I’ve used chocolate transfer paper once or twice to embellish molded chocolates but I’ve never been confident enough to use it as a cake wrap. Intimidation held me back and I have never been a fan of throwing away money – specifically $7 for a single transfer sheet if I flubbed the job.
Maybe it was the recent success over poured fondant that has given me the confidence to try again. Maybe it was the simultaneous discovery of chocolate-honey cake and a cheerful honeycomb chocolate transfer. I don’t know, but in the end the task was much easier than I’d made it out to be in my head.
As expected, my first-time wrap results are not perfect. Novice mistakes are apparent. The chocolate bloomed a little due to overheating, and the honeycomb pattern became skewed in places. Even so, I think if you are good at following directions, you will be at least as successful as I was with this endeavor; which, in my opinion, is not too shabby!
The honey glaze on the cake has a nice stickiness to it. Plenty enough to hold the chocolate wrap in place. I’ve made a short video of the glazing and transfer paper wrapping process in case you’re wondering exactly how to execute the technique.
(Email subscribers may need to click over to the SB site to view the video.)
I will say this. The instructions that came with the transfer said to cut the paper to fit the side of the cake exactly. I had something more sculptural in mind, so I didn’t follow that suggestion and my chocolate wrap towered high over the top of the cake. I can see how it would be much easier to fit the sheet to the cake’s exact measurements, so novices may want to follow the manufacturer’s rule on the first go around.
You can find an excellent resource for chocolate transfer sheets here.
One more thing, I made this cake in my food processor! If you prefer a stand mixer, you can find the instructions here.
Chocolate-Honey Cake [printable version]
Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe:
Yield: one 9” cake
Note: I made this
cake in a 6” pan so the chocolate transfer sheet would better fit around the
circumference of the cake. The extra
batter was baked into cupcakes. The
directions below are for the 6” cake.
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 sticks soft butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
4 oz. chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Valhrona milk
1 cup very hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 6” spring-form pan with
shortening and line bottom with parchment paper circle. Grease parchment.
- Melt 4oz. of chocolate in the
microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth.
- In the bowl of a food processor
fitted with steel blade add sugar, butter, honey, eggs, flour, baking soda and cocoa. Process in a few short bursts until just
- Add melted chocolate and process
- With the processor running, pour
in the hot water. Process until
smooth. Batter will be thin.
- Fill the spring-form pan 2/3 full
and place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15minutes. (Remaining batter can be used for cupcakes.) When done, the cake will spring back when
pressed in the center and a toothpick tester should come out clean. Let cool completely in the spring-form pan.
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
6 oz. Semisweet
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- In a small saucepan, bring water
and honey to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate
chips. Whisk until well combined.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk
again until smooth.
- Run a knife between the cake and spring-form
pan to loosen it, then unclip the pan and remove the ring to make sure it
removes cleanly. Pick up cake and
remove the parchment circle, then place the cake back on the spring-form
base. Put the spring-form ring back
around the cake, but don’t clip it tight.
- Place cake in cake pan on a large length
of wax paper.
- Pour glaze over cake inside pan,
letting the glaze run down the sides of the cake.
- Let stand for 10 minutes, and then
remove the cake ring. The glaze will
flow around the sides of the cake.
- Using a spatula, transfer the cake
to a serving platter lined with strips of wax paper.
Chocolate transfer sheet:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 10×16 chocolate transfer sheet, honeycomb pattern
- Using an X-acto knife or pair of
scissors, carefully cut transfer paper into two long pieces (two 5×16
- Measure cake and trim transfer paper
to fit sides of cake exactly (or don’t – if you like my presentation). You will use one strip and part of the other
strip. These will be pieced together
- Very gently – melt chocolate. I rushed this process in the microwave, and
the chocolate bloomed a little, so do this in a double boiler.
- Examine the transfer paper to make
sure you are applying the chocolate to the correct side. You should notice the correct side is less
shiny and you can feel the design if you lightly touch it.
- Using an off-set spatula, thinly
spread chocolate over the transfer pieces.
Let stand until chocolate loses
its gloss but is still malleable. This takes 5-10 minutes, depending on the humidity
in your house.
- Wrap cake with transfer
sheet. The large piece will go most of
the way around the cake. Place the
smaller piece side by side (no overlapping!) in the gap the larger sheet did
- If you are using the same
technique I did, you’ll need skewers or toothpicks to hold the transfer sheet upright above
the cake’s surface. Place them around
the inside edge of the cake to hold the transfer paper in place.
- Let chocolate harden
completely. You’ll know it’s ready when the
chocolate is completely rigid. Peel off paper, revealing the honeycomb print and embellish as desired.
Note: I created an organic shape by snapping
pieces off the top edge of the chocolate and used the pieces to decorate the
top of the cake.