It’s impossible to melt a Cadbury Flake

I discovered by accident that it’s impossible to melt a Cadbury Flake — our son needed to melt some chocolate for school-related reasons at short notice, and the Flake was the only chocolate we had in the house. Although it tastes identical to other Cadbury’s chocolate, it simply will not melt, instead breaking down into a coarse chocolate powder.

Cadbury-Flake-Wrapper-Small

We started out trying to melt it by the standard method of breaking it into a bowl over simmering water, then escalated to microwaving it, and finally gave up and put it in a saucepan over direct heat. It never even looked like it might be about to melt. (In the end, we just ate the powder.)

All this goes to show that there is evidently a dramatic difference between the chemical composition of different chocolates. The Wikipedia page says that a Flake “consists of thinly folded Dairy Milk milk chocolate”, but I don’t think that can be accurate, since bars of Dairy Milk melt just fine.

I don’t know what to make of this fact. I think the scientific thing to do would be to try the same procedures on a Twirl (also manufactured by Cadbury), and maybe on some other chocolate bars. Has anyone attempted this?

19 responses to “It’s impossible to melt a Cadbury Flake

  1. Richard G. Whitbread

    You’re bored, aren’t you?

  2. Add oil and you can make it melt. You need to do the same with general chocolate if you make chocolate fondue.

  3. Interesting! I’ll try it the next time I have a Flake. Will butter do it?

  4. Of all the blogs I read, this one certainly has the most diverse topics. And I expect a follow-up blog and full resolve of this matter; no man should allow himself to be defeated by a simple chocolate bar.

  5. And yet, we’re eating that chemically modified stuff…

  6. I found a link which has a plausible explanation for why flakes don’t melt, although I’m not sure about the details (but then, I haven’t studied chemistry in years). Apparently it’s to do with the distribution of cocoa fat in the Flake: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/questions/qotw/question/1756/

    If that’s true, I’d imagine the Twirl would be easier to melt, because there’s probably a reasonable distribution of fat in the outer “shell”.

  7. I mentioned this on my blog and got a response from a friend who is a materials scientist:
    http://andrewducker.livejournal.com/3218737.html?thread=31627057#t31627057

  8. Fascinating links — many thanks to Alex and Andrew!

    Robert: I smiled when I read “Of all the blogs I read, this one certainly has the most diverse topics.” I don’t know whether you intended it as a compliment, but I read it as one!

  9. I know you can’t melt cocoa powder, at least not by just heating it. It burns first. (Now, it is possible that someone with the right equipment could actually melt cocoa powder, but my experience is that it doesn’t melt.) Maybe Flakes are made of something like compressed cocoa powder.

  10. A flake doesn’t melt in the microwave because it is a dehydrated chocolate.

  11. ChoccyMonster

    Fun as it is to discuss it here, wouldn’t it make more sense to email Cadbury?

  12. Unlikely. In my experience, when I do need to contact a large corporation, I get a much better response by writing about it publicly than by writing to them and being ignored.

  13. GIVE A FLAKE TO A TODDLER – GIVE A TWIRL TO ANOTHER TODDLER – THE TWIRL TODDLER WILL GET CHOCOLATE ALL OVER THEM – THE FLAKE TODDLER WON’T – THE OLD ADVERT ‘ONLY THE CRUMBLIEST FLAKIEST CHOCOLATE’ DOESN’T APPLY ANY MORE. NON MELTING CHOCOLATE IS NOT NORMAL. I THEREFORE WILL NO LONGER BUY FLAKES. PS THEY DON’T TASTE LIKE THY USED TO EITHER.

  14. The best drink on a cold winters night..a Cadbury flake hot milk and a tot of brandy. Use the flake to stir..it melts great..

  15. Cadbury Flake is dehydrated chocolate specifically made my Cadbury to only melt at mouth temperature.

  16. I don’t think it’s possible to create something that will melt at mouth temperature (37° C) that won’t also melt at the much higher temperatures of the saucepan. The reason a Flake melts in the mouth must lie elsewhere, presumably in the chemistry of saliva.

  17. A Flake won’t melt because it’s dehydrated chocolate. You’d need to add a fat to achieve melting. Trying to melt it in the normal way will just make it go harder and harder until it burns. It’s a secret how they make it and no one else has ever managed to create one. They are good options in the heat of summer or if you keep your bays in your pocket. Hope this helps. Ttfn

  18. The real question is how it tastes so darned good when all the fat has been removed.

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