I am still looking for used and reasonably priced used equipment for making candy- guitar cutter and maybe a melter. I have not made any profit yet from my candy, and think it may be due to my various shapes, and indecision about streamlining my process. I usually spend all night trying to make beautiful candy, and it comes out mediocre, and I fell it would not sell.
I hope a guitar might save me time and stress and make my candy uniform.
If you know anything, let me know.
My advice is to not invest in equipment like a guitar until you have turned a profit on your product. There are a lot of other reasons why your stuff may not be selling, and shape is not the first place I'd look for the answers.
How are you pricing and marketing yourself, and to whom?
Have you gotten honest tasting results from those who have nothing to lose by being brutally honest with you about texture and taste?
Are you able to present yourself and your work with the confidence necessary? (even here in a relatively anonymous space you express doubts about your own work.)
Are the types of candy you are making suitable to your target market?
What I know, is that a guitar is a pricey investment when you don't have signs of profit. If you honestly feel it's shape that's holding you back, well, ok - but I'd go for a candy cutter before going 'all in' for a guitar.
What types of candy are you making, that shape should be such a crucial problem in marketing them profitably?
Thank you guys for an advice. Yes, that is correct not to go for expensive stuff yet. Patti,
do you have a description or picture of the cutting in tool, because in home depot they only showed me the painting corner tool, and it did not look like something I could use for cutting.
Funny, that is the one I just got from Depot 2 hours ago, hoping it would help. Thank you for help! I will try it tonight. Also online I found french caramel cutter below and also roller cutter. But for now I will experiment with the home depot 'ting. Thank you and see if you like my website. www.angelschocolate.com
Thank you for the advice, I need it on all levels. Jessica, what is the candy cutter? Would you have a picture or a link to it? I have done quite a bit of research for an alternative to guitar. I guess, it was the shape and also the streamlining of the process, so I can: make ganache, cut, dip, pack. Now it is: make ganache, try 10 different ways to pour and cut all night.
Yes, my marketing efforts have been almost zero, except me telling the people I know or meet at work. The tasting seemed to be successful, even with almost strangers. My website is:
Sorry I missed this, we're about 6 hours apart or more as time-zones go. You've found the candy cutter I was referring to, the rolling adjustable cutter (top picture in your post above.) Hopefully though the home depot tool you've picked up will do the trick or at least help improve the situation.
It's frustrating, I know to have a problem, and to not know how to solve it without going the expensive route, but you'd be surprised how many professional (as in, they COULD totally afford a guitar,) kitchens I've been in that whip out a ruler and knife to do their cutting, or who have found other unique solutions (like silicone ice cube trays,) for shape/size of items produced. Sometimes not buying gear right away is what helps us to learn more about the various ways we can work with our confections. Not always a bad thing!
I think the creativity that draws us to chocolatiering is helpful in working out ways to do things other that the "official", expensive way. I have not purchased any ganache frames yet, and I will in the future but for now, I found a bun pan extender at a restaurant supply store that works well for a frame (albeit a large one). I keep thinking when I am at home depot, that they must have something that could be used for caramel bars.
Target has some heart shaped silicone ice cube molds for valentines day, I pressed marzipan into those to make heart shaped marzipans. If you search online, you will find several homemade vibrating tables. And then, if you are really crafty, there is a thread somewhere on making a guitar- but you need to weld stuff together. (If you are interested I think it is on the egullet forums...).
In the ecole chocolat curriculum, there was a really interesting article about Jacques Torres and how he opened his chocolate shop. He himself did a lot of the work, building, painting, etc. I think being able to do things this way is what may help a lot of people stay in business during these tough economic times. I know that when I am ready for opening my own shop, my husband son and I will be doing a lot of the work- I am thinking going as far to even build my display cases.
If you keep reading the forums you will find so many creative ways that people have solved problems and made things work for them.
Thank you guys,
I also found Ponoko helpfull: www.ponoko.com, where you can design your own products, and get them made. So I designed my ganache frame(simple square border with two holes to stack the frames) went on ponoko, selected plastic of my choice, thickness, submitted my dieline, and then you get pricing, and they will make it and send it to you in maybe 3-4 weeks. I have two stackable frames, and it was about 50$. They come in perfect, flawless shape.
Another question regarding ganache(I went to Callebaut school in Chicago-it was great), my ganache breaks often, no matter what I try. I add chocolate to cream, cream to chocolate, melted chocolate to cream, temperature control perfected, sometimes let the cream cool after boiling. I am sooo careful, slowly mixing it, and right before the last pieces of chocolate melt, there goes the separation. I did it in the school and no problem. At home, I am baffled.I never use food processor, only spatula to mix, and when I tried processor sometimes it saved the broken ganache, sometimes not. I tried adding spoon of cold cream or water, or hot cream, whatever all the forums say. I tried adjusting the proportions of cream to chocolate as well. Is hand mixing or processor better?
If there is any tried and tested method you know, please let me know. I end up eating all the broken ganache-:) Not good for my waistline.
Take a look at the Valrhona method for making ganache. They add the cream to partially melted chocolate in 3-5 steps and maintain the chocolate temperature between 95-105 F throughout the entire process. For dark chocolate, pre-melt it 70% before adding the first bit of cream. For milk chocolate, pre-melt 80% and for white chocolate melt 100%. The cream is then added in stages with vigorous mixing before the next bit is added and so on. The cream does not have to be boiling, just warm enough to maintain the desired temperatures. After the first cream addition or two, the ganache will look broken and messy, but keep stirring and believe in the almighty powers of the Great Valrhona and by the time you finish--it takes about 15-20 minutes--the ganache will have come together and be amazingly creamy. Then crystallize 24 hours at a cool temperature (the dark chocolate ganache is a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream and requires a long time to set). If making large batches, they use a Robot Coupe or vacuum emulsifier. There are 4 videos in this youTube series, I am only linking the first one. I have used this technique with good success. Good luck!
Thank you so much, I will test the method. I am quite embarrassed that after 2 years my ganache still breaks.