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Bentley

How do they do that? (The bonbon thread)

49 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

A member recently posted a picture of a chocolate from Instagram and asked for tips on how to achieve the same look.  I know I've made one or two similar posts before.  

It inspired me to create this thread.  I always find beautiful chocolates on the web and wonder "how did they do that?"  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  The idea is that you can post a picture of a chocolate bonbon (with proper credit/citation in accordance with forum rules) and members can chime in with their ideas on how to recreate the look. I think it would be educational and a great way to get some inspiration to try some new techniques and ideas.  

I'll start - I've always been fascinated by this chocolatier's work.  It's from Amanda Wright at A519 Chocolates:  

 

Link

 

How would you go about doing this one to achieve those white lines and the beautiful variations in tone in the red?

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 4.22.32 PM.png


Edited by Bentley (log)
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I could well be wrong, but my guess is that this is another example (a dazzling one) of someone using tape to mask off sections of the cavity and then spraying in stages. Achieving stripes has been a frequent question on eGullet. I recall that Pastrygirl recently used painter's tape to get a stripe on an egg. At least two other contributors said they had found tape certified to be food-safe (one of them, @Dallas, stated: "I use a low tack, paper material tape...its kind of like masking tape, but has a very low tack (no residue) and uses either an acrylic or epoxy type of adhesive, which is suitable for direct or indirect food contact." But he never posted the name of that tape.) I found a promising tape at a Michael's craft store, but it wouldn't stick to polycarbonate. No matter what tool you use, it's very labor-intensive work (to state the obvious).

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I wonder (and I may be way off on this) if they do not have some kind of flexible template on the stick or something and then they spray around it, picking it up, moving to the next cavity, spraying, moving to the next cavity, etc.  I too have seen the talk about the tape, but I just cannot wrap my mind around that.  I want to work fast and efficiently in the kitchen and trying to tape 300-500 cavities at a go seems too tedious to make any money off of it.

 

But like I said I might not even be close.  I too am curious what others are thinking.

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@Merry Berry I think you're on the right track, the edges don't look as sharp as you should get with tape.

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45 minutes ago, Merry Berry said:

I wonder...if they do not have some kind of flexible template on the stick or something and then they spray around it, picking it up, moving to the next cavity....

 

That sounds logical, given the slightly "fuzzy" edges of the stripes. Tape would ideally give a sharp edge, and I have seen examples on eGullet that achieved that effect. When I experimented with painter's tape (just to see what would happen), cocoa butter seeped under the edges of the tape, so that could also explain the edges in the example.

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As for the variations in the red tone, that looks finger-painted. 

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42 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

As for the variations in the red tone, that looks finger-painted. 

 

I would assume pretty much what has been stated above:

  • star shaped pattern is sprayed with white into each cavity
  • red sprayed
  • white applied in a swirl with finger
  • create the shell in dark.

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Posted (edited)

Interesting thoughts.  I also tend to view it from the perspective of a commercial operator (which A519 is).  Looking at it that way, I don't see how it is feasible to use tape for this process.  It would take too much time to mask in any quantity.  Plus, the way the edges look, I came to the opinion that it wasn't tape.  

I also thought about creating some kind of stamp or flexible stencil. My best guess right now is some kind of 5 spoke flexible thing on a stick that is sprayed or dipped in white then placed in the mold cavity and then turned a few degrees. IF you look closely at the white stripes, you can see some horizontal lines that suggest movement.  Seems like a possible way to do it - I'm just not sure what to make the tool out of.

 

@keychris when you say to spray the red, then apply white with a finger....do you let the red dry completely first or do you let the red and white mix to create the color variations?


Edited by Bentley (log)

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Bentley said:

Interesting thoughts.  I also tend to view it from the perspective of a commercial operator (which A519 is).  Looking at it that way, I don't see how it is feasible to use tape for this process.  It would take too much time to mask in any quantity.  Plus, the way the edges look, I came to the opinion that it wasn't tape.  

I also thought about creating some kind of stamp or flexible stencil. My best guess right now is some kind of 5 spoke flexible thing on a stick that is sprayed or dipped in white then placed in the mold cavity and then turned a few degrees. IF you look closely at the white stripes, you can see some horizontal lines that suggest movement.  Seems like a possible way to do it - I'm just not sure what to make the tool out of.

 

@keychris when you say to spray the red, then apply white with a finger....do you let the red dry completely first or do you let the red and white mix to create the color variations?

