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Dark Fondant Colors: How and Why?


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48 replies to this topic

#31 bkeith

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:37 AM

When I need a deep color in fondant or gum paste, I'll generally make a batch from scratch (but then I make all my own fondant) using airbrush color in place of the water in the recipe. Works great, and no kneading paste color in.

Also this stuff takes food color off of skin better than anything else I've tried. Smells great too.
B. Keith Ryder
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#32 joshalow

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:50 AM

I too make my fondant, and add the colors right into the liquid mixture before mixing it into the sugar- no kneeding it in as bkeith said. That's a great idea, though bkeith, of using the airbrush color in place of the water- I'll have to give that one a try. Thanks for sharing that tip. I do like the Americolor gels that Deborah mentioned. Their black and their red are incredible. If using another food color/paste, I will use a bit of other colors, such as brown, purple and blue along with the black so that I don't have to use soo much of the black.

#33 chefpeon

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 04:21 PM

I got a few little smudges of corn starch on the top, which I cannot, for the life of me, brush out or smooth off.

When that happens to me, I rub a little oil on my fingertips, then run my fingers over the smudge, and it disappears.....it's like "Pledge" for cakes! :smile:

Thanks, Keith for the tip on subbing the water for airbrush color. If I ever make my own fondant, I'll do that. :smile:

#34 mignardise

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 09:27 PM

Couple years ago, I did a cake enrobed with lavender fondant......after a couple of hours later it turned light blue.
What happened? Never really figured it out, and never had to do another one again.
Well......I just got a request for a lavender cake, but hesitant to do one again.
What caused this reaction?
Thanks.

#35 chiantiglace

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 10:56 PM

Have you ever seen lavender? its light blue/grey/purple. Thats like asking why your basil fondant turned green.

I'm sorry, if you need a better answer than that all I can say is working your fondant with the lavender absords the pigment as well with time and warmth.
Dean Anthony Anderson
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#36 Carleen

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 11:09 PM

What brand of icing color did you use? I've heard that this can happen with the Wilton colors, particularly lavender.

#37 SweetSide

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 03:17 AM

Red dye is the fasted pigment to fade. (Just ask my hair colorist for confirmation!). So, when doing lavendar or any purple colors, the red will fade out fastest, leaving behind the blue pigments.

One way to slow this color change down is to keep the item out of the light as much as possible. Of course quality of the colorant pays a part, but they will all fade. Keep the cake in the fridge, in a closet, in as dim a light as possible.

My chef, who does wedding cakes, won't do purples in the icing....
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#38 JeanneCake

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 04:14 AM

I've had the best luck with lavenders by using the Grape Violet paste color from Sugarflair (I get it from Creativecutters.com or from beryls.com).

It reminds me of a funny story... I did a three tier square lavender cake, dropped it off at 10 am (it was a last minute order... the restaurant called on Tuesday for the same week and of course doesn't have time to send me a swatch) and at 4, the function manager is calling me saying the cake is pink, not lavender. I promptly took a picture of the left over lavender fondant, which was still lavender, btw, a piece of pink fondant that I'd been working with and a lavender gum paste rose, all together on a white cake board, emailed it to her and never heard a peep from her again about it.

For pale colors, I usually wait until just before I'm working on the cake to color the fondant - for deeper colors I do it the day before.

#39 K8memphis

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 05:50 AM

My friend told me that Chefmaster sells the no fade purple but I have never used it. And Caljava sells lavender fondant. But I would not want to do a lavender covered cake either.

I would get the no fade stuff & test it. But even in the coupla hours the cake sits out colors can evaporate or change. I mean it's hard enough to talk brides out of setting their cake outside, much less keeping cake tables & stuff from windows & streams of light.

#40 Sugarella

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 02:31 PM

Yes, purples fade to blue, just like Sweetside said.

I haven't tried the chefmaster so I don't know if it'll fade or not, but for icing you can add some milk and the lactic acid will keep the colour from fading, provided you keep it out of sunlight and away from fluorescent lights. It'd be pretty tough to mix milk into fondant though.

