Introduction: Caramelize Sugar Onto Chocolate With a Laser Cutter

People typically use NYC Resistor’s laser cutter to cut things like wood or acrylic, but my roommate and I enjoy using it on tastier substances.

This week, we brought some chocolate squares and some colored sugar / sprinkles to test out with the laser with the goal of caramelizing the sugar and fusing it to the chocolate. We’re still experimenting with ideas, and wanted to do some research on what techniques and settings work best, especially with the new laser.

Follow this Instructable to learn how to fuse sugar to chocolate using a laser cutter!

Step 1: Prepare Your Vector Files

The first step is to prepare a file for sending to the laser. I used a simple shape for testing.

You don't want to cut chocolate (it melts). However, etching works great! You can etch pretty much whatever you want, just bear in mind that fine details may not work, depending on the size of the sugar you're using.

Step 2: Prepare the Materials

Place a sheet of parchment paper, or similar, in the laser bed to keep your project food-safe. Then, place the chocolate in the laser bed. Coat with sugar. You want a thin, even layer of sugar.

Step 3: Fire the Laser!

Next -- fire the laser!

We set the speed to 100, power to 30, and DPI to 300, for NYC Resistor's 60W Epilog laser. Experiment to your heart's content with the settings. Bear in mind that you can do multiple passes, but each pass will reduce the vividness of the sugar's coloring.

Step 4: Eat.

After the laser is done etching, let the chocolate sit for about thirty seconds before removing it from the laser bed.

Congratulations -- now you can feast on your tasty, colorful, customized treats!

To follow me and learn about more projects like this one, check out my personal site and my Twitter.

Comments

author
tomatoskins made it!(author)2015-03-04

I've never done anything with a laser cutter before. Is there anything harmful that can happen from using the laser on food?

author
bonniee made it!(author)2015-03-04

Don't take my word for it, but I believe that a laser *shouldn't* be harmful. You're basically firing a beam of high heat at the food. I ate the chocolates! They were very tasty.

That being said, you'd possibly have issues getting certified as food-safe, and you should maybe wonder what kind of cleaning procedures are used with a given laser cutter.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Software engineer at Twitter, based in NYC. Member of NYC Resistor. I do stuff with Arduino, musical programming, and lasers. See more of my projects ... More »
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