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John DePaula

Demo: Transfer Sheets on Chocolate Bonbons

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Demo: How to Use Transfer Sheets (and Structure Sheets) with Magnetic Molds for Making Chocolate Bonbons

This thread will demonstrate how to use transfer sheets to decorate chocolate bonbons. Structure sheets, which are plastic sheets embossed with a pattern, can be used in exactly the same way. Let’s begin:

1. Here is a photograph of my workbench. It's important to have all of your tools ready when you work with chocolate because you need to work fast.

a) Transfer Sheet; b) Structure Sheet; c) Bowl of seed chocolate; d) Small bowl; e) Scale; f) 2-piece Magnetic chocolate molds; g) Magnetic mold taken apart to show top and bottom pieces; h) Scissors; i) Acrylic paint brush; j) Straight spatulas; k) 7” Wide Spatulas; l) Ladle; m) Chocolate Melter

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2. Here's a close up of the magnetic chocolate molds. On the left, two fully assembled molds; on the right, a mold with the back showing.

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3. Here is a close up of the transfer sheet we'll be using. On the right is a structure sheet.

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4. The first thing we need to do is cut the transfer sheet to fit into our magnetic mold. Here, I'm using a pre-cut structure sheet as a guide for marking my transfer sheet. Obviously it should be marked on the non-cocoa butter side.

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5. Cutting the transfer sheet.

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6. Positioning the transfer sheet inside the chocolate mold. Here I have the mold upside-down and the transfer sheet is positioned over the cavities with the cocoa-butter side down.

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7. Carefully replacing the mold backing. As you can see, we are "sandwiching" the sheet between the two parts of the mold. Be sure that the sheet doesn't slip out of position as you're replacing the back.

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8. Fully assembled (upside-down).

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9. Fully assembled (right side up).

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10. Painting each cavity with tempered chocolate ensures that you won't have bubbles in your finished pieces. You may be able to skip this step if your chocolate is very thin.

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11. Once all the cavities have been painted, you can scrape with a chocolate scraper to remove excess chocolate bits from the top of the mold. The scraper should run smoothly across the top.

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12. Here is our prepped mold held up to the light. You can see that it doesn't need to be very pretty; you just need to be sure you've gotten into all the corner spaces.

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13. Now we can immediately ladle in some tempered chocolate to make a suitable chocolate shell for our bonbons.

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14. Spread the chocolate with a palette knife so that each cavity gets its share of chocolate. Work quickly.

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15. Tap the side of the mold to help the chocolate settle and to remove bubbles. Here, you're just trying to ensure that no bubbles are clinging to the surface of the mold.

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16. Now we need to eliminate excess chocolate in our mold. Just turn the mold over and let the chocolate drain back into the melter. You can tap it on the sides with the palette knife or whack the mold on the edges of your melting pan to encourage the chocolate to depart.

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17. Now we scrape with a spatula to clean up our mold.

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18. Turn your mold over and allow excess chocolate to drain, if necessary. Check again in a few minutes and scrape with a spatula, as before, to clean the mold.

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19. Here we see our chocolate shells, still in the mold, with a nice even coating of chocolate. They are now ready for filling with your favorite ganache and sealing in the usual way with tempered chocolate.

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Our bonbons: transfer sheet and structure sheet examples

gallery_35656_2016_10418.jpggallery_35656_2016_20488.jpg

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John, thank you for such a thorough demo! I'm totally inspired to try this. Do you have any advice for those of us who are tempering our chocolate without a temperer?

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John, thank you for such a thorough demo!  I'm totally inspired to try this.  Do you have any advice for those of us who are tempering our chocolate without a temperer?

Thanks, Ruth. My pleasure.

Yes, I do have some advice. Check out this thread:

Tempering chocolate with warm water

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I still temper chocolate by hand. I have a melter now, actually just bought 2 more, but you can easily temper chocolate with a bain marie setup as described in the post.

Good luck, Ruth.

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Wow, how cool! Great pictures--this is a great tutorial--well laid out & so clearly written.

Thank you very much. Awesome!

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Many, many thanks John! Where were you 3 months ago?? The process you show here is so neat and simple, this will really help me in my own endeavors.

Can you also show the process of filling the cups with ganache, and topping with chocolate for the bottoms as well? Any tricks you can share for working cleanly?

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Great demo! Thanks for taking the time. I've been wanting to get back into making chocolates lately an dthis just makes the urges stronger.

How strong are the magnets holding the mold together? I've always wondered if you needed to be really delicate with these molds.

Are they susceptable to leaking?

BTW: What is the structure sheet for (besides a template for the transfer sheet)?