 

 

I envisage a solid flexible piece of plastic or silicon with the star pattern cut out of it, or even some sort of piping nozzle, you spray onto the pattern, you get diffusion at the edges of the spray depending how far the stencil is from the mold. You can see there's very little diffusion in the centre, with more out to the edges, so the stencil could be against the centre of the mold and is away from the edges. The diffusion could also simply be spraying from a slightly further distance away and not getting full coverage. IMHO you can't get that pattern with a stamp which you coat and place into the mold, but I've never done that so can't really say :D

 

@Bentley, once you've sprayed the red, applying white with a finger once the red has set will create the highlights of red, then when you create the shell in dark you'll accent them against the darker red colours. If you add the white whilst the red is still setting you'll get a more smeared effect which is not what I'm seeing in that picture.

 

I notice someone has posted a link on the instagram photo to this thread, we might get a direct answer :D


Edited by keychris clarification of a statement (log)

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Posted (edited)

Great.  It would be nice to get an answer right from the source.  In the meantime, someone can post the next bonbon for discussion.  I hope this thread will keep going so we can all learn some new techniques and have fun discussing chocolates!  I've got a million I could post, but I am sure others have some good ones that they wonder about.  


Edited by Bentley (log)
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if no-one else does before next weekend, I'll give it a go :)

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OK, I'll play. I am such a newbie that I don't know how to do much of anything yet :D. I am getting the hang of the nice shiny, bright and vibrant bonbons (slowly) but I came across these on Instagram by Tara Zhang and I'm very taken with the subtle, muted colours almost like watercolour. Does anyone have any ideas on technique (perhaps finger painted) and the type of colours that may have been used - cocoa butter or other.

 

Here's the link

 

 

bonbons.png

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10 hours ago, a_pinch_of said:

OK, I'll play. I am such a newbie that I don't know how to do much of anything yet :D. I am getting the hang of the nice shiny, bright and vibrant bonbons (slowly) but I came across these on Instagram by Tara Zhang and I'm very taken with the subtle, muted colours almost like watercolour. Does anyone have any ideas on technique (perhaps finger painted) and the type of colours that may have been used - cocoa butter or other.

 

Here's the link

 

 

 

This is a first - never seen a question on how to NOT get shine on bonbons :)  

My first guess on this one is that she is using splatters with White cocoa butter then finger painting with white and red.  Artisan colors rather than jewel colors (in the Chef Rubber line) - meaning no glitter to the colors.  That hazy matte effect reminds me of a technique that Melissa Coppel once showed.  She took melted cocoa butter and added a small amount of colored cocoa butter to it and sprayed the mixture into the mold before painting.  It created a hazy, translucent effect on the bonbon.  It was very shiny though.  I wonder if spraying that coat on the unmolded finished bon bons would give a matte finish?  In the case of the above bonbons, I would add a small amount of white cocoa butter to the uncolored cocoa butter.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Bentley. I'll have a try and see what effect I get. I'm not sure that I actually want this effect on my normal bonbons but it might be nice to try it out on a few to see if people like it. 


Edited by a_pinch_of (log)
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@a_pinch_of Looking at that instagram feed, I have two theories - the first is that there's just a heavy instagram filter being used. The second is perhaps the product is being frozen? There's what appears to be moisture on some of the chocolates in some of the pictures, freeze/thaw may adversely effect shine perhaps?

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@keychris thanks for the suggestions. If either is the case then it looks like an accident rather than deliberate that they have a matt finish. I'm still going to have a try to recreate because even if this was not her intent I still quite like the muted look. I'll let you know if I get anything even remotely worth showing anyone 

 

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Got it on the first one. White spray through Ateco Tip #33, then regular finger swiped swirls. You may remember when I was spraying through all sorts of gadgets and tools to create stencils. They always gave fuzzy effect like that and slightly warped spray since the stencil wasn't against the polycarb. Thanks for creating this topic. Love it.

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

Got it on the first one. White spray through Ateco Tip #33, then regular finger swiped swirls. You may remember when I was spraying through all sorts of gadgets and tools to create stencils. They always gave fuzzy effect like that and slightly warped spray since the stencil wasn't against the polycarb. Thanks for creating this topic. Love it.

Interesting. Sounds like you would start with the tip close to the bottom of the cavity and draw it out as you spray?   I will have to do some playing around with this.  


Edited by Bentley (log)

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8 hours ago, Bentley said:

Interesting. Sounds like you would start with the tip close to the bottom of the cavity and draw it out as you spray?   I will have to do some playing around with this.  

 

I don't think you move it at all. Too cumbersome and the you lose control of the spray.

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Alright, anyone have ideas on the technique for this design?

 

 

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