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Caramel Tools: Rulers, Cutters & Transfer Sheets

Confections

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#61 Max12

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 07:44 PM

I have one of these cutters, but I am amazed that you can actually use it to cut all the way through caramel.  You would have to be well above the caramel & press down extremely hard to get it to cut. The slabs I have been making are about 3/4" thick. How thick is your caramel? I use it mostly for marking the caramel for a consistent size.  I then come back & cut it with a chefs knife. It is easier. I would like to do the cutting with this cutter. I would be interested in your technique.

Since you can make the first cut, you would probaly need something or someone to hold the rows of caramel together so it is a slab as before first cut. Make a pass to mark your line. Then try starting to cut outward from the center making the groove deeper until you are through.

Even in Greweling's book (page 189), it looks like he is using it portion out the slab of caramel. If you look at the picture on page 208, the caramels are square but the edges are a bit rounded

Let us know if you can get it to work & the technique you are using.

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#62 Max12

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 08:27 PM

My caramels are soft and are about 3/8 inch in thickness. I keep my room at about 69 degrees so that they keep their shape while I cut them. I also use small caramel frames (8.5 x 8.5) so that they are easy to handle. I hand dip them in chocolate and when they are done they are about 1/2 inch in thinkness. If I cook the caramel too long, I can not cut them with the cutter. I think maybe rolling the tool over the caramel lightly to mark in one direction and then cutting in the other may help expedite the cutting process. I guess the cutter really isn't meant to be as efficient as you think...I mean...meant to be used to cut in both directions. I have been cutting the caramel with the cutter into long rectangular strips and then going back with an oiled chef's knife to finish them off into squares.

By the way, I was recently in New York and went into MarieBelle Chocolates. Her caramels were cut into approximately 3/4 inch by 3 inch long rectangles. Maybe I need to rethink the shape of my caramels...less work with bigger pieces, He! He! I will try the technique you recommended and I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the advice.

#63 Ben C

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:36 PM

I may be jumping the gun here—I haven't actually used the things yet since I just picked up my order today—but another material to consider if you wish to avoid the high cost of pre-fab caramel bar/confectionery frames is solid acrylic. I had a series of bars cut to order from sheet-rolled, foodsafe acrylic. They must be cut from sheets, as extruded acrylic bars come in limited dimensions and are usually imperfect (the sides are not quite flat, and thus will not rest flush on your work surface). Solid acrylic is heavier than aluminum and quite rigid. I had a series of 40 (!) bars made in 2 lengths to fit a half sheet pan, of varying heights, for 116 bucks.

The real ace in the hole is that you can have a ruler laser etched into the bars to make neat hand-cutting a breeze. That, however, is expensive, (for 40 bars, anyway) and I'm still soliciting quotes...
Something cacao is coming, but for now there is goings-on here:
Noisy Balloonist

#64 Ben C

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:09 PM

Hi, I wanted to update:

The acrylic bars worked as a flawless substitute for aluminum caramel bars. They're an ideal weight, the don't flex, and the polished surface is perfect for sliding a spatula across to cleanly slab whatever you're working with. So far I've used them exclusively for ganache. And if you work on silpat, it'll provide sufficient friction to prevent the bars from moving around.

I'm working with a self-healing cutting mat and a metal ruler to make accurate cuts. In most cases having a ruler etched into the acrylic as I suggested in my previous post would be useless as the ganache usually works its way onto the bars, obscuring the markings. That, and little ridges cut into the bars would be a pain to keep clean. There are some acrylic fabrication houses that offer laser etching inside the acrylic a few millimeters deep, without marring the surface. This is something I'll look into down the road.

Ben
Something cacao is coming, but for now there is goings-on here:
Noisy Balloonist

#65 alanamoana

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:13 PM

^I've also had acrylic frames made for my ganaches, caramels, pate de fruit, etc.. just calculated a recipe to fit exactly inside (flush with top). works well and you don't have to worry about separate pieces slipping and sliding. pour your product in and let it set up. unmold and you have the perfect shape to cut and finish.

#66 Ben C

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 04:27 PM

Ah, you're talking about a having an intact, single-piece 4-sided frame, correct? Now that's the way to go. I'm working with bars (2 long, 2 short for each height) for flexibility purposes, not to mention the fact that I'm still fine tuning my recipes quantity-wise. Either way, turns out to be a very functional and cost-effective solution.
Something cacao is coming, but for now there is goings-on here:
Noisy Balloonist

#67 mrose

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 05:33 PM

Ah, you're talking about a having an intact, single-piece 4-sided frame, correct? Now that's the way to go. I'm working with bars (2 long, 2 short for each height) for flexibility purposes, not to mention the fact that I'm still fine tuning my recipes quantity-wise. Either way, turns out to be a very functional and cost-effective solution.

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How wide are bars cut?
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#68 cookman

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:38 PM

^I've also had acrylic frames made for my ganaches, caramels, pate de fruit, etc..  just calculated a recipe to fit exactly inside (flush with top).  works well and you don't have to worry about separate pieces slipping and sliding.  pour your product in and let it set up.  unmold and you have the perfect shape to cut and finish.

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Alanamoana, are your frames cut from a solid piece of acrylic, or made from 4 pieces glued together at the corners?

