• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
dmalouf

Caramel Tools: Rulers, Cutters & Transfer Sheets

79 posts in this topic

Thanks for all of your replies. I'm going to investigate several of them in more detail.


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"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pastry Chef Central has a set of caramel rulers, but it will set you back $300 (www.pastrychef.com).

You can also buy them from a metal company.  This web site has square stainless steel in various lengths for a great price.  (http://www.metalsdepot.com/products/stainless2.phtml?page=square&LimAcc=%20&aident=).

I think pastry chef central is probably the better deal.

I just used metal depots calculator for 2 stainless steel rods at 1 & 1/2 inches X 1ft and it came to 172.$ :unsure: and some change


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pastry Chef Central has a set of caramel rulers, but it will set you back $300 (www.pastrychef.com).

You can also buy them from a metal company.  This web site has square stainless steel in various lengths for a great price.  (http://www.metalsdepot.com/products/stainless2.phtml?page=square&LimAcc=%20&aident=).

I think pastry chef central is probably the better deal.

I just used metal depots calculator for 2 stainless steel rods at 1 & 1/2 inches X 1ft and it came to 172.$ :unsure: and some change

If you are willing to use aluminum, I got a 1/4" x 3/4" bar at Lowes & cut my own.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What did you cap the ends with?


2317/5000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What did you cap the ends with?

I didn't, just took off the burr. They are solid bars.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using a multiblade cutter for caramel I do fine with the first cut, but when I make the second cut at 90º to the first the carmel gets smooshed and the squares are not square.

Anyone have any ideas on how to prevent this from happening?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Using a multiblade cutter for caramel I do fine with the first cut, but when I make the second cut at 90º to the first the carmel gets smooshed and the squares are not square.

Anyone have any ideas on how to prevent this from happening?

Welcome to eG Max!

I'm afraid I can't answer your question, but I'm also very interested in the answer. I've been considering buying something to cut caramels and the multiblade cutters interest me. But I don't want to spend all that money if I can't get a satisfactory result and I can only cut in one direction with the cutter then have to use a knife for the other cut.

I know mrose has one of these cutters and might be able to answer the question, but I'm not sure if he uses it for caramel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

How wide are bars cut?


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
^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.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
^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.

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

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How wide are bars cut?

All the bars, regardless of height, are 3/4in. wide.


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

Noisy Balloonist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

gallery_34671_3115_18620.jpg

gallery_34671_3115_12329.jpg

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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?

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
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By curls
      Looking for your opinions and experiences... I am planning to put some wire shelving in my chocolate & confections kitchen. The kitchen has a concrete floor. This shelving will hold ingredients, colored cocoa butters, and packaging. Wondering if I should get casters for this shelving... what are your thoughts on this oh so important question?  ;-)
    • By Bentley
      I'd like to do a smores flavor and a few other uses of marshmallows in some molded chocolates.  Can anyone give me some guidance on preparing marshmallows so that I can pipie them into the molds?  I see a problem similar to the PDFs....by the time they are cool enough to put in the chocolate shells, they are too firm to pipe.   Anyone have any tips, pointers, suggestions, etc.?
    • By HeatherAvila
      Ideas on why enrobed marshmallows stored at room temp (68 deg F) have recrystallized sugar particles while the same batch of enrobed marshmallow stored airtight in a cooler (40 deg F) do not?
       
      I'm all ears!
       
      Thanks,
      Heather
    • By pastrygirl
      Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this!
       
      I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!
    • By minas6907
      Hey all, I got a question for you who make pate de fruit on a regular basis. I know it's quite simple to pour the finished pate de fruit into a frame, but does anyone here use a confectionery funnel to deposit them into forms? I'm asking because in Notters 'Art of the Chocolatier' it seems his primary way of making the jellies is to deposit the mixture into a flexipan, and his alternate method is to pour it into a frame. I'm wondering simply if anyone does/has done this before. The jellies seem to set quite quickly, and I'm not sure if you just need to be super fast with this or not. I want to try it, but shy away (I need to get appropriate forms first) because I keep feeling like I'll end up with half the mixture deposited and the other half solidified in the funnel. I assume warming the stainless funnel will aid the process, but I also assume that you have one attempt at this, and you cant rewarm the mixture as you would with fondant or gummies. Anyways, just a question I wanted to put out there. Thanks!
       
       
      Host's note: this is the second part of an extended topic that has been split in order to reduce load on our servers.  
      The first part is here: Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.