How to Use Edible Gold Leaf

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to Use Edible Gold Leaf
Edible gold leaf is available in a variety of colourful gold tones. (gold leaf image by Nicemonkey from

Use edible gold leaf to take a food dish to a new level of decadence. Edible gold leaf is a thin sheet of real gold intended to be used as a garnish. Thin pieces of gold are added to desserts, beverages and savoury foods to give a sparkling gold shine to the surface. Ingested gold leaf passes through the body unchanged, causing no internal reaction. Surprise guests at a dinner gathering by presenting an item with edible real gold on top.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Walk-in freezer (optional)
  • Round soft-bristled paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Pull an individual sheet of edible gold leaf out of the book in a cool dry area where the air is still. Excessive heat, moisture and wind makes it difficult to transfer the edible gold leaf from the stack to the food without folding, wrinkling or breaking. Some cooks prefer to apply edible gold leaf in the cold and dry air of a walk-in freezer.

  2. 2

    Lower the edible gold leaf onto the finished food or beverage item and lift away the paper backing if one is attached. Some edible gold leaf is pressed onto a smooth paper backing while others use rough paper to keep the sheets divided.

  3. 3

    Tap lightly on the gold leaf with a soft-bristled round paintbrush in areas where it is not making contact with the food or beverage item. Press the gold sheet down gently until the entire piece sticks to the surface. Flecks of gold leaf that are not fully attached often blow away as the food is being transported to the table.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut the sheets of edible gold leaf with sharp scissors to customise their size and shape before applying them to the food or beverage.
  • Edible gold leaf is very expensive so use it sparingly.

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