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Confectionery Frames

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#31 lebowits

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:16 PM


I use a variety of techniques for slabbing

The first method I use is a 12 x 10 wood frame that is 1/2" high. This I made from maple with half-lap joints that are pegged. I lay the frame on a cutting board, lay a sheet of cling film on top, pour in my ganache, and smooth flat. When set I remove the frame which comes away clean, brush couverture on the surface, pick up the whole slab and flip over, remove the cling film, and brush couverture on the newly exposed side.

I also bought a set of frames from D+R in Montreal. These are S/S and quite nice, but expensive. However they come with a "movable wall", a bar of s/s that you can move within the frame to make any size you want. I lay a sheet of parchment on a large cutting board, then the frame, then fill. When cold, I run a torch along the frame to remove it.

I also have a set of s/s bars in 1/4" and 3/8" widths that I got made a metal shop for quite cheap. Very flexible and usefull. I toyed with the idea of cutting grooves in a cheap nylon cutting board so the bars can sit in and not move about, but that means I have to custom-cut a piece of parchment to fit in the bottom. I prefer the other methods

Thanks very much for those ideas. I have ordered stainless bars. My concern remains how stable they will be when I am smoothing the ganache, but I will soon find out. Someone mentioned taping them down if necessary. I will have to do something like taping when making a two-layer ganache.


If you happen to have melted, tempered chocolate on hand, it makes a handy "glue" for the bars to the "table" and between the first set of bars and the 2nd set on top. You don't need much, and it cleans off rather easily with warm water and soap! :smile:
Steve Lebowitz
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Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#32 Jim D.

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:42 PM



I use a variety of techniques for slabbing

The first method I use is a 12 x 10 wood frame that is 1/2" high. This I made from maple with half-lap joints that are pegged. I lay the frame on a cutting board, lay a sheet of cling film on top, pour in my ganache, and smooth flat. When set I remove the frame which comes away clean, brush couverture on the surface, pick up the whole slab and flip over, remove the cling film, and brush couverture on the newly exposed side.

I also bought a set of frames from D+R in Montreal. These are S/S and quite nice, but expensive. However they come with a "movable wall", a bar of s/s that you can move within the frame to make any size you want. I lay a sheet of parchment on a large cutting board, then the frame, then fill. When cold, I run a torch along the frame to remove it.

I also have a set of s/s bars in 1/4" and 3/8" widths that I got made a metal shop for quite cheap. Very flexible and usefull. I toyed with the idea of cutting grooves in a cheap nylon cutting board so the bars can sit in and not move about, but that means I have to custom-cut a piece of parchment to fit in the bottom. I prefer the other methods

Thanks very much for those ideas. I have ordered stainless bars. My concern remains how stable they will be when I am smoothing the ganache, but I will soon find out. Someone mentioned taping them down if necessary. I will have to do something like taping when making a two-layer ganache.


If you happen to have melted, tempered chocolate on hand, it makes a handy "glue" for the bars to the "table" and between the first set of bars and the 2nd set on top. You don't need much, and it cleans off rather easily with warm water and soap! :smile:

Thanks very much for that idea. I will definitely give it a try.

#33 Jim D.

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:27 PM

I just received my stainless steel bars to be used for a frame. Although they are nice and heavy, they are very rough in looks and touch. Obviously nothing was done in the factory to polish them. I guess I was naively expecting something like a nice SS pot and would not feel comfortable putting these bars in direct contact with ganache. Does anyone have suggestions? The only thing I can think of is to wrap them in foil or plastic wrap. But this would be a nuisance--would have to be repeated each time I use them. So even if I found a place to polish them, would they be considered food safe? I have never given food safety a consideration with SS pots and pans, but these bars are a different story.

#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:34 AM

Might be cheaper to just grab some aluminum ones - I've got stainless ones that only serve to weigh down the drawer they are in.

#35 lebowits

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

Might be cheaper to just grab some aluminum ones - I've got stainless ones that only serve to weigh down the drawer they are in.


I have both aluminum and stainless steel bars that were cut to order. The SS bars definitely have that "rough" look to them but I simply clean them with soap and water. I may have any extraneous metal ground off. After using both, I think I prefer the aluminum bars as well.
Steve Lebowitz
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Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#36 Jim D.

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:57 PM


Might be cheaper to just grab some aluminum ones - I've got stainless ones that only serve to weigh down the drawer they are in.


