Creating desserts with dark and white chocolate is great, but sometimes you may get bored with the restricted choice of colours. Since my recent post about the simple chocolate painting technique I’ve felt the urge to find methods to dye chocolate so I could paint more elaborate pictures.
The difficulty is that chocolate doesn’t mix well with regular liquid food colouring, so I decided to go with powder alternatives instead, some of them homemade. I refrained from using artificial food colouring. It’s not that I condemn it because of fear of health risks – It’s rather because I like being challenged. The fact that I, erm, don’t have access to artificial colouring powder might count as a reason as well. Colouring with natural ingredients is more fun anyway because it enhances appearance as well as flavour!
I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting and came up with 15 ways to colour and flavour white chocolate naturally. But I’m sure there are a lot more ways to do it! I would be glad if you shared your own ideas in the comment section.
In all the examples here, I melted regular white chocolate in block form, mixed it with the corresponding powder and let it harden in a silicone mold. (If you like it, you can buy it here). Per piece, I mixed 8 grams of chocolate with 1-4 measured pinches of powder (1 pinch = 0.5ml). And I sieved the powder whenever I could.
How to make White Chocolate with Coconut
Simply mix in instant coconut milk powder. I used 3 pinches for one piece.
- Colour: Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I think the coconut chocolate is whiter than the original white chocolate.
- Flavour: Didn’t really taste like coconut! I blame it on the poor quality of the instant powder.
How to make Beige Chocolate with Kinako
Kinako (toasted soybean flour) is available at Japanese grocery stores, but you could also prepare it yourself by following this recipe here. I added 3 pinches.
- Colour: Very nice and even colour that can be used if you’re aiming for sand or skin tones.
- Flavour: Kinako on its own is a disgrace but mixed with sweet stuff it’s delicious (try kinako ice cream!). The taste will remind you of peanut butter.
How to make Brown Chocolate with Cinnamon
2 pinches of ground cinnamon, that’s all there is to it.
- Colour: Well, it’s brown. Not too exciting…
- Flavour: Fabulicious! Looks like regular chocolate but tastes different.
How to make Yellow Chocolate with Orange Zest
You need an organic, thoroughly washed orange and zest it. Heat the zest in the microwave for about 5 minutes until it’s dry and grind it in a mortar or with a machine. I used 2 pinches.
- Colour: Nice orange-yellow! Depending on how finely you grind it, texture is more or less visible.
- Flavour: Quite a pronounced orange aroma with a bitter note that fits perfectly with white chocolate.
How to make Yellow Chocolate with Turmeric
Turmeric powder is easily available at Asian markets. I added only one pinch.
- Colour: What an intense and consistent colour! It has a hint of ochre in it.
- Flavour: Not too good. It tasted a little soapy to be honest. Next time, I’ll definitely add less powder.
How to make Orange Chocolate with Chili
I ground Korean chili for this one and added 2 pinches. Korean chili is superb, seriously.
- Colour: Beautiful grainy orange.
- Flavour: Not bad at all, but very spicy! Probably best in combination with dark chocolate.
How to make Pink Chocolate with Red Berries
For this one, you need to grind freeze-dried red berries. Regular dried berries won’t do because they’re too chewy. It may be difficult to find this, so here’s a trick: buy Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries cereal and pick out the fruit pieces :-D. I used a freeze-dried berry selection with strawberry, red currant and raspberry. Pinches added: 3.
- Colour: Gorgeous pink with little grains.
- Flavour: Fantastic! An intense fruity aroma with a bit of a sour note. This flavour is certainly a crowd-pleaser. Be sure to make a big batch!
How to make Red(ish) Chocolate with Red Beet & Kinako
I used a little trick for this one: Mix a bit of kinako powder with and equal amount of red beet juice and heat it in the microwave for a few minutes until it’s dry. Grind it and you have sort of an instant red beet powder! I used 3 pinches.
- Colour: It’s not a profound red – it’s more like pinkish red wine colour I guess.
- Flavour: Much to my surprise it didn’t taste like beets at all. It tasted like a mixture of fruits and nuts.
How to make Purple (?) Chocolate with Red Berries & Cornflower
Grind freeze-dried red berries and dried cornflower (see blue and pink chocolate for more information) together. I used 3 pinches.
- Colour: Well, it was supposed to look like purple but actually, the colour is rather unidentifiable…
- Flavour: The berry flavour was dominant.
How to make Blue Chocolate with Cornflower
Cornflower (not to be confused with cornflour) is a flower with an intense blue colour. It’s also known under the Latin name Centaurea Cyanus. Getting dried cornflower petals is probably a bit difficult. Try your luck in stores that specialise on condiments or tea. I ground the cornflower with a few grains of salt and used 2 pinches.
- Colour: A pale, greyish blue with texture.
- Flavour: Nice, but not a very distinct aroma. It reminded me a bit of lavender.
How to make Green Chocolate with Seaweed
Don’t say I’m crazy! Commercially sold seaweed chocolate does exist after all. I used Aonori, which is a type of Japanese seaweed (often used as an okonomiyaki topping), but other types of thin dried seaweed layers should work fine, too. Roast the seaweed before grinding. I used 2 pinches.
- Colour: Pale olive green with little grains.
- Flavour: It’s chocolate with an intense seaweed flavour! Without a doubt, it does take getting used to. You either hate it or love it.
How to make Green Chocolate with Green Tea Powder
Simply use matcha green tea powder. You should be able to get this in Japanese grocery stores. One pinch was enough.
- Colour: A very strong, dark green and even colour.
- Flavour: Green tea chocolate is rather bitter, but delicious. Don’t miss out on that one.
How to make Grey Chocolate with Black Sesame Dessert Powder
I used black sesame instant dessert powder that I bought at an Asian grocery store. I think you’re supposed to make hot sesame dessert soup with it (?). I added 4 pinches of it.
- Colour: Light grey colour with a few grains.
- Flavour: It’s okay, but not delicious. Doesn’t compare to the real thing at all.
How to make Grey Chocolate with Poppy Seed
Roast the poppy seeds and grind them. You won’t get powder from this but it will blend with the chocolate anyway. I used 2 pinches.
- Colour: A grainy grey with a hint of brown.
- Flavour: I didn’t really like it. It tasted a bit like rubber. What went wrong?
How to make Grey Chocolate with Black Sesame Seeds
Roast and grind, just like the poppy seeds. I used 3 pinches.
- Colour: Dark grey with black grains.
- Flavour: Yummy! Intense roasted black sesame flavour with a hint of bitterness. One of the most popular flavours of this selection.
Your head is spinning with more ideas? I’d love to hear them.