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How To Make Transfer Sheets

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7 hours ago, minas6907 said:

Hi all,


About a year ago I had gotten a roll of acetate from a restaurant supply because I knew that one day I wanted to make transfer sheets. That day was yesterday. I just wanted some opinions, though I'm pretty sure I just made the cocoa butter layer too thick. I really layered it on there, it was two colors, probably like 5 or six thin layers with a pastry brush. When it came time to cut down the strip, I had to be very delicate with it, otherwise the cocoa butter would peel right off the acetate. Anywho, I had previously made a mango caramel, so the transfer sheet was going to be orange and yellow. The first image is most of the bonbons with their beautiful jagged edges. Really, on most of the bonbons, all the cocoa butter came off the acetate in a giant square, so i had to break the edges down to fit the top of the bonbon. The second picture is a close of another pattern I did, I just spattered cocoa butter with a toothbrush. That transfer seemed to work as intended, the peeled right off, nothing weird. I know the color could be more intense, but that's something I can fix. As for the other bonbons, is it a case of just too thick of a cocoa butter layer? I suppose I could intensify the color and go thinner, perhaps with an airbrush, but for now I'd like to just do some simple transfers. Any comments are appreciated!


I had exactly the same problems. I bought guitar sheets from Chef Rubber, the flexible ones. But anytime I added a second layer of cocoa butter (or even made a single layer a bit too thick), flaking began, and I almost gave up (still intend to try again this coming summer). I can't imagine airbrushing a layer on since it is so difficult to control the flow of cocoa butter from an airbrush, but I will give that a try as well. Anytime I have tried airbrushing a layer of white onto a purchased transfer sheet (to make colors like red show up on dark chocolate), that has also been a mess.

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14 hours ago, Avachocolate said:

Yeah, you want to do the cocoa butter quite thin...several layers with a brush will usually be way too thick...a nice thin layer with an airbrush works great.

See if you can get a hold of some professionally printed transfer sheets and see how thin they are for reference.

Also you mentioned acetate...if it is anything like the kind of stiff foils they also sell for overhead projectors at office supply stores then I would stay away from those (even if you got yours from a restaurant supply, sometimes they sell the wrong kind also)...you want to get the thin, soft, flexible plastique sheets...kind of opaque...often referred to as guitar sheets.

Also there does not seem to be an industry standard for the sheet names...especially between european and american supply stores....one shops guitar sheet is another persons acetate 😁

So what I specifically have is as acetate roll, this one:


I checked Chef Rubbers site, it lists guitar sheets as being 5mm thick. I was looking for the thickness of the Kopykake roll I have, but wasn't able to find any mention of the actual thickness, but I dont think its too far off. I'm going to try again soon, and make sure my color is more intense and spread thinner.

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So heres two more attempts. The first, I just made some designs using thinner layers, but didnt adjust my color. The second, I adjusted my yellow so its more vibrant and opaque, so that was much more successful, but I have noticed that its sort of hit or miss with the transfers that I used a pastry brush on, some come off the edges cleanly, but some don't. Overall, I've seen that my best transfers are ones where I made a design with cocoa butter that didnt really overlap much off the edge of the bonbon. I was also surprised that the random spatter especially came out well. Anywho, thanks for the tips guys, its appreciated.



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Thanks for the link, I'll check that out. By chance, would a wood grain tool work, or would that be too thick? I personally have never used one, but it's been one of those random items that always catches my eye. 

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3 hours ago, minas6907 said:

Thanks for the link, I'll check that out. By chance, would a wood grain tool work, or would that be too thick? I personally have never used one, but it's been one of those random items that always catches my eye. 


I've never used a wood grain tool, but here's a guy using one with chocolate: https://youtu.be/kT5bTVVa5eE


Another option is to go ahead and back your transfer with a thin layer of chocolate and cut that into shapes to fit your pieces.  Probably what the guy in the video is doing, actually :)

Edited by pastrygirl (log)

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The discussion of wood grain reminded me that Jin Caldwell demonstrated making wood grain transfer sheets at the 2017 eGullet workshop in Las Vegas. I asked other attendees if they had a video of her technique, and a video was posted on May 22, 2017, on the Facebook workshop page. It's difficult to find that particular posting in a very long "page," but I just found it again. Jin used a spatula held at an angle to make the chocolate (yes, she was using chocolate) as thin as possible. I had forgotten, but I tried her technique after returning home but had cracks (which she, of course, did not). The overall problem I have with making transfers is that you never know how they are going to turn out until it's too late. I tried posting a link to that video, but (maybe because it's in a "closed" group) it doesn't work.

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