Do you have time before this cake is due to order an airbrush? The airbrush colours don't fade, and it's also much quicker to airbrush a whole cake than to mix up all that fondant to be the right shade. I airbrush everything now....no mixing, no stained hands, no blue teeth for wedding guests.... :smile:

#41 mignardise

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 11:39 AM

Thanks everyone.....

Hey JeanneCake....how are you? I love the Sugarflair colors.

The cake I am doing is just a light tint of lavender. Airbrushing is an option.

Thanks again, I'll have to think about this one.

#42 devlin

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:41 PM

Will any of the colorings/dyes used in fondant turn folks' teeth the same color? If I use blue to color fondant, for example, and people actually eat the fondant, is there a danger it'll color people's teeth?

#43 Tri2Cook

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:10 PM

Yes.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#44 devlin

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:34 PM

Yes.

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Yay! I thought so. Although if you'd said no I'd have come up with some excuse not to do it. I'm just opposed generally to making a blue cake. It seems like one of the most unappealing looks in a cake and I can't think I'd feel compelled to eat a blue cake myself.

#45 Tri2Cook

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:00 AM

There may be a ton of "not if you use" or things of that nature that others can contribute, I'm not a cake decorator, but most colors I've used for fondants and icings when cornered into doing cakes have left taste-testers with tongues and/or teeth to match the decor. Since I don't love decorating in that manner in the first place, I don't worry about it too much. If they ask for a red cake with black trim that's what they get. That makes some nice looking teeth.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#46 devlin

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:24 AM

Yes.

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Yay! I thought so. Although if you'd said no I'd have come up with some excuse not to do it. I'm just opposed generally to making a blue cake. It seems like one of the most unappealing looks in a cake and I can't think I'd feel compelled to eat a blue cake myself.

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I get that people want interesting looking cakes, and I suppose if it's strictly for decoration and they don't intend to actually eat it, then that would be one thing, but a blue cake? I've seen them, and even Martha Stewart's blue wedding cakes (or, I guess, Kromer's probably) put me off, as beautiful as some of them are. There's just no way I look at a blue (or green) cake and think, "Wow, can't wait to put that in my mouth." They end up reminding me of quilts or anyway fabric of some sort, which is sort of gag-provoking.

#47 chefpeon

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:52 AM

As a specialty cake designer, I've used all sorts of colors to decorate cakes with. Fondant doesn't so much color the teeth as buttercream does. Most people really don't eat the fondant, judging from all the returned plates with the fondant pushed off to one side.

Also consider the fact that if you ARE going to color a cake blue or black or deep red, it's preferable to use fondant simply for the fact that you CAN choose not to eat it. It's a bit more difficult to "peel" buttercream off of a cake and avoid eating it. I always tell my clients this.

If someone does insist on something as horrible as black buttercream, then I get a secret kick out of imagining them all with black teeth and purple tongues. :raz:

#48 devlin

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

As a specialty cake designer, I've used all sorts of colors to decorate cakes with. Fondant doesn't so much color the teeth as buttercream does. Most people really don't eat the fondant, judging from all the returned plates with the fondant pushed off to one side.

Also consider the fact that if you ARE going to color a cake blue or black or deep red, it's preferable to use fondant simply for the fact that you CAN choose not to eat it. It's a bit more difficult to "peel" buttercream off of a cake and avoid eating it. I always tell my clients this.

If someone does insist on something as horrible as black buttercream, then I get a secret kick out of imagining them all with black teeth and purple tongues. :raz:

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Since I'm just starting to add wedding cakes to my business, I really don't want my very first cake to be blue. In fact I don't want any of my cakes to be blue. Period. I can't help it. It makes me crazy. Thankfully, I managed to talk the couple out of the blue cake.

#49 chefpeon

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:10 PM

Since I'm just starting to add wedding cakes to my business, I really don't want my very first cake to be blue. In fact I don't want any of my cakes to be blue. Period. I can't help it. It makes me crazy. Thankfully, I managed to talk the couple out of the blue cake.


Well, all I can say about that is, if you want to be in the wedding cake business, be prepared to handle special requests. Color is very trendy these days. If you turn down cakes simply for the fact that the bride wants color in her icing/fondant you may be cutting off your nose to spite your own face. :wink:

I know I'd lose half my business if I had that policy. :laugh: