If you've ever stood in a bakery window and marvelled at the artistic and edible designs on display, you may have found yourself wondering how such intricate designs are accomplished. Chocolate transfers are used for elaborate decorations on desserts, and usually cakes. The process involves creating a design or picture out of chocolate, letting it set and then adding it to the cake. For a smooth finish, cakes are often covered with a type of sugary sheet called fondant, to which the chocolate can be transferred. Once you know how it's done, you might want to grab a pastry bag and try your hand at this technique.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cake covered in fondant
- Pastry/icing bag
- Waxed paper
- Cardboard or cake board
- Printed image
- Melting chocolate
- Size 3 icing tip
- 1 tbsp frosting
Print the image you would like to have on your cake. Tape the image to a cake board or piece of cardboard. If you are confident in your freehand skills, you can forgo using the image.
Put a small size icing tip in the pastry bag. Choose the tip based on how detailed your design needs to be; small details require a small tip.
Heat the melting chocolates according to the instructions on the package, or in the microwave for about one minute on half power and at 30 second intervals thereafter. The chocolate is ready to use when it is completely smooth.
Spoon the heated chocolate into the pastry bag and twist the bag closed. Squeeze the chocolate out of the icing tip and onto the waxed paper, tracing the image. Think of your image in layers and decide which details must be on the top when the image is on the cake. For instance, if making a ladybug, first use brown chocolate to make spots, legs, antenna and head. Then set it aside to harden for about 15 minutes. Next use heated red chocolate in another pastry bag and squeeze the red to fill in all the rest of the ladybug.
Squeeze chocolate onto the image until all of the details are filled in. Add a layer of chocolate about 1/8-inch thick onto the back of the chocolate, which is the side still facing you. Lay a piece of waxed paper over the chocolate image and press gently to smooth out any uneven spots or to fill in any gaps. Place the whole board with the chocolate and sheets of waxed paper into the refrigerator or freezer for several hours.
Remove the board from the refrigerator and pull the waxed paper off of the top. Spread a small dab of frosting on the fondant exactly where you would like the chocolate transfer to be. Remove the cake board and image so you have only the chocolate transfer and one sheet of waxed paper. Turn the chocolate side down and set it on the fondant. Press gently before pulling the waxed paper off in one fluid motion.
Tips and warnings
- If you have regular chocolate rather than melting chocolate, you can use this also, but be sure to temper the chocolate first for a smooth finish.
- The amount of time the transfer will need to chill is dependent on the size of the transfer.
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