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Are the strings in guitar cutters really better?


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So a question about guitar cutters. I can see why they're a superior method for cutting ganache in terms of uniformity and efficiency, but I was wondering if there's something about cutting with a metal string that's superior to cutting with a knife? Perhaps a ganache would stick to the string less than the knife? Where I'm headed with this is, as someone who's just starting out and not ready to invest in a guitar cutter, I'm wondering if using a cheese lyre to cut ganache might be better than using a knife?

Edited by cslas (log)
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Efficiency is big, cutting 200+ pieces in a few quick motions saves so much time.   You do get little strings and bits of ganache on the wires so there is a little waste but not much.  I made 100 dozen truffles the other day, cutting them was the easiest part.

 

A single wire could be useful, you want a base with a groove in it so the wire can go all the way through.

 

Some people like silicone molds for ganache.  You get the uniformity, but you have to spend the time popping each piece out. 

 

How many pieces do you usually make at a time?

 

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This is good information, thank you. Well, this is my first time. So I'm more just trying it out than aiming for any kind of quantity yet. I was thinking I could set it up so my ganache was narrower than my cheese lyre and maybe it would be easier to cut cleanly than using a knife. A silicone mold might not be a bad starting point though. 

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The problem with a knife is that the blade is thicker than a wire and it had a triangular section, so when you cut the ganache the blade will tend to put pressure on the sides of the cut ganache, moving it and changing its shape. Ganache tends to stick to the blade due to this. So the end result is not clean as with wires.

If you use a cheese lyre then you need to go back up with the wire after cutting, which can cause troubles especially when you are making the last cuts (the squares of ganache will tend to move up with the wire). When you use a guitar the wires stay down after making a cut, so you don't have this trouble.

You can try to use a kitchen scraper to make the cuts.

But your choices depend on what's your goal. If you are making pralines as a hobby, then just use what you have on hands, you are not aiming for perfect results and work optimization. If you aim to open a business, then you need to consider efficiency. Hand dipping pralines is really time consuming, if you want to sell dipped pralines then a guitar and an enrober are forced choices. For small scale productions, molded pralines are a much better choice.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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2 hours ago, teonzo said:

If you use a cheese lyre then you need to go back up with the wire after cutting, which can cause troubles especially when you are making the last cuts (the squares of ganache will tend to move up with the wire).

 

Instead of going back up through the cheese/chocolate, slide the wire forward and under the cut piece.  Or lift the cut pieces off before lifting the wire like you do on a guitar.

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4 hours ago, teonzo said:

The problem with a knife is that the blade is thicker than a wire and it had a triangular section, so when you cut the ganache the blade will tend to put pressure on the sides of the cut ganache, moving it and changing its shape. Ganache tends to stick to the blade due to this. So the end result is not clean as with wires.

If you use a cheese lyre then you need to go back up with the wire after cutting, which can cause troubles especially when you are making the last cuts (the squares of ganache will tend to move up with the wire). When you use a guitar the wires stay down after making a cut, so you don't have this trouble.

You can try to use a kitchen scraper to make the cuts.

But your choices depend on what's your goal. If you are making pralines as a hobby, then just use what you have on hands, you are not aiming for perfect results and work optimization. If you aim to open a business, then you need to consider efficiency. Hand dipping pralines is really time consuming, if you want to sell dipped pralines then a guitar and an enrober are forced choices. For small scale productions, molded pralines are a much better choice.

 

This is really helpful and does explain why cutting with the metal string is probably superior to a knife (besides the whole uniformity and efficiency thing). At this point, it's just a hobby, and a first attempt at that. So while I'm aiming for the best final product possible, I'm not expecting anything near professional quality. I was intrigued by @pastrygirl's silicone mold suggestion, but now I feel almost challenged to try the lyre just to see how it works :) Who knows, it could end up being the ultimate small-scale/cheap guitar cutter alternative. 

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The real reason why a knife is not that good has to do with atmospheric pressure.

 

When two surfaces are in close contact, there will be more than 14 lbs PSI pressure forcing the surfaces together, creating drag.

 

dcarch

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1 minute ago, dcarch said:

The real reason why a knife is not that good has to do with atmospheric pressure.

 

When two surfaces are in close contact, there will be more than 14 lbs PSI pressure forcing the surfaces together, creating drag.

 

dcarch

 

Well that I never would have guessed! Thanks :)

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6 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

Instead of going back up through the cheese/chocolate, slide the wire forward and under the cut piece.  Or lift the cut pieces off before lifting the wire like you do on a guitar.

 

Pretty hard to slide the wire under a ganache slab. There are the handles (where the wire is attached) that prevent the slide movement along the cut line. Sliding on the other sense is difficult, since the ganache will tend to stick to the parchment paper / silpat.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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3 hours ago, cslas said:

This is really helpful and does explain why cutting with the metal string is probably superior to a knife (besides the whole uniformity and efficiency thing). At this point, it's just a hobby, and a first attempt at that. So while I'm aiming for the best final product possible, I'm not expecting anything near professional quality. I was intrigued by @pastrygirl's silicone mold suggestion, but now I feel almost challenged to try the lyre just to see how it works :) Who knows, it could end up being the ultimate small-scale/cheap guitar cutter alternative. 

 

There are many troubles if using a cheese lyre to cut a slab of ganache. A guitar cuts diagonally, not horizontally; being a long lever, it's easier to adjust the pressure you are exerting.

If you try to cut the ganache laying the wire of the lyre on the ganache, then pressing, most probably you'll end up breaking the wire. Same if you exert too much pressure. Trying to cut it diagonally is not easy, you risk to start a couple of degrees out of line, which will result in poorly shaped pralines (and a broken wire if you try to adjust).

 

When I made some experiments at home I bought a square frame 20 cm x 20 cm (like this one) and a kitchen scraper 20 cm wide (same exact measure as the frame). I pour the ganache in the frame, level it, then wait until it's crystallized. Then I lightly score each of the 4 sides with a pairing knife and a ruler, to mark where the cuts need to be done. Then I lay the kitchen scraper on the ganache surface, each extremity on one of the marks, then I press it down to make a vertical cut. Pretty quick and easy.

 

Whatever method you use, never cut the ganache when it's laying on a silpat. Always substitute the silpat with a piece of parchment paper. It's very easy to damage a silpat if you cut something on it.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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2 hours ago, teonzo said:

Sliding on the other sense is difficult, since the ganache will tend to stick to the parchment paper / silpat

 

Not if you pre-coat the bottom with a foot for dipping.

 

But otherwise, good point about the angle being different something to consider.  You'd need a narrow slab of ganache with a thin bottom on a narrow cutting board that the cheese wire handles will extend beyond, then cut at an angle, and have a groove for the wire to go into so it cuts through the foot ... probably more trouble than it saves!

Edited by pastrygirl (log)
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