Tips when using powder colours
Icing colours: powder colour is designed for colouring icing, chocolate, royal icing, fondant, marzipan etc. They are concentrated and will give vivid or deep colours without changing the consistency of your icing.
Mixing colour in icing: mix powder colour with a tiny bit of shortening, oil, olive oil or butter before using. Oil helps the colours develop to their full strength. Add small amounts of colour at a time, until you have the desired colour.
Royal icing requires more colour than buttercream icing to achieve the same colour intensity. To keep the colour consistent on the cake, mix enough of any one icing colour for the entire cake. It is difficult to match the same shade of colour again.
When making deep colours, such as black, brown, red, orange or royal blue, use food colours in larger amounts than normal. Deep colours are recommended for accent colours only. When icing is coloured deep red or black, a bitter aftertaste may be detected.
Colour changes: colour your icing 1-2 hours before decorating. Colours might strengthen or fade slightly after they have set. Lemon juice or cream of tartar can cause colours to change, for example, violet will become blue. If the recipe has one of these ingredients in it, omit it. In addition, water can cause colour changes depending upon your geographical area. If buttercream icing is made with water, replace some of the water with milk or milk powder. Brown colour occasionally has a green overtone to it. This usually occurs with the presence of acid in the icing, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar. Omit the acid if tinting icing brown. Dissolving brown colour in 1/4 teaspoon oil before adding to icing will eliminate the green tone.
Marble effects: by stacking different shades of tinted icing in your bag, you can achieve a marble effect to your decorations.
Bag striping effects: to achieve a two-tone effect, add a different colour on the side of the bag before you put in your tinted icing. This way, you can create flowers with light and dark tones or create a clown with striped shirt and trousers.
Brush striping: produces more intense multi-colours because it is done with icing colour brushed directly on the side of a bag. Apply one or more stripes of icing colour to the sides of the bag with a decorating brush, and then fill the bag with white or tinted icing. Your decorations will come out striped.
Spatula striping: produces two-tone and realistic flowers and figure piping. Use a spatula to strip the side of a decorating bag with tinted icing. Fill the bag with white or a contrasting shade of icing. Your decorations will consist of soft contrasts.
Lightening colours: white-white is used for lightening icing that has been coloured too dark. White buttercream made with butter or margarine can be whitened with white-white food colour.
Staining: colours can stain teeth, skin and clothing. Washing the area with soap and warm water will remove colour from skin and clothing. Bleach can be used on counter tops to remove stains. Lukewarm water should be used first to spot stained colour. Rinse thoroughly, allow drying. If colour is still visible use a commercial cleaner on the garment, carpet, upholstery, etc.
Tips when making chocolates
Before you begin make sure all your utensils are dry. Water causes chocolate to harden and streak.
Microwave oven: melt choc at 50% power and stir/squeeze every 20s. As soon as the choc is melted pour, squirt or squeeze the choc into the moulds from a:
• bowl with a pouring spout.
• disposable squeezing bag.
• melting bottle (like red tomato sauce bottle with spout)
Chocolate can also be melted in a
• double boiler
• slow cooker
• warming tray: this is handy if you want to have a few melted colours handy simultaneously.