When the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer showed up at my door, I had no idea what to expect. Not really. A folding proofer sounded fascinating but what exactly was I going to do with it?
When I took it out of the package I realized, man, this is huge! When folded down, it is the size of an antique laptop.
When you lift up the cover you find some folded plastic, the cord, a water tray and a wire rack inside.
After removing them you see that the bottom is essentially a hot plate and that folded plastic turns into…
The sides of the folder. You put the wire rack back inside, put the top on top of the plastic square and you are ready to go!
During the holidays I made my favourite cinnamon buns and then let them proof in the proofer on the floor in the draftiest spot in our house, right near the patio doors. And look, they still “poofed” as my sister Shannon would say.
Earlier I had used it to bring butter up to room temperature to make those astounding chocolate chip cookies by Martha Stewart, the proofer booklet’s recipe for Country Wheat Sandwich Bread and chocolate covered almonds. Everything worked perfectly! Until
Folding Proofer & My Foodie Nemesis
White chocolate… I have no idea how many times I have either watched white chocolate sit there and refuse to melt or suddenly seize up on me. I wanted to make a white chocolate bark using the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer but the only white chocolate I had in the house was Chipits’ white chocolate chips. Well, why not???
I had read online somewhere that 90F will melt white chocolate. I really did not want it to scorch so I left it at this temperature for like an hour. Then another 20 minutes. Then another half hour. It refused to melt at all! I moved it to a metal bowl, hoping that it would help conduct the heat more…
It just got really, really gross. Ugh! White chocolate bested me again! Instead of deciding that either I had a white chocolate curse… I wrote the company and asked for help.
Julie at Brod & Taylor not only listened to my white chocolate woes but went home and did some product testing of her own! She even wrote up a “fool proof” technique for melting white chocolate in the proofer:
1. Set the proofer temperature to 115F and put the wire rack in place. Do not use the water tray, the proofer should be completely dry.
2. Put 4 oz/113g of white chocolate into a heat-proof bowl (ceramic or glass both work well), set it into the proofer and close the lid. There is no need to finely chop the chocolate, it can be left in one piece as long as it fits into the bowl.
3. Allow the proofer to work while you accomplish other tasks. The chocolate will be completely melted in 60 minutes or less. There is no need to stir, the proofer will provide a constant temperature.
It is worthwhile to note that 4 oz. of chocolate will not scorch even after two hours at this temperature, so there is a very long safety margin.
So I wrote again to Julie (feeling like an idiot) and she asked me what kind of chocolate I had been using? She suggested I try again but with another kind of white chocolate.
Reg took me to the Bulk Barn and I was amazed to discover that some of their white chocolate wafers did not have cocoa butter in them at all! I browsed until I found a high quality baker’s melting white chocolate. To be safe, I chopped up 4 oz and put it in the proofer at 115F for an hour.
I looked through the window and it looked exactly the same. I wanted to cry! But when I took it out and stirred with a spoon, it was perfectly melted. Joy!
White Chocolate Bark with Almonds & Cranberries
I threw in some toasted almonds right away to start making my white chocolate bark.
Then for the hell of it I folded in some dried cranberries.
Delicious and I finally did it! I have tried melting fancy white bakers chocolate in a double boiler and scorched it so for me, the proofer is the way to go. Not only for bringing my butter up to room temp, for helping my dough rise but now also for melting chocolate. Yes, it is a pretty big appliance for some of the smaller jobs but I can move it to my dining room table to save space in my kitchen.
I love that this product can do so many foodie tricks! I still have to make yogurt with it which I am really looking forward to doing (and will share) but I feel it is safe to say that the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer is one of the coolest products I have ever tested and their customer service impressed the hell out of me. Yes, it is expensive (around $150 on Amazon) but for the foodie who has everything, this will become her best friend in the kitchen.
I did keep forgetting the “top” was not on the proofer permanently so it went flying off a few times and I wish it had its own timer but that is a bit of a stretch to find a real complaint. If you have space to store the proofer (I keep mine in my crafts room) and you love to bake, this is a great investment. I give this product five out of five wooden spoons.
Oh and Hershey’s Chipits, what the heck is in those chocolate chips of yours?!