Dan

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Thanks for all the appreciative comments!

The process of filling the shells is not difficult if you have a very liquid ganache. Some of my ganaches are, some aren't.

1. When your ganache cools to between 80 - 84°F (27-29°C), just pipe it into the shells with a pastry bag being careful to leave between 1/16th and 1/8 inch (~3mm) free space.

Obviously, you don't want the ganache to be warm enough to melt your shell. Also, if you don't leave enough space for the backing, the bonbon won't seal properly which will cause it to spoil rapidly.

2. Allow your ganache to set. If your ganache isn't set before you try to seal, you end up dragging part of your filling out of the shell ruining your tempered chocolate.

3. Ladle more tempered chocolate over the top; tap briefly; slowly scrape with your palate knife. See Photos 13, 14, 15 and 17 in the initial post for this thread.

4. Allow your chocolate to set.

You're now ready to unmold.

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Great demo! Thanks for taking the time. I've been wanting to get back into making chocolates lately an dthis just makes the urges stronger.

Thanks, Dan!

How strong are the magnets holding the mold together? I've always wondered if you needed to be really delicate with these molds.

Are they susceptable to leaking?

The magnets are quite strong. In fact, it can sometimes be a challenge to pry the back from the mold. I've never had any problems with leakage.

BTW: What is the structure sheet for (besides a template for the transfer sheet)?

Dan

The structure sheet in the photo was just a handy "ruler." In other words, I just happened to have one of the proper size already cut, so I used it to cut the transfer sheet to an identical size.

A structure sheet is an embossed piece of plastic that can impart a texture (or pattern) on top of your chocolate pieces. See the last photo in my demo.

Hope this helps.

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I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I still temper chocolate by hand.  I have a melter now, actually just bought 2 more, but you can easily temper chocolate with a bain marie setup as described in the post. 

It's not the act of tempering that I'm worried about (I am pretty adept at it) -- but rather holding the chocolate in temper. Do you keep your chocolate in temper between each step, or do you let it go and bring it back as needed?

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It's not the act of tempering that I'm worried about (I am pretty adept at it) -- but rather holding the chocolate in temper.  Do you keep your chocolate in temper between each step, or do you let it go and bring it back as needed?

Hi Ruth,

Between filling the bonbons and sealing them, it's a long time; therefore, we're talking about two separate tempering sessions. If you're working with a lot of trays, and need to keep the chocolate in temper longer, you can hit the chocolate with a blast of hot air from a hair dryer to melt some of the crystals that have formed and make it less viscous. I think I learned this from Wybaugh's book Fine Chocolates Great Experience.

Just keep an eye on your temperature; if you let it shoot up too high, then you'll need to add more seed chocolate and bring the temp back down again. "Don't forget to STIR, Daniel-son!" :biggrin:

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John, thanks for the link...this really made my day! With each of your demo's every question is answered!

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Santa was good to me this year, and I am now the proud owner of a stack of transfer sheets! However, I do not have any magnetic molds. I'm assuming that standard cavity mold are not good candidates for transfer sheets. Can you suggest any fun I can have with my new toys, aside from using them on sheet chocolate for cake wraps and garnishes?

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Santa was good to me this year, and I am now the proud owner of a stack of transfer sheets!  However, I do not have any magnetic molds.  I'm assuming that standard cavity mold are not good candidates for transfer sheets.  Can you suggest any fun I can have with my new toys, aside from using them on sheet chocolate for cake wraps and garnishes?

Ruth, you can make a slab of ganache, cut it into shapes and hand dip the ganache. then, place on the transfer sheet to set up or cut squares of transfer sheet to place on top of the dipped pieces. after the chocolate has had time to crystallize, you can remove the transfer sheet and you should have a nicely decorated piece of chocolate. you can also do this with caramels of course.

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Yes that is what I do with mine as well .

gallery_44494_2818_37783.jpg

Hand dipped chocolates/caramels, cut your transfer sheets before hand ofcourse because you need to apply the little square of transfer on the chocolate as soon as you put it on the parchment paper ( I try to use a slightly warmer chocolate for that , tempered ofcourse ).

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Yes that is what I do with mine as well .

gallery_44494_2818_37783.jpg

Hand dipped chocolates/caramels, cut your transfer sheets before hand ofcourse because you need to apply the little square of transfer on the chocolate as soon as you put it on the parchment paper ( I try to use a slightly warmer chocolate for that , tempered ofcourse ).

Those are gorgeous, Vanessa, thanks to you both for the suggestion. No downside to cutting the ganache with a sharp knife, in lieu of a guitar cutter?

Edited to add that Santa also brought me a fancy set of dipping forks, so this project is very appealing!


