Hello to all the lovely experts out there. I'm a 1 year old newbie, when it comes to working with chocolate and have managed to get myself into a predicament. Hoping there might be some techniques out there I'm not aware of.
One of the first things I made that were a total hit are my Bourbon Salted Caramels. I do them in 4 forms... naked, dipped in a Peruvian milk chocolate and sprinkled with Hawaiian lava salt, dipped in Ecuadorian 65% and sprinkled with Applewood smoked salt, and then I do turtles. I've posted some older pics, to give you a bit of an idea.
My problem is this. They have become really good sellers... particularly when it comes to shops that carry them. And I'm very low-tech, in terms of my operation. The caramel is made in double batches, using a 13 quart tri-ply pan on stovetop. It's poured into a sheet pan and cooled, then, at this point, I'm still scoring them with a pastry cutter (not the super sturdy type) and cutting by hand. Then, I dip them all by hand.
All my chocolate tempering is by hand/seed method and I hold my chocolate in 2 3kg Mol d'Art melters that I found used, on Ebay, for a song...I've become very obsessive about tracking when this sort of stuff shows up. Again, very low tech, in terms of shop size, equipment, etc.
I don't bottom them... not sure how to do that with a sheet pan full of caramel. I just cut, group for dipping type and go. But this is taking FOREVER. And with the 3 shops buying them at several dozen at a wack (but wholesale) and then weekly markets and my online sale, I need to figure out a faster way to bang these out.
Anyone have a non-expensive recommendation on how to speed things along? I am looking at a caramel roller cutter, since that would speed it along a little. If not, I'll just muddle along until we can afford some higher tech stuff.