Unitasker Wednesday: Cakepop chocolate dipper

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

To save money on our wedding, my then-fiance-now-husband and I decided we would make chocolate suckers for our wedding favors instead of buying a hundred small doodads. Neither of us had worked with candy before, but that didn’t stop us. We headed to a local cake and candy supply store and got all the supplies the nice saleswoman said we would need. We purchased chocolate discs, two candy molds, sucker sticks, candy bags, and headed home.

Making the chocolate suckers was fun and simple. We melted the chocolate discs in the microwave in a pyrex bowl, poured the chocolate into the molds, inserted the sticks, and put the molds into the refrigerator to cool. When the suckers were hardened, we put them in candy bags, tied them with a ribbon and were done. The saleswoman told us if we didn’t have a microwave we could have used a double boiler for melting the chocolate and if we didn’t have a double boiler could just set an aluminum bowl over a pot of water on the stovetop and create one to use when melting the chocolate. But, since we had a microwave, we went the easiest route of all.

Knowing now that melting chocolate is an easy process involving only a bowl in the microwave or a (real or make-shift) double-boiler on the stovetop, I was confused when reader Claw sent me a link to the Babycakes Chocolate Dipper:

It’s a mini-crockpot that keeps melted chocolate warm. You still have to melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler and then transfer the chocolate to the Chocolate Dipper to be able to use it. The one and only time I can imagine using this item is if you are having a chocolate dipping party of some kind … but even if you do have a chocolate dipping party, are you going to have so many chocolate dipping parties that you need a special device? A fondue pot could certainly be a good substitute, and if you don’t have one I’m sure someone in your neighborhood does that you could borrow for the one time that you have the chocolate dipping party. My guess is you could also just use your regular-size crockpot on a low setting to keep chocolate warm.

But, if you’re just working on your own and aren’t having a party, all you need to do is pop the chocolate back into the microwave for a few seconds if it starts to harden. If you’re using a double boiler, you just dip your item straight into the double boiler because the water keeps the chocolate warm.

This seems to me to be one of those items that could be useful once or twice, but otherwise just takes up space. And, since there are so many other ways to achieve the same results, its once or twice usefulness is even suspect.

14 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Cakepop chocolate dipper”

  1. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    I don’t have a fondue pot – mostly because I’m rather clumsy & would probably burn my house down.

    I got a mini-crockpot (like the one in the picture) that came “free” with my family-sized crockpot. It is great for cheese sauce, fondue (cheese & chocolate) as well as gravy.

    You really only need ONE of the following:
    -fondue pot

    anything else is just taking up space.

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jacki — If I had to go with one, I’d go with the double boiler. It can be used for so many things.

  3. posted by Dede on

    I guess you could also use it as a simmer pot, but that might leave residual scents. Which might or might not be a bad thing.

    Should I ever need to melt/dip anything, I’m going with the double boiler that I’ve had for too many years to admit to.

  4. posted by Andrea on

    The mini crockpot could be handy when working with kids on a cooking project in a classroom. That use, plus using it as a cheesy dip warmer for a smaller party, and using it to make oatmeal overnight for a single breakfast make it not a full-on unitasker IMO. Probably wouldn’t pay full price for it, but if I found it at the thrift store for a dollar or two, I’d pick it up.

    We used a cake pop cooker (makes 6 at a time) with the kids, and it allowed us to do everything in the classroom, in a reasonable amount of time (5 minutes of cooking is just right for a preschooler’s attention span), while keeping the kids safe.

  5. posted by maxie on

    @Erin-and, if you’ve got a double boiler like mt ancient Pyrex one, used separately, you’ve got a 1.5 qt and 2 qt saucepan.

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    @maxie — Exactly!!

  7. posted by Jodi on

    I’ve wanted one of these for YEARS for keeping gravy warm at Thanksgiving/Christmas/other times when we have gravy.

    I’ve had bad experiences (user error, I’m sure) with double boilers, so I’d pick the mini crockpot. 🙂

  8. posted by Dinah Gray on

    I use to work in a candy factory in the chocolate room making chocolates by hand. We had big vats of chocolate continually stirred by big paddles and kept warm. We would pour the chocolate in big bowls that went into a metal box that kept the chocolate at the right temperature as we worked. When I have done chocolate at home, I just melt it in a metal bowl over a pot of water on the stove. It seems silly to dirty a mini crock pot to accomplish what you are already doing on the stove before pouring the chocolate into it.

    Just a tip for those wanting to do chocolate. We kept the chocolate room at 65 degrees all the time. It makes the chocolate nice an shiny once it cools.

  9. posted by JustGail on

    These have been out for years under another paint job and use – dip warmers. Which I don’t have any more. The last thing I need around is something to encourage consumption of more excess calories.

  10. posted by Leslie on

    Spent a week vacationing in Mexico and decided to make sand candles. Since there wasn’t one there, instead of using a double boiler to heat the wax, I used an old Girl Scout trick. I washed out a metal coffee can and placed it inside a pot with water and brought the water to boil. Worked like a charm.

  11. posted by Liz E. on

    I have a mini-crockpot like this (it came with the purchase of our 6 qt. pot, like @Jacki, above). We use it for keeping dip warm when we have parties and it is excellent for melting chocolate and keeping it at the right consistency (dipped pretzels at Christmas are our favorite). One good thing about it: you don’t have to melt the chocolate before using. I just break up the bars of melting chocolate and stir occasionally until it’s at the right consistency. If you’re in a rush, shave the bar with a sharp knife before hand. I’ll give it to you: it is pretty much a unitasker (and I certainly wouldn’t rush out to buy the special “cake pop dipper” =P) but since it can be stored in the larger crock pot it’s a unitasker that doesn’t bother me too much.

  12. posted by bopper on

    We have a mini-crockpot like this to and we use it when we are melting chocolate to make chocolate lollipops for valentines day. We only have one mold, so we put melted chocolate in and then freeze it (15 min or so) and then repeat the process. With a microwave the rest of the chocolate cools down too much and then you have to reheat it and at some point the chocolate isn’t happy. Double boiler would work okay I suppose but you would have to have the temperature right and it would require more monitoring.

  13. posted by purpleBee on

    Oh dear, I was multitasking and reading this while watching Grim.
    Mild horror and a pot marked Baby Cakes don’t mix.

    Poor little Baby Whatevers being cooked up in thi… oh…. its for chocolate….. oops.

    So why use this instead melting choc in the microwave? Its clutter for me.

  14. posted by Beth on

    I actually use a method that I saw on Good Eats. Two metal bowls with a heating pad placed in between. You don’t have to use a double-boiler (risking water) or a microwave even. I’ve used it for desert fondue on several occasions. 🙂

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