They use a box grater to break down the sugar before using it, a trick they say "works like magic" and is a lot less messy than taking a swing at the sugar with a hammer. Simple and ingenious!
We wonder if a microplane might also work for this. When grating hard items like certain cheeses, the microplane is the safer, easier choice for us — and our poor knuckles.
• Check it out: Test Kitchen tips: Grating piloncillo and solid sugar blocks at the LA Times
Have you ever tried this? Do you have any tips for breaking up blocks of compressed sugar?