Posts Tagged ‘food colouring’





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.

Top: coconut, kinako and cinnamon chocolate. Bottom: original white chocolate block.

Orange zest, turmeric and chili chocolate.

Red berry, red beet & kinako and red berry & cornflower chocolate.

Cornflower, seaweed and green tea chocolate.

Black sesame dessert powder, poppy seed and black sesame chocolate.


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.

how to blue purple food coloring colouring savoury red cabbage

how to blue purple food coloring colouring savoury red cabbage

Note: The food colouring is diluted with water in this picture.

In this tutorial, you can learn how to make natural blue and purple food colouring that can be used to dye savoury dishes. It’s quite simple – all the ingredients you need are red cabbage, vinegar and baking soda. Red cabbage is a vegetable with an interesting property: it serves as an ph indicator. Wikipedia quote: “Red Cabbage juice is pink in acidic solutions, purple in solutions of ~pH7, and turns blue in basic solutions, and green in very basic solutions.” Amazing, isn’t it? We can obviously use that to our advantage.

Oh and you can learn how to make use of the homemade colouring. There are instructions for making a blue radish rose at the bottom.

Homemade Blue & Purple Food Colouring

Cooking Soundtrack: Elvis Presley – Blue Suede Shoes

  • red cabbage
  • acidic ingredient, for example regular vinegar
  • alkaline ingredient, for example baking soda
  1. Wash the cabbage and cut out the stem.
  2. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Put it into a cooking pot and add water until the cabbage is covered.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.
  5. You now have a purple solution that still has cabbage aroma to it. Add vinegar for a more pinkish purple and baking soda for blue. Start with small amounts and gradually increase until you reach the desired colour. Keep in mind that vinegar and baking soda affect the taste of the food colouring, so don’t overdose it. Plus I guess eating too much baking soda may bear a health risk.
  6. You can substitute vinegar with other acidic solutions, for example white wine or lemon juice. Baking soda can be substituted with spinach juice, green tea and other alkaline food.
  7. You can dye a variety of food with this colouring. White food items are most prone to absorb the colour. Examples: cauliflower, couscous, pasta, egg whites,  mashed potatoes, steamed bread, white radish etc.
  8. Be aware of pH values when mixing your food colouring with other ingredients. It’s impossible to dye a vinegar based salad dressing blue for example. Making blue yogurt probably requires an extra pinch of baking soda, and so on.
  9. The colour of red cabbage juice in itself isn’t susceptible to heating but telling from my experience that isn’t the case when you add baking soda. Heating the food colouring AFTER you’ve added baking soda turns the mixture greenish. So I suggest you either add the baking soda after the cooking process of the dish has finished, or, if that’s not possible, like in the case of steamed bread,  you simply reduce the amount added and experiment a bit.

How to make a Blue Radish Rose

  • white radish
  • salt
  • blue food colouring
  • sugar
  1. Peel and slice the radish with a mandoline. I made 1mm slices.
  2. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the bottom of a container, then place the slices inside and sprinkle with salt again. Let it stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash the salt away and add food colouring mixed with a tsp of sugar  to the container so the slices are covered well. Let the radish absorb the colour for a few hours.
  4. When the desired nuance is obtained, layer 6 slices like shown in the picture.
  5. Roll them. Cut the roll in the middle and pull the “petals” of the roses apart. If that’s hard to do, cut a bit of the bottom part away.
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