Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Caramel Cutter

Steve from Wisconsin sent me a nice email.

Hi:

I’ve been doing a search for caramel cutters and came across your blog. First of all I’d like to tell you that your chocolates look beautiful.

I make caramels at Christmas time, about 16 pounds worth. The worst part is cutting them. I saw a picture of the caramel cutter in your blog and was wondering where you purchased it and does it work as good as it seems. I’m getting too tired and sore from cutting with a knife.

Steve in Wisconsin

To answer him I wrote back the following:

Hello Steve,

I’m glad you liked the chocolates.

Well, first of all, the caramel “cutter” is a misnomer. Rather it should be called a caramel marker. You mark it, and the marks can be deep, almost cut through, but usually they are just marks and then you cut with a knife. The hardest thing about making chocolates and cakes is the cutting. Oh, and never, ever use a guitar for cutting caramel.

Second, you’ll probably do better looking under dough cutters. However, watch out for those flimsy looking dough cutter.

I got my cutter from Tomric Systems.

But I could have easily gotten it from ChefRubber.com or BakeDeco.com

Yours,

Mark

PS Please feel free to email me but it is easier for me if you post a comment and that way your email also has no chance of being lost. Thanks.

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19 Comments:

Blogger Corey said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I have been looking for one of these for a long time and could not remember what they were called.

January 24, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

You are welcome but remember, it is not a magic bullet. You still have to cut the caramel.

January 24, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger GooberNgrape said...

Hi Mark,
I emailed you before reading the fine print below saying that posting here is better. So, at the risk of being redundant, i'll post here as well.

First, i'm glad i've come across your site here. Interesting things to read and learn.
I have more questions about the use of your adjustable caramel cutter. I'm looking for something easier and more reliable than a chef's knife to cut/score both caramel and ganache (and something much less expensive than a guitar to cut my ganache).

I can imagine easily using the cutter on the first scoring, say, rolling the cutter on the caramel block north to south to make strips.
But what about the second cut over the strips, east to west, to create the individual squares?

I'm sure you have to keep the cutting wheels oiled or buttered, but how well does that second cut work? Is it difficult to do?

How do the finished pieces look? Fairly square, or do the tops become rounded from the pressure of the discs? Very rounded? Slightly rounded?
Does this cutter work as well for ganache?

Thanks in advance for this.
Keep up the good work!
--Bryan

October 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

For ganache, we use a guitar. I have a double. A single is just fine.

You score it in both directions with the cutter. Remember, you are just scoring it. You have to cut with a knife. I do a deep scoring.

It comes out just fine. I sometimes use a little canola oil, very little, on the discs to keep from sticking. You have to try it. Don't use a lot. Just a tiny bit.

October 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Does the cutter work better than a caramel sheet mold? 2) What sized spacing does the caramel rolling pin cutter make?
3) Is it stainless steel?
4) Are there other sized separators that can be used to vary the caramel sizes? I actually was thinking about pasta.

October 5, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

Well, to answer your questions: 2) 4) you can use the spacers to make different sizes between the cutting disks. 3) it's more or less stainless steal. 1) I use both a mold and the cutter. I use a great, almost 1 inch cube, square mold from JP Prince. Mostly, I use the molds but those you have to freeze to get the caramels out of.

October 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information Mark. I linked over to order the caramel cutter and according to their site it's backordered until Jan 1900. Yes, you read that right, 1990. :)

An excerpt from an e-mail from them said, "You have a 12-1/2" space to cut with, you get 3 different size spaces to use customize it to what you want, the spacers are 5/8", 3/16", and 7/8" of an inch.  The blades are 3-1/16" in dia. .037" thick.  The cutter comes apart for you to space it the way you would like." Another e-mail confirmed it is stainless steel with wooden handles.

I still wonder, if you had only one choice to use a mold or the cutter, which would you chose, assuming money wasn't an issue.

October 6, 2011 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

The disks are stainless steal but I'm not sure about the axel.

October 6, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

Money is no issue? I'd buy an extruding line with an automatic cutter and packer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AWym_Y7TSg I don't know if I'd buy this one, I might buy a single extruder.

October 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, well I didn't mean no issue to that degree! Thanks for the info though. I did get the rolling pin ordered after all. They e-mailed saying they had two left. They now have one. I hope the axel is stainless steel, as I was told. Hopefully it will be. Thanks for your blog!

October 6, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

Well, you said money is no object.

October 6, 2011 at 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the better way to have phrased it is, between a $15 mould and a$200 rolling pin, which would you choose? :)

October 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

I pay a lot more for my molds. I'd say, get both. I use the cutter when I overflow my molds.

October 6, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I totally take the blame. :). Although you never did say which you would choose.

Actually the reason I was considering the Rollin pin was so I could cut pasta with it, as well. I have all the various electric and manual, even extruders for that, but still none allow the pasta to be wide or thick enough for what I'm after. I thought I could dual purpose the roller.

However if you think the sheet pans are more the way to go with caramels, I won't bother getting the roller gummed up.

October 6, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, your other comment just popped up on my screen. Thanks!

October 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

See above.

October 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,

Thank you for you rblog and all the interesting posts. I had a questions about your caramels - if you don't use the molds do you use confectionery bars or have you tried the silpat form pans that you can peel off and pop out an entire baking sheet of caramel? Also, can you tell my why you say don't use a guitar cutter? I've never sued one and doubted the ability of it to cut well but on confectionery eqipment sites they say for ganache, jellies AND caramel! hmm????

Thank you!

January 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

I am going to assume you meant this question for me.

No, I don't use a Silpat rather I use these blue Silicon mats that I like very much. Silpat isn't as good. And no, I don't use forms other than the plexiglass ones I had made for me by Tap Plastics in Mountain View. They work very well and I use them for many things.

I have a large set of plexiglass bars that I use as forms. They're easy and easy to clean.

If you use a guitar on caramel, you will break it. The only thing I use my guitar for is to cut ganache. Even a hard ganache will great a guitar. They are very delicate.

Jellies, ganache yes but not caramel. Not even a really soft caramel would I use my guitar for.

You are welcome.

January 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Mark by Chocolate said...

And of course I do use molds as stated above. But other than that, I use plexiglass bars and my blue silicon mats.

January 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM  

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