How to use powdered food coloring

Written by gregory m. dew
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Food colouring powders are a great way to alter the appearance of food without affecting the taste. They work well with foods that are not meant to be mixed with water. While dying food is easy, achieving a desired colour with the powders may take some trial and error. The powders are highly concentrated; use them sparingly. Use them in the most natural light possible to achieve the truest colour representation. After the colour is mixed with food such as icing, let the mixture sit for a few minutes prior to use for the colour to darken fully.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Food-grade brush

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Instructions

    Colouring Icing

  1. 1

    Open the shades on windows to let natural light into the workspace. Fluorescent lighting alters the shade of colours; working in as much natural daylight as possible will make achieving a desired colour shade easier.

  2. 2

    Spoon the icing into a bowl. Sprinkle a little food colouring powder on top of the icing and stir.

  3. 3

    Allow the coloured icing to sit for five minutes. The colour will fully develop in this time. If you need a darker colour, sprinkle a little more powder into the bowl and stir. Allow the colour to develop again before deciding if the colour is right or not. Repeat if desired.

    Painting Food

  1. 1

    Set up in a naturally lit workspace.

  2. 2

    Pour some lemon extract or drinking alcohol into a bowl. Sprinkle some food colouring powder in with the liquid and stir.

  3. 3

    Allow the coloured liquid to sit for five minutes. The colour will fully develop in this time. Sprinkle a little more powder into the bowl and stir if you want a darker shade. Allow the colour to develop again before deciding if the colour is right or not. Repeat if desired.

  4. 4

    Dip a food-grade brush in the coloured liquid to apply to food.

    Dusting

  1. 1

    Add the food colouring powder to sugar or other dry ingredients.

  2. 2

    Stir the powder and other dry ingredients together.

  3. 3

    Use this mixture for dusting food as you would use granulated sugar, coconut flakes and other dry products.

Tips and warnings

  • Powdered food colours do not mix with water.
  • Use powders sparingly, they can stain skin and clothing.

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