#69 alanamoana

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:24 AM

^I've also had acrylic frames made for my ganaches, caramels, pate de fruit, etc..  just calculated a recipe to fit exactly inside (flush with top).  works well and you don't have to worry about separate pieces slipping and sliding.  pour your product in and let it set up.  unmold and you have the perfect shape to cut and finish.

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Alanamoana, are your frames cut from a solid piece of acrylic, or made from 4 pieces glued together at the corners?

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a solid sheet. i think it ends up being a bit more expensive as they end up with more waste. but in chinatown in nyc it was definitely cheaper than here in the suburbs of northern california!

edited to add: also, in nyc, they were able to make the corners completely 90 degrees, whereas here they had rounded edges, so i had four pieces of "waste".

Edited by alanamoana, 10 December 2007 - 09:25 AM.


#70 Ben C

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:58 AM

How wide are bars cut?

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All the bars, regardless of height, are 3/4in. wide.
Something cacao is coming, but for now there is goings-on here:
Noisy Balloonist

#71 sygyzy

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:40 PM

Hi,

I am looking into ordering some metal bars and I wanted to make sure that people are talking about the same thing in this thread. Basically, I want to get four bars to fit together to form a square or rectangle so I can pour either caramel or pate de fruits into.

My question is what keeps the solution from leaking out of the corners? Are the cuts (on the metal) so perfectly smooth that they form a seal? Do any of you use corner clamps or something similar? What about leaks on the bottom, between the bars and and the cookie sheet / parchment? Do you weigh the bars down?

Lastly, why are rectangular bars better than square?

Thanks!

#72 David J.

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 03:21 PM

Hi,

I am looking into ordering some metal bars and I wanted to make sure that people are talking about the same thing in this thread. Basically, I want to get four bars to fit together to form a square or rectangle so I can pour either caramel or pate de fruits into.

My question is what keeps the solution from leaking out of the corners? Are the cuts (on the metal) so perfectly smooth that they form a seal? Do any of you use corner clamps or something similar? What about leaks on the bottom, between the bars and and the cookie sheet / parchment? Do you weigh the bars down?

Lastly, why are rectangular bars better than square?

Thanks!

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I simply had eight 1/4" x 1/2" aluminum bars cut from longer bar stock at a local "Metal Supermarket" that I use for ganache and caramel.

I use Scotch™ tape to tape them down to a Silpat and don't have any problem with leakage. Pate de fruit and ganache are both thick enough that it's not an issue. The tape lets me scrape the top without causing them to shift around.

I have rectangular bars because I stack them to get dual layer truffles, half pate de fruit or marshmallow and half ganache. At 1/2" wide they are plenty stable and the two 1/4" bars make for a 1/2" tall center for the truffle which works out fine.

#73 sygyzy

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 03:57 PM

I simply had eight 1/4" x 1/2" aluminum bars cut from longer bar stock at a local "Metal Supermarket" that I use for ganache and caramel.

I use Scotch™ tape to tape them down to a Silpat and don't have any problem with leakage.  Pate de fruit and ganache are both thick enough that it's not an issue.  The tape lets me scrape the top without causing them to shift around.

I have rectangular bars because I stack them to get dual layer truffles, half pate de fruit or marshmallow and half ganache.  At 1/2" wide they are plenty stable and the two 1/4" bars make for a 1/2" tall center for the truffle which works out fine.

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Hi,

Thanks for the response. Sorry, I am not a candymaker but what are you scraping? What does this mean? You mean to make it level? What kind of tool do you use? Where does the excess end up?

#74 Kerry Beal

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:55 PM

New caramel toy. I bought it here.

I didn't use it to actually cut the caramel, instead I just marked the caramel with it, then used a chef's knife to cut the squares. The little squares were so perfect.


Posted Image



Posted Image

Don't worry I've never used this cutting board for chicken.

#75 John DePaula

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:59 PM

I simply had eight 1/4" x 1/2" aluminum bars cut from longer bar stock at a local "Metal Supermarket" that I use for ganache and caramel.

I use Scotch™ tape to tape them down to a Silpat and don't have any problem with leakage.  Pate de fruit and ganache are both thick enough that it's not an issue.  The tape lets me scrape the top without causing them to shift around.

I have rectangular bars because I stack them to get dual layer truffles, half pate de fruit or marshmallow and half ganache.  At 1/2" wide they are plenty stable and the two 1/4" bars make for a 1/2" tall center for the truffle which works out fine.

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Hi,

Thanks for the response. Sorry, I am not a candymaker but what are you scraping? What does this mean? You mean to make it level? What kind of tool do you use? Where does the excess end up?

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You can use a palette knife to scrape the top and make it level. Excess is usually just off the end. When you balance a recipe for the size of frame, you won't have much excess at all.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
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When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#76 mrose

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 09:24 PM

Kerry

Nice toy, how do you find these things?
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#77 Lior

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 10:49 PM

Hi! That is exactly what I imagined for ganache-remember? DO you think it would work on ganache?

Edited by Lior, 24 January 2008 - 10:50 PM.


#78 Kerry Beal

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 04:48 AM

Kerry

Nice toy, how do you find these things?

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I can't recall how I stumbled on to this. Likely a google search for caramel cutter.

Hi! That is exactly what I imagined for ganache-remember?  DO you think it would work on ganache?

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I think the ganache would stick in the squares (just like I think the caramel would). I'll test it out and let you know.

#79 Lior

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:16 PM

great- thanks!!





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