I seem to breaking a lot of wires on my guitar-- I am using it only for ganaches, but am still getting broken wires and ganache that is splitting and cracking with the wire pressure. Am I putting the slab "too close" to the end?? Am I putting the wrong side of the ganache down on the guitar surface? Chocolate foot "down" right?? Am I just using the device incorrectly? Any help and or pointers greatly appreciated!!
Thanks in advance !!
It sounds like your ganache slabs are too hard and there are two possible causes; either the formulas are off making the ganache too hard when set, or your slabs (and perhaps ambient temperature) are too low, or a combination of the two. Ideally, you should be able to cut your slabs with no breakage or crumbling if your formulas are right-that being said, the slabs should be at room temperature, which should ideally be around 62-68F. The wires should go right through the ganache easily. But the ganache should be firm enough that you can pick it up with your fingers without damaging the edges. You'll know when it's right-wires cut easily, edges are clean with no crumbs/breakage, and you can still manage to pick up the cut pieces fairly easily without the edges being so soft that they squish from the slightest pressure from your fingers.
Chocolate foot should be down when cutting and very thin. I prefer to put the foot onto the silpat or sheet I'm laying my ganache down on first, then pour the ganache on top. Alternatively, you can let the ganache set, then add a thin layer with a spatula-but you get a flatter bottom if you lay down the thin layer first, then pour the ganache on top.
If you are cutting just ganache you should not have problems. As Jeff said, make sure your foot is very thin. I prefer to use untempered chocolate for the foot as it cuts betters. Second, when you go to cut your ganache, slide the ganache slab near the top. This is where the strings have the most strength. I occassionally will get some broken wires now and again, but that is when I am cutting harder praline slabs that often contain feuillitine and the wires get stuck. Good luck.
I had this issue last year making pate de fruit. Eitherway, pressure builds up on the strings like you mentioned at the end of your slab. What I do now is I cut the slab in half and place each one at the beginning of the strings. I make sure I apply as less pressure as possible when pressing down.
Hope this helps
Thank you all for the great advice-- As for the untempered foot...........doesn't it stay too "sticky" or do you let it sit overnight.
You let it sit until dry. The reason to use untempered chocolate is in part because it will be softer and less brittle on cutting, but also because as you are spreading the chocolate and moving it around, you are helping crystallize it as it cools. So it won't be completely untempered or improperly crystallized when cutting.