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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Tricks of the Trade: How Transfer Sheets Work

Out of all the questions we receive at Hedonist, one of the most frequently asked is, "How do you get those designs on your chocolate?"  We make an array of chocolates with colorful, completely edible designs that appear to be printed on the surface of the chocolate itself. Is it magic? Almost. Introducing a chocolatier's secret weapon: transfer sheets!

Think of transfer sheets like those temporary tattoos that were especially popular in the 90s. With temporary tattoos, special paper printed with an image is applied to the skin, dampened with a cloth, and then peeled away, leaving the image behind. Transfer sheets for chocolate work much the same way: an image is printed in dyed cocoa butter on a sheet of cellulose acetate (the same material film is made from) and applied to melted chocolate. When the chocolate has set, the acetate is peeled away, and the cocoa butter “tattoo” is left behind on the surface of the chocolate. Here are some of our bittersweet truffles, part of our Classic Collection, decorated using transfer sheets:

The transfer sheets in the photo above are printed with a repeating pattern in green cocoa butter, but you can print (almost) anything on a transfer sheet. Stripes, polka dots, text, and logos are all popular choices with clients looking to customize their chocolate order. Whether you want wedding truffles printed with the bride and groom’s initials, or a corporate gift branded with your company logo, transfer sheets can make it possible.

At Hedonist, we also use transfer sheets to showcase the work of local artists. For ten years, we’ve featured the designs of Rochester artists in our Valentine’s Day collections. To make these custom transfer sheets, the design is rendered digitally and sent to a company for printing (unfortunately Hedonist does not have a cocoa butter printer!). Each individual design must be trimmed from the larger acetate sheet and applied by hand, one by one, to each truffle. Trust us, it’s worth it.

This year’s Valentine’s Day collection was created in collaboration with Brittany Statt of Bee Paper House. The honey-infused, chocolate-covered caramels are decorated with five beehive-themed images and a letterpress-printed tag. Ten-piece boxes of the “Be My Honey Bee” collection are available for a limited time, so grab one for you Valentine before they’re all gone.

Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
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