Saturday, November 7, 2015

Homemade Sprinkles made with vegetable dyes!

Sprinkles? Where did I come up with that one? Well, I saw Christina Tosi's stunning birthday crumble cake and simply became obsessed and channeled my inner child (though I have yet to grow up!). I have a faint memory of blowing out candles from a rainbow sprinkles cake at age 5 in Bombay. And then when I got to America, the sprinkles saga continued because what was ice cream without colorful sprinkles?

While these sprinkles still contain refined sugar, they aren't made with egg whites or artificial dyes. I made my own sprinkles using vegetables right from my fridge! It's easy and would make the perfect present!

Oh Sugar!
Some people think that natural sugar from fruits will not make them fat or ruin their teeth. But the cold fact is that sugar is sugar. This carbohydrate will make you fat if those calories are not burned. That said, eating fruits (dried and fresh) include a bucket load of fantastic nutrients so it is indeed better to consume them than refined sugar. And remember, at the end of the day it's all about balance. If you've already eaten an apple, then perhaps you ought to avoid that sweet cookie or cake. And if you've eaten a cookie, eat less of the fruit or you end up having an overload of sugar!

Now back to these sprinkles. It was my first trial making them. I found that it was hard to get that vibrant red color. I ended up with a pink color from beets. The raw, unpeeled carrot produced a very brownish color so maybe I ought to have cooked them next time? I initially used mango sauce for the yellow one but I think turmeric powder would produce the brightest yellow next time. Blue was the trickiest. I boiled purple kale stems (you could also use purple cabbage) and then added a pinch of baking soda which created blue from purple. The blue ended up not right when mixed with sugar unfortunately, so I used coconut flakes which ended up as a nice green color. The best was chocolate sprinkles because that was just the magic of cocoa powder. Play around with it and create some kitchen magic! Let me know if you succeed in creating natural blues and reds!

Homemade sprinkles
Makes about a half cup

Base recipe:
1 Tbs / msk sugar
1 tsp / tsk potato or corn starch
A pinch of vanilla
A few drops of your vegetable dyes

Brown sprinkles:
1/2 Tbs / msk sugar
1 Tbs / msk cocoa
1/2 tsp / tsk corn starch
A little water to combine
Blend together to create a thick liquid.

2 Tbs / msk raw beets
4 Tbs / msk water
Puree the beets with water, then add a few drops to the sugar, starch and vanilla and create a thick liquid.

2 Tbs / msk purple cabbage
5 Tbs / msk water
Boil purple cabbage or purple kale stems in water. Once it imparts color, drain and save the liquid. Sprinkle purple onto 3 tablespoons of coconut flakes for purple color. Add a pinch of baking soda to the leftover purple to create blue-green. Pour onto coconut flakes and allow to dry.

1 Tbs / msk sugar
1 tsp / tsk potato or corn starch
A pinch of vanilla
1/2 tsp / tsk turmeric powder
Combine all together and create a thick liquid. Add extra turmeric powder for a more vibrant color.

Pour each color liquid into a resealable bag or pastry bag with a tiny tip and pipe onto parchment paper in thin lines. Allow to dry at room temperature for a day or two. Once completely dry, crumble with fingers and store in an airtight container.

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