Transfer Sheet Techniques For Dipped Chocolates
By Bob Sherman
Transfer sheets provide a fun and easy method to apply designs to your chocolates. Although most often seen in abstract designs or patterns, the industry is seeing an increase of pictorial and whimsical designs as well.
There are several techniques for using transfers, however this article will cover the basics of applying them to dipped chocolates.
PLEASE NOTE!! - Although chocolate making is relatively safe for the entire family to participate, adult supervision is required.
Those not familiar with them may be wondering exactly what chocolate transfers are. Basically they are colored cocoa butter which has been screen printed onto a plastic backing. When applied to melted chocolate it bonds as the chocolate cools, and when the plastic backing sheet is removed the design remains. Do not confuse these with other types of transfers you may be familiar with, they cannot be applied with water or by rubbing.
I prefer to use chocolate coating wafers designed for molding chocolate. My preferred brand is Merckens which works well with all chocolate molding projects, is available in a wide selection of colors, and tastes great.
Either melting method may be used, but I find the double boiler works best for this.
Double Boiler - See Double Boiler Usage Instructions.
A microwave may also be used but care must be taken not to overheat the chocolate.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat for 30 seconds.
- Remove and stir.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the chocolate is creamy.
- Optimum usage temperature is about 90 degrees F. Do not place the thermometer in the microwave!
Chocolate Making Supplies And Materials
The following chocolate making supplies and other materials were used to make this project. Clicking on the item name will bring you to that item's page with a full description and ordering information.
- Transfer Sheets - One or more designs.
- Chocolate Coating - Dark chocolate was used here but milk or white chocolate is also suitable.
- Dippable Object - Generally flat items will work best. I used toffee bars here, but other flat dippable such as mint fondant, coconut dough patties, cookies, etc... may be used.
- Double Boiler
- Dipping Forks - Optional, but I find these easier to use than regular eating forks.
- Sharp Scissors
- Wax paper or parchment
Melt your Chocolate and bring the temperature to approximately 90 degrees F.
Note : These instructions are for using coatings, but tempered real chocolate may be used as well.
While your chocolate is melting, cut pieces of transfer the approximate size of your pieces to be dipped.
Lay a piece of wax paper or parchment on your counter to place the dipped chocolates on.
Dip the piece and place on the wax paper or parchment.
Immediately place a piece of transfer sheet atop the chocolate, design side (rough side) down.
Gently press in place with your finger to remove trapped air.
Allow the chocolate to harden fully, then peel the plastic backing off.
The finished chocolates.
Poor transfer of the design like the sample shown here can be caused by several things:
Chocolate is too cool - If the chocolate is too cool it will be unable to melt and bond with the cocoa butter. For best results the chocolate should be close to 90 degrees F.
Peeling the backing too soon - Peeling the backing sheet before the chocolate is fully hardened may cause a poor bond with the transfer sheet design. If you don't rush this step this should never be a problem.
Trapped air - Transfers won't transfer if they do not make contact with the chocolate. If you don't smooth the air out from under the transfer, it will prevent a good bond.
Hints And Tips
Once you have the basic procedure down smoothly, you can dip several chocolates at a time, then apply the transfers all at once. Do not let the chocolate cool too far before applying the transfers.
Interesting effects may be achieved by applying transfers to only a portion of the chocolate. This is a good way to use up scrap pieces as well.
With a bit of planning, two or more transfers may be applied to the same chocolate for even more variety. Use care not to overlap the transfers.
Support Free Projects
You can help ensure the continued availability and production of free chocolate projects by telling your friends about them. The more popular they are the more we can produce so tell your friends, mention them on message boards, link to them from your web site, etc... More information is available here.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common chocolate making practices as of the time of this writing - originally published in July 2009 and updated in November 2010. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
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