I have both aluminum and stainless steel bars that were cut to order. The SS bars definitely have that "rough" look to them but I simply clean them with soap and water. I may have any extraneous metal ground off. After using both, I think I prefer the aluminum bars as well.

Could you tell me why you prefer aluminum? After having completed my first batch using the bars, I have a better perspective on what I am doing. First, wrapping the bars in foil does not work. It made me feel better, but when I started to cut the ganache free from the bars, little bits of foil were embedded in the ganache. So today I took some steel wool to the bars (not that it smoothed them off, but my theory was that it was getting off any dirt), then washed them thoroughly, and used them bare for the second batch. If any of my friends die from SS poisoning, I'll let you know.

I used your idea of gluing the bars to the base and to each other with chocolate. Worked quite well. I do like the heft of the SS because it doesn't move around. I am using Kerry's idea of putting the foot down first, then I lay the bars in place on top of the chocolate, then add the ganache, but I ran into the problem of knowing how much space the foot needs to cover (the area of the finished product inside the frame plus the width of the bars). The first time I thought I was being clever in drawing guide marks on the back of the parchment, never realizing that the chocolate would cover up the guide lines. Today I found some tape that will stick to parchment and so will outline the area with that before laying down the foot.

I'm hoping I will learn what I am doing as time passes. Good thing I am just doing this for my own satisfaction.
.

#37 lebowits

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:39 AM



Might be cheaper to just grab some aluminum ones - I've got stainless ones that only serve to weigh down the drawer they are in.


I have both aluminum and stainless steel bars that were cut to order. The SS bars definitely have that "rough" look to them but I simply clean them with soap and water. I may have any extraneous metal ground off. After using both, I think I prefer the aluminum bars as well.

Could you tell me why you prefer aluminum? After having completed my first batch using the bars, I have a better perspective on what I am doing. First, wrapping the bars in foil does not work. It made me feel better, but when I started to cut the ganache free from the bars, little bits of foil were embedded in the ganache. So today I took some steel wool to the bars (not that it smoothed them off, but my theory was that it was getting off any dirt), then washed them thoroughly, and used them bare for the second batch. If any of my friends die from SS poisoning, I'll let you know.
.


When I got both sets of bars initially, I ran them through the dishwasher so I could clean off any residual oils or other cruft. I don't wrap them when I use them, and after use, I wash with hot water and dish soap.

I prefer the aluminum bars frankly just for the lighter weight. The SS bars can be heavy if you stack 8 pieces (2 layers x 4 bars) on a board. The positive side of the SS bars is that they tend to move less on the board when I'm working on slabbing something.
Steve Lebowitz
Doer of All Things
Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#38 Stephanie Wallace

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

Public Service Announcement:

 

I'm amazed to see some of the action on this thread after so many years, and impressed by posters' ingenuity. I've also crafted ganache frames from any number of materials since I wrote the first post, but feel obligated to mention that the frames I initially mentioned are available from Kereke's as Frames for Biscuit Batter--and they're cheap.

 

I feel guilty for not sharing this earlier. :/


Formerly known as "Melange"


#39 Chocolot

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:40 PM

http://www.maudlinpr...ucts/search.xml

 

The key stock is what Greweling uses for all his 12 inch frames. 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. They also have a rectangle stock so you can turn it on its side for different sizes. It doesn't matter if you get over or under size, as it is so slight a difference that for our purposes, it doesn't matter. You can also order them from places like Fastenal. I checked local Lowe's and Home Depot and they didn't have it, but yours might. I ordered several sets of each size. You might need extra if you are going to do two layers.


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#40 minas6907

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 10:20 PM

This actually has been a very interesting thread to read. I like the idea of the biscuit frames. Has anyone every purchased plexiglass from Home Depot? I want to check the next time I'm in, but recently I had an idea of buying a piece of plexiglass and cutting a square center out to make my own stackable frame, has anyone every done that? I've never worked with the stuff, it was just a thought.

