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Skwerl

Heat lamps for small-scale sugar work

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Hi Gulleteers! I tried making leaf croquant the other night, and it was a dismal failure. I just couldn't keep the caramel hot enough to keep it foldable. I think what I need is a heat lamp to keep it warm, and I could use one for pulling sugar as well. I am hoping you guys could give me some suggestions for what to get and where I should order one. This won't be something I use every day, so I don't want to spend a fortune, but I do want one that will work well to keep small quantities of sugar warm. Any suggestions are appreciated!


Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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The pastry chef I worked for in New York (Michael Hu - he's well known for his pulled sugar work) made his own set up. An open-fronted box made of heavy, clear - was it plastic? - not quite sure what it was. The top of the box had a hole that the electric cord went through, hanging into the box was a heat lamp. He had some kind of clamp on top so the heat lamp could be raised and lowered depending on how hot he wanted it to be inside the box. It wasn't pretty but it worked - and I'm sure it didn't cost much.

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Here is a pic of the sugar box that I made last year. You can get a good view of the lamp. I bought it at the local hardware store, I think it was a 250W bulb, and boy does that puppy get HOT. The silver cone around it is a protector for the bulb which is nice, and it comes as a kit with the cord and socket for the bulb. I don't remember exactly, but the whole kit probably didn't cost me more than $20, and that's in Canadian funds.

Please excuse the sugar mess in the foreground of the pic!

gallery_29288_2429_21278.jpg


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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Hi Gulleteers!  I tried making leaf croquant the other night, and it was a dismal failure.  I just couldn't keep the caramel hot enough to keep it foldable.  I think what I need is a heat lamp to keep it warm, and I could use one for pulling sugar as well.  I am hoping you guys could give me some suggestions for what to get and where I should order one.  This won't be something I use every day, so I don't want to spend a fortune, but I do want one that will work well to keep small quantities of sugar warm.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

Hello,

a 250 watt light is what you're needing as others have said. I would make sure the core of the wire is large enough to handle the watts. It is best used with a creamic outlet. This can be found at any major home center.

I would recomend that you install a dimmer switch somewhere between the plug and the bulb. I had the helper at Home Depot gather everything and explain the simple installation.

If using a box, you can lower and raise the bulb for heat intensity but the dimmer will do better.

I find clear bulbs to create a lot of glare so I go with the red ones.

HTH's

decades of sugar work

Panini


paninicakes.com

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Thanks so much for the replies, everyone! Hmm, so basically I just need to figure out a way to mount a 250 Watt halogen bulb so that it doesn't fall. This looks like it could be quite a bit more portable than a commercial model, and it sounds like a project I can tackle tonight! Is there any particular reason that the support is a box? Is that designed to keep more heat in, or is that simply a design choice over making something with legs instead? What did you use for your box, Tweety? It looks very glossy like acryllic.


Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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Thanks so much for the replies, everyone!  Hmm, so basically I just need to figure out a way to mount a 250 Watt halogen bulb so that it doesn't fall.  This looks like it could be quite a bit more portable than a commercial model, and it sounds like a project I can tackle tonight!  Is there any particular reason that the support is a box?  Is that designed to keep more heat in, or is that simply a design choice over making something with legs instead?  What did you use for your box, Tweety?  It looks very glossy like acryllic.

No, not halogen bulb. A regular heat bulb. Halogen will not produce enough heat.

pan


paninicakes.com

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No, not halogen bulb. A regular heat bulb. Halogen will not produce enough heat.

pan

Oops! Okay, noted. I didn't think they got that hot, although I burn myself on them all the time... :biggrin:


Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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I used 1/8" plexiglass that I bought at the same hardware store and cut into 3 sections at home with a saw (I think a 'sawsall'). I used 90º brackets screwed into the top and bottom wood pieces, back to back, with about 1/8" in between to hold the plexi pieces sturdily. The reason you see brown on the plexi in the picture is because I hadn't removed the protective paper yet. To join the 3 plexi pieces together, I used some - gosh I don't know how to describe it - metal hinges that have holes running up the whole length of the plexi, and I drilled holes every so often and screwed it all together. I put one hinge on what is the inside of the box when erected, and the other hinge on the back so that I can pretty much get a nice Z fold on the 3 plexi's so it folds nice and flat when I'm not using it. And yes, the answer to your question about the box is deffinately to keep in the heat. It is amazing how much heat that little bulb generates. Also, to add to what Panini wrote about the ceramic socket, that's true. I found that the socket I bought had a certain wattage limit on the outer label (don't remember what is was now) but if you look right into the socket it should be printed in there too, and that one said 250W for me. Oh, and the light cord came with a clamp to help keep secure the bulb. I also tape mine to the wood at the top, it's not heavy and hasn't moved on me yet.

If you look at these sugar boxes for sale online - Chef Rubber, Notterschool etc... you'll see them priced somewhere around the $300 mark or more. I made mine for probably about 80$, but I already had the tools (or should I say the man who has the tools). Let me know if you have other questions!


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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Thanks so much! I will get right on it. you guys have given me all the info I need. I can taste the leaf croquant already... :laugh:


Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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the hinge tweety used is called a piano hinge if you are looking for one.

Thank you for that. Now I can sound a little smarter!


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

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