We all know the wonderful health benefits of beets, but its vivid colour is also a great way to add the finishing touches to our baked treats without the artificial dyes.
We asked our friends at Tori’s Bakeshop to give us their tips and tricks for making the best icing the most natural way:
1) There are two ways to add colour: juicing a fruit or root or adding a potent powder or spice. For example, the icing on the “Homer Simpson”-style baked donuts are bright pink from beets, which were juiced and strained. Blueberries make a wonderful blue. For green, use chlorophyll (we prefer the liquid version versus the powder version, but both can be used). And adding turmeric powder to a white frosting gives a soft or bright yellow, depending on how much you use.
2) With fruit, it can be helpful to cook it first in order to remove excess water and condense the colour, making in the process a concentrated syrup that can be refrigerated and used for multiple applications.
3) None of these natural additives offer any kind of flavour change when used in the amounts needed to add some colour, but the best rule is to always start with a small amount and mix well to see how your dye batch affects your batter; you can always add more.
4) Note that these dyes work best on a blank white canvas, like frosting, and less well in golden tinted batters like cake or dough.
5) It’s important to note that no matter how much you add, these colours will naturally be softer than their primary or secondary cousins, so if you’re looking to use these tips to make an all natural Superman emblem on your four year-old’s party cake, I’m sorry to say they will be kryptonite-esque to your valiant effort.
6) Have fun and experiment with the colours! And remember that you will be so much better off for the lack of artificial dyes which can be very unhealthy for you.