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What To Use?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a material to use to make what I'll call food stencils.

For instance, I make a scallop dish in which the shellfish sit on a bed of sweet & sour lentils. I'd like to make a stencil of a scallop shell, and use that to form the lentil bed.

So what I need is a food-grade material that's relaively flexible; 3/8th to 1/4 inch thick, and workable with hand-tools.

Anybody got a suggestion?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 13
Hi!

One time I took a cake decorating class from a local pastry chef and he talked about (but didn't show us) a techniques where he cut his own stencil and uses it for air brushing a design on a cake. He used something called duralar to make the stencils. I would guess that you could use the same thing to make the type of stencil you're looking for.

I've found duralar at the following link (search on stencil)

Cake decorating & candy making products online

BTW, I've ordered from Sugarcraft before and I've been happy with them.

Good luck!
post #3 of 13
Flexible cutting boards. Can often be found on clearance and at dollar stores. One board could probably make multiple stencils.

I found a bunch of colorful ones on clearance once that I actually use as placemats. Dishwasher safe from the kids spills and the look pretty good as long as they're never cut on to mark them up. Store easily, even have a nonslip side.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 13
great minds? hehe, that was my first thought phil.

I bought them just to use on an old funky cutting board until I replaced it, two years and lots of slicing and dicing and still haven't worn out one!

Nan
post #5 of 13
Hi!

Stupid question alert!

Wouldn't the cutting boards be hard to cut cleanly through to make the scallop design, being cutting boards and all?
post #6 of 13
Not the flexible ones. At least not with an Xacto blade or other precision cutting tools or power tools (dremel).

But your Duralar is probably easier to cut, true.

Various acetate sheets should work fine too but they won't be particularly durable. They could be fed through a printer though for printing the right size pattern for you to cut.

Perhaps combine it all. Feed acetate to your printer to create an easy to cut quality image. Cut the stencil. Use the flimsy stencil to mark the flexible cutting board. use the flimsy stencil 'til it dies and then cut the cutting board and proceed merrily into the future.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 13
A vinyl placement or styrofoam plates might work. They would be thinner than your ideal, but it should be easier to cut out the stencil than using cutting boards.
post #8 of 13
Ah! That explains it! I haven't been allowed around such tools since the infamous hole-in-the wall incident of 2005! :lol:
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
The problem with all of these suggestions is that they're too thin for what I have in mind. Duralur, for instance, is merely a more durable substitute for acetate. But it isn't much thicker.

I don't want to merely paint with the lentils, I want them to form a base for the scallops.

And that's only one of the applications I have in mind.

For a better idea of what I'm looking for, roll up a silpat. Three to four layers of that is about the thickness I'm looking for.

Hmmmmm? I wonder if I use silicon sealant to laminate the silpat sheets if that wouldn't work? Anyone care to hazard a guess?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 13
Cedar planks as for planked salmon and a scroll saw to cut it accurately.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 13
A piece of plexiglass would work but I'm not sure how to cut the stencil in it.

Could you use a large cookie cutter, or one of those shells that Coquilles St Jacques are served in, as a mold, rather than filling in a stencil?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hmmmmm? Either of those (cedar and plexiglas) would work to create the stencil. But I'm concerned about what happens when I lift them off. With no flexibility, the puree is likely to stick and deform.

Something like silpat, or the flexible cutting boards, would sort of peel away. The problem, I think, is getting the thickness I need with the flexibility of those products.

FWIW, I first saw this technique used on one of the Iron Chef episodes. The challenger used a stencil of this nature to lay down a perfect rectangle of whatever he was using, smoothing it with an offset spatula before lifting the stencil. But, of course, the material was never identified.

KCZ, I could, perhaps, use a cookie cutter if I had one in the shapes and sizes I need. The Coquille molds wouldn't work, in this application, because I want the lentil puree to stand alone. But, as an alternative presentation, they---or actual scallop shells---would be a good choice.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 13
This site has 3" seashell-shaped cookie cutters, which I'm assuming aren't big enough, but you could try making one of your own.
https://cookiecutter.com/index.asp?P...rodID=439&HS=1
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