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ChristysConfections

Making Plaques to Decorate Chocolates

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Hello All! I am new to the eGullet community, here to pose my first question: I really enjoy the look of handmade plaques to decorate dipped chocolates (I have posted an example picture below, but for reference Thomas Haas and Theo Chocolates use such decorations). Yes, they are time consuming and probably not worth the effort on a grand scale, but for small batch production I think they are a beautiful detail. I have been cutting the little squares by hand, which takes a dreadfully long time. I am considering a caramel cutter – one like a rolling pin with a bunch of cutting disks attached. Has anyone tried this? Do you have a certain time-saving technique that you like to use? I’d love to glean from your wisdom, if you have some to share.

My apologies if this topic has been discussed elsewhere already. I tried searching the forums, but it did not yield the results I was looking for.


cardamom.jpg

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- Christy -

Christy's Confections

"My rule is to welcome you with hospitality and to send you away in peace." - The Deserts Fathers

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I don't know how they are called in English language, but here in Italy you can buy a plastic sheet (the same size of an acetate sheet) with parallel cuts. In this way you spread your chocolate on the acetate sheet, when it's starting to set you lay the plastic sheet over the chocolate, then run a knife in each cut, turn the plastic sheet 90°, repeat the cuts and done. It's pretty quick.

Teo


My pastry blog (in Italian language): http://www.teonzo.com/

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I don't know how they are called in English language, but here in Italy you can buy a plastic sheet (the same size of an acetate sheet) with parallel cuts.

That's what I have, too. Pretty sure it's an italian branded on, too! I'll try to remember to check when I get home.

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Thanks for the responses, everyone! I appreciate your input.

Teo and keychris - I think I understand what you're talking about. I've never seen such a thing here in Canada, though. I'll have to look around. If you find a website that sells them, could you post it for me?

Kerry - I never would have thought to use a guitar like that! Of course, it's a great idea. A guitar cutter will be a necessity at some point and it's on the wishlist, buy you're right - it's expensive and I'm not quite there yet.


- Christy -

Christy's Confections

"My rule is to welcome you with hospitality and to send you away in peace." - The Deserts Fathers

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As far a I know Martellato and Pavoni produce those stencils (is this the correct name?), both of them have a US division:

http://www.martellatousa.com/

http://www.pavonitalia.com/gestore.php?var0=eng&var1=news&var2=News&var3=Pavoni_born_in_the_USA!

I couldn't find the direct link for the product, sorry.

You can contact them and ask for info. It's the same stencil used to cut the plaquettes to decorate the sides of the entremets (like the ones on the famous Setteveli). It has a cut every 15 mm as far as I remember.

Teo


My pastry blog (in Italian language): http://www.teonzo.com/

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Alternatively, go to a laser cut shop and have them cut it for you from food safe plastic. I did that and got 2 sets of 4 (15mm, 22.5mm, 30mm and 37.5mm) for a pretty reasonable price

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Keychris, teonzo or gap, could you please post a pic of these stencils? I have no idea what they are supposed to look like, but would like to start looking for them.

TIA.

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Here's some links! (apologies for not getting them earlier)

http://www.martellato.com/scheda.asp?content=2,83,186,719,0,00.htm

http://www.savourschool.com.au/equipment/utensils/cutting-grid-2-4cm/product-detail.aspx

http://www.martellato.com/public/file/2010martellato/2010attrezzatura.pdf (page 42 of the pdf, marked as 185 on the actual page numbers)

The product code for the Martellato cutting grid is GD2/4 & GD3/6

HTH

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Great stuff, thank you, keychris!

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      Hi All,
       
      I am having a caramel problem. I have access to some delicious water buffalo milk (28% fat). I attempted to use it as a replacement for heavy cream(36% fat) in my usual caramel recipe. Unfortunately, when I added the hot milk to the hot sugar, the mixture split into an ugly, grainy mess. I did manage to improve it by blending it with an immersion blender, but the final texture was still grainy. The flavour was great though! 
       
      The method I used was to make a dry caramel with white can sugar, then I added  a small amount of glucose and the buffalo milk that I had heated to a simmer. I cooked this to 252 and added butter before pouring into a pan to cool.
       
      Does anyone understand the science better who could recommend a different method or adjustment to the ingredients that might make it have a smooth texture as caramel should? My supplier for buffalo milk does not have a separator, so using buffalo cream at this time is not an option. I thought about adding butter to the buffalo milk when heating it to bring the fat content up to that of the regular cream, and/or using an emulsifier or something like lechithin or xantham gum. Any thoughts?
       
      It seems I am constantly coming to you for help. Thanks, as always.
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