions for Easy Dipping
- Any type of chocolate will work. I’ve got an inclination towards dark chocolate but white and milk chocolate will work as well. If you are a vegan that doesn’t mind honey or beeswax, vegan chocolate works too. I also tend to buy chocolate chips since those are easily found in bulk but chocolate bars and chunks can be used instead.
- Use a cold spoon to test the chocolate before use. The real art to dipping chocolate is finding the right ratio. Too little beeswax and your coating won’t harden quickly but too much will make the chocolate taste waxy. And while I like a ratio of 1 part beeswax to 12 parts chocolate, you might choose a little differently. Just dip the spoon in and taste to see if you like it where it is.
- Dipping can get messy! Place a silicone mat or parchment paper on the surface where you plan to let the food sit. I try to place my mat right next to the stove where I will be dipping to minimize my mess or stray drops. I highly recommend using a silicone mat to help reduce waste and environmental impact. But of course either one will work. If You Care (affiliate link) parchment paper is a great eco-friendly alternative!
- Save some of your dipping chocolate for drizzling at the end. It makes your dipped creations look just a little cooler and gives them a great texture. I use a small spatula but a spoon or fork will work too. Just dip the utensil into the chocolate and drizzle away to your hearts content at the end. Consider using white chocolate for a great contrast or even color it for a beautiful effect. Be the Jackson Pollock of food!
- Start in small batches. A little dipping chocolate goes a long way. For example I found the amount in the recipe could easily dip and drizzle a pound of strawberries and a half pound of pretzels. If you plan to do a lot of dipping you can always make more.
- Consider buying a silicone ice cube tray or candy mold. I almost always have some chocolate leftover. Unless you want to use it to drizzle a nice texture over your food (which I highly recommend), you can save it for next time by pouring the rest into a mold and let it set. You can then store those in a container at room temperature or keep it in the fridge for next time.
- Make sure that all your containers, food, and equipment are dry. You don’t want to get any water in the dipping chocolate as it might cause the chocolate to seize and become gritty. Use a cloth or paper towel to pat everything dry and place the dipped goodies in a dry spot to set. Avoid storing the dipped foods in the fridge until after they have finished sitting.
- To minimize mess, let the excess chocolate drip off before moving it to the place it will cool. Instead of flicking the excess off, try using the hand that isn’t holding the food and tamp lightly on your wrist or forearm. It really works well and keeps the mess down.
That’s it! Let’s dip!
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Dipping Chocolate Using Beeswax
- kitchen scale
- double boiler or crockpot
- 3 oz. chocolate, any type
- .25 oz. beeswax
- Weigh out your beeswax and chocolate.
- In a double boiler, melt the beeswax and chocolate over a medium heat. If using a crockpot use the low setting.
- Melt the beeswax and chocolate gently. Do not use until completely melted. Give it a good stir before dipping.
- Dip the food either by hand or drop it into the dipping chocolate and pull it out using small tongs or tweezers.
- Let the excess drip off for a few seconds.
- Transfer dipped items to a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Once everything is dipped, use a spoon, fork, or spatula to drizzle any remaining chocolate onto the food (if desired).
- In a dry area let it set. Usually takes about 15-20 minutes to fully harden.
- Serve immediately or store in a sealed container.
Where to Buy?
Whenever possible, it is always a good practice to buy from a local store near you. Just please try to buy products packaged in glass instead of plastic. It’s even better to find it in bulk to reduce waste.
However, who you source from is just as important. So if you have to buy online, here are some companies I suggest. These companies have been chosen because they are small businesses but not necessarily focused on sustainability (it is always good to help these guys out) or larger companies that are committed to fair trade, ethical practices, and/or committed to sustainability.
I will also list the State or Country this businesses reside in so that you have the option to locate a shop close to you. Those with affiliated links will be marked by an *
For eco-friendly parchment paper:
- If You Care (USA) *
For chocolate chips:
- Better Shea Butter (TX) * this is the one I buy
- Gardner Bees (MN) *
- Basic Honey (FL) *
- Anything Bees (CA) *
- Hungry Bear Farms (NY) *
- Etsy * has many local beekeeper shops
Did you give this recipe a try?