I have wanted to try out a chocolate transfer or icing transfer technique for quite some time. The idea is to draw a character in icing or chocolate that can be dropped on of top the cake. For my first attempt I used chocolate and I chose Petit Ours Brun (a french children’s book about a little brown bear and another favourites of my daughter after Peppa Pig) for its simple and cheerful little face, and his chocolate colour fur.
Icing or chocolate transfer technique
Why it’s great?
It’s great because you can:
– Make it unique. You create the decor of your choice, you just need to find a picture and no need to be good at drawing ;-)
– Make it in advance. You make it separately and during this time the cake can remain in the refrigerator.
– And above all, you put it on any type of cake.
How does it work?
You print an image of the character of your choice. Remember to print a reverse image of it. The simpler the better, and with nice big simple lines if possible (Hello Kitty is one of the most popular characters using this technique for example)! You place it under a plastic sheet and traces the outlines according to your template. Then it can be filled with colours. Allow to cool or set until taking it of the plastic sheet and lay it gently on the cake.
The plastic sheet?
The ideal is to use a rhodoïd sheet that is specifically made to work with food. But sometimes you have to buy a hundred sheet when you only need one, which can be quite troublesome… Instead, you can a use a plastic sheet protector (you know, the perforated plastic sheet used in binders which our children will soon wonder what they are meant for). Choose one as smooth as possible and slightly stiff (not grainy and slightly opaque otherwise the transfer will not be smooth). And don’t forget to wash it before you use it ;-)
Icing or chocolate?
You can transfer images either using icing or chocolate. I like the chocolate version better of course, but a chocolate decor cannot be prepared much in advance because it only keeps for 2 or 3 days. If you want it to last longer, use royal icing or buttercream. If using chocolate, make sure to use liposoluble food colouring as chocolate does not mix well with water and thus colourings containing it. Also, if you want to avoid too much hassle with tempering chocolate, consider ordering candy melts that do not require tempering and also exist in different colours.
Serves 6-8 children
- one 20cm diameter cake of your choice
- 150g dark chocolate 60%
- 250g (25 cl) double cream
- 60g honey
- 60g butter at room temperature, diced
- 150g white chocolate
- 150g dark chocolate
- Red food colouring for chocolate*
- 1 A4 sheet cover
- 1 Little Brown Bear template printed on A4
- Before starting the preparation of frosting, remove the cake from its ting and reserve it in the freezer. Melt chocolate in double boiler. In another saucepan, bring the cream and honey to a boil. Make an emulsion: stir the cream in the chocolate in 3 times using a spatula until the mix is smooth and elastic. Add the butter. Let the mixture cool to 30-34°C.
- Take out your cake from the freezer and place it on a rack. Immediately pour the icing in center and let cover the sides. Smooth with a spatula. Let set 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Keep refrigerated.
- Slide the face of Little Brown Bear in the plastic cover.
- Begin by melting white chocolate in the microwave (500W no more) for 1 minute, stir. Then continue to melt, stirring every 30 seconds with a spatula until ⅔ of the chocolate has melted. Finish when melting chocolate with a spatula.
- Draw white of the eye with a toothpick directly on the plastic cover placed on a board. Melt the dark chocolate in the same way as white. Put 2 tablespoons melted chocolate soup in a piping bag fitted with a small plain round tip and draw the outline of Little Brown Bear's face directly on the cover, as well as the outline and inside of his eyes and his nose. Let set a few seconds in the the freezer. Colour a little white chocolate with a drop of red food colouring until pink and fill the tongue with a toothpick.
- In a bowl mix ⅔ black chocolate and ⅓ white chocolate (if needed, use the microwave to make the mix more liquid). Spread the dark brown chocolate all over the face of Little Brown Bear except on the muzzle and inside of the ears.
- Take a little of this brown chocolate and add a little white chocolate to get a lighter brown. Fill with the muzzle and the ears. Let set 5 minutes in the freezer (no more). Flip the face on a board and then gently peel off the cover.
- Gently slide the face of Little Brown Bear on the cake.