Edited by RuthWells (log)

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Thank you Ruth , but its all thanks to the gourgeus Pcb Transfer , they are awesome to work with as well.

Cutting ganache shouldnt be any trouble with knife ( thats how most of us does it here , since guitars are way too expensive for now ) I have used an craft hobby metal wire to cut the ganache as well ( i use that to cut rolled dough as cinnamon rolls too ).

Good luck and have fun with the new toys :biggrin:

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Thanks John, you have solved one of the magnetic mold mysteries for me! I've had problems with leaking of chocolate, due to the tapping to get the bubbles out. This makes for some quite spacy looking chocolates. The painting in of the initial coat of chocolate solves this problem beautifully.

Excellent - thanks again

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Yes that is what I do with mine as well .

gallery_44494_2818_37783.jpg

Hand dipped chocolates/caramels, cut your transfer sheets before hand ofcourse because you need to apply the little square of transfer on the chocolate as soon as you put it on the parchment paper ( I try to use a slightly warmer chocolate for that , tempered ofcourse ).

And one minor thing to add, if it hasn't already been mentioned, is that you can use a cosmetics brush ( I think it's a big "poofy" blush brush ) to smooth out the transfer square once it's applied. Hope this helps. --John

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Thanks John, you have solved one of the magnetic mold mysteries for me! I've had problems with leaking of chocolate, due to the tapping to get the bubbles out. This makes for some quite spacy looking chocolates. The painting in of the initial coat of chocolate solves this problem beautifully.

Excellent - thanks again

Hi Mette, Great to hear from you!

About this... I can still get some leaks even using the painting in; however, it usually works pretty well. Mostly, it depends on the structure sheet pattern you're using and/or the strength of the magnets in your mould. In the latest ones I bought, the magnets were so strong they nearly snapped my fingers off! O.k....slight exaggeration, but they sure did pinch me! :shock:

Have fun and watch out for those undomesticated chocolate molds! :biggrin:

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John DePaula,

First of all, thank you so much for this demo. It inspired me so much I went ahead a bought a bunch of transfers and a magnetic mold. I had my first attempt yesterday. After my first couple of runs I now have a couple questions. My first run the cocoa butter transfer did not adhere to the chocolate at all. The second time I did your trick of painting the mold first... I had more success but it still didn't transfer all the way. Any other tips? Should I adjust the temp. of the chocolate (mine was at 88.7*)

I placed the mold in the fridge just so they were easier to pop out... could that be the problem?

I would appreciate any tips you may have. Thanks again. Your chocolates were so beautiful!!

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John DePaula,

First of all, thank you so much for this demo. It inspired me so much I went ahead a bought a bunch of transfers and a magnetic mold. I had my first attempt yesterday. After my first couple of runs I now have a couple questions. My first run the cocoa butter transfer did not adhere to the chocolate at all. The second time I did your trick of painting the mold first... I had more success but it still didn't transfer all the way. Any other tips? Should I adjust the temp. of the chocolate (mine was at 88.7*)

I placed the mold in the fridge just so they were easier to pop out... could that be the problem?

I would appreciate any tips you may have. Thanks again. Your chocolates were so beautiful!!

I think that you need to adjust the temp of your chocolate upwards so that you'll get a good transfer. I assume that you're using dark chocolate, so for that I'd recommend ~91.4F (33C). You might be able to go even higher (~34C) but it just depends on the chocolate you're using.

Glad you liked the demo, artisan. Good luck and have fun!

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i'll just second what john stated. you need to use the chocolate as close to the higher end of in temper as possible in order to melt the cocoa butter on the transfer sheet so it sticks to your chocolate. i had the same problems with transfers and raising the temp of the chocolate solved the problem.

good luck!

John DePaula,

First of all, thank you so much for this demo. It inspired me so much I went ahead a bought a bunch of transfers and a magnetic mold. I had my first attempt yesterday. After my first couple of runs I now have a couple questions. My first run the cocoa butter transfer did not adhere to the chocolate at all. The second time I did your trick of painting the mold first... I had more success but it still didn't transfer all the way. Any other tips? Should I adjust the temp. of the chocolate (mine was at 88.7*)

I placed the mold in the fridge just so they were easier to pop out... could that be the problem?

I would appreciate any tips you may have. Thanks again. Your chocolates were so beautiful!!

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Great! Thank you so much. I am excited to try it out. I am using the Revolution X machine to temper. I tried adjusting the temp. because I thought that could have been my problem. When I pressed the adjustment button the temperature reading did not change.

Are you familiar with this machine? Should it show an immediate temp. change?

Thanks again. I will report back, hopefully with more success.

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