 

It seems like more here have frames for layered chocolate centers. My frames arent as specific, but heres what I use. Sorry its not the greatest picture, but its an example, here specifically I was making the 'rind' of orange jellie slices. I find my bars at Home Depot, they are aluminum angle stock, they come in 4ft pieces. My first set for a frame was a 3/4 angle piece, I cut the segment into 4 1ft pieces, cleaned up the burrs, and polished the outer part of the angle where the candy would be touching, just so theres not a coarse surface for anything to really stick to them. I mostly use my bars for boiled confections, so my 3/4 inch set I use for jellies and caramels that would get poured into a slab. I'll just just two of the 3/4 bars for nougat since that doesnt flow, and flatten the top with a rolling pin. I'll do the same for marshmallow, but also have 2 2ft 1inch angle pieces for larger marshmallow. Then I do have 2 2ft 1/4 angles for fudge. And if I need to make larger frames for big batches, I'm able to use a combo of the long 2ft segments and 1ft pieces as seen in the picture. Anyways, hopefully that made sense!

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#41 Kerry Beal

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 06:25 AM

I had P&A plastics cut me some plexiglass stacking frames - unfortunately the inside corners were rounded - not ideal.  I should take them back to them and ask them to cut them square - but apparently it adds considerable additional expense due to breakage when they do that.



#42 Alleguede

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

How about a sign company?
If they have a laser cuter they can do any size/detail you want.

#43 Edward J

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 09:38 PM

I'm not a big fan of alumimum bars, they oxidize in the dishwasher.  I've never heard of anyone dying from "S/s poisoning"  maybe with fine ground s/s filings, but not with bars.  Polishing or surface grinding the s/s bars would involve a great deal of labour and money.

 

Plexi-glass.... Is not ideal.  It chips easy, cracks easy, and will warp or melt if too warm.  It does cut well on a tablesaw with a carbide tipped triple tooth pattern blade, but you have to "feed" it at the right speed, too slow will melt the plastic and clog up the blade, too fast will result in a very rough cut.  Even so, it will still need to be "polished" with a propane torch and fine grits of sandpaper.  The thicker sheets can be very expensive, and it can be glued with a very special glue.  Best left to the plexiglass people, and they will charge.

 

One option that might be workable is nylon cutting boards sliced up into strips.  The boards are quite cheap, and can be cut easily (no special blade needed) with a tablesaw, and can be smoothed to a very slick surface with handplanes.



#44 lebowits

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:52 PM

I'm not a big fan of alumimum bars, they oxidize in the dishwasher.  I've never heard of anyone dying from "S/s poisoning"  maybe with fine ground s/s filings, but not with bars.  Polishing or surface grinding the s/s bars would involve a great deal of labour and money.

 

Plexi-glass.... Is not ideal.  It chips easy, cracks easy, and will warp or melt if too warm.  It does cut well on a tablesaw with a carbide tipped triple tooth pattern blade, but you have to "feed" it at the right speed, too slow will melt the plastic and clog up the blade, too fast will result in a very rough cut.  Even so, it will still need to be "polished" with a propane torch and fine grits of sandpaper.  The thicker sheets can be very expensive, and it can be glued with a very special glue.  Best left to the plexiglass people, and they will charge.

 

One option that might be workable is nylon cutting boards sliced up into strips.  The boards are quite cheap, and can be cut easily (no special blade needed) with a tablesaw, and can be smoothed to a very slick surface with handplanes.

I have both aluminum and stainless steel bars.  I wash all my bars by hand which effectively cuts the corrosion (for the aluminum) to zero.  Stainless steel is rather heavy, but it also stays in place.  I hold aluminum bars in place by using a bit of tempered chocolate to "glue" them down to my "board" which is also an aluminum sheet cut to size with either parchment or an acetate guitar sheet on top.  I also "glue" bars to each other to stack them so they don't move.


Steve Lebowitz
Doer of All Things
Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

#45 Letta

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 10:21 PM

This thread has been really helpful - I'm hoping it's to too late to get some more advice on this topic. In the Bouchon Bakery cookbook they advise: "Professional confectionery rulers can be very costly, so we use plastic ones that are cut 22 inches long by 1/4 or 1/2 inch square. Plastic fabricators (such as Tap Plastics) are a great source for buying inexpensive food-safe plastic guides cut to your specifications." They also recommend taping confectionery rulers to the work surface to prevent shifting.

Has anyone purchased plastic bars like this? I looked at the Tap Plastics website http://www.tapplastics.com but wasn't sure what type of plastic is food-safe and best for this application - thought I'd check if anyone has already done this and can recommend the exact product they had cut to order? Thanks! 


Edited by Letta, 19 January 2014 - 10:22 PM.


#46 keychris

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:12 AM

this is what I use: http://www.savoursch...uct-detail.aspx

 

but I have a feeling these are custom made for the school to sell. Probably not that much use to those in the US either ;)







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