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Edible stenciling?


BekkiM
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I'm planning a "Seven Deadly Sins" menu for my New Years Eve dinner party and, while I have the menu pretty much decided, I'm struggling with plating. Over much wine on Friday evening, someone suggested that I stencil the sins onto the plates. The first idea was to etch the sins onto glass plates (I've done something similar before), but as I'm serving a 7-course tasting menu for 16 people, I'm not sure I want to own 112 "sins" plates that probably won't get used again (although I suppose there's always craigslist). The second idea was to do some sort of edible stencil, but that's where I'm stuck.

Do you think I could spray the stencil with something like pam so an edible powder (flour? powdered sugar? cornstarch?) would cling to the plate? Has anyone done anything like this before?

Thanks in advance for your help.

The menu, by the way, looks something like this:

Greed: Oysters Rockefeller

Anger: Shrimp Diablo (A single shrimp served on a nest of squid ink pasta)

Sloth: Asparagus soup with parmesan custards (garnished with truffle oil and pickled beets)

Gluttony: Braised Pork Belly with ?? puree (I'm admittedly stealing this one from Rioja here in Denver)

Envy: Individual Wellingtons (The plan is to make a couple of different kinds so people are "envious" of each other's plates)

Pride: Rainbow of Cheese (Probably five cheeses, haven't finalized the plan exactly yet)

Lust: Chocolate lava cakes (I think--at least I know it will be some sort of chocolate)

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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I suspect you can use ground herbs and spices to stencil in a harmonious color & flavor... but spraying the plates with fat might be a bit much. Maybe just swipe the area to be stencilled with an oiled towel to leave a light film. (I've done this in a non-food application, but I imagine that it won't make much difference, as long as your powders are ground very finely)

For extra neatness you could use the stencil to block your oil application, then dust and remove the stencil; if you oil the surface and then use the stencil to block the powder only, you'll get smudging around the edges that will be difficult to remove neatly.

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As a baker, I would say the easiest method would be to make an edible "ribbon" for the edge of the plate out of chocolate plastique (in dark or white) then print (with melted chocolate in a little cornet piping bag) the name on each one. Put the ribbon on the edge of the plate, and then the diners can put them aside til the end of the night and eat them with the chocolate lava cake or save them for ... later.

You can make chocolate plastique (aka candy clay) yourself. I can't remember offhand the proportions, but it's basically melted chocolate and heated corn syrup. You mix it together, knead for a bit and then let it sit overnight or at least for a few hours (you can use it immediately but I find it easier to work if I let it rest). If you use too much corn syrup, it will be "greasy" and you can mop that up with paper towels.

It would be far less work/aggravation to just use candy melts (the stuff that you can get at the craft store) to write on the rim of the plate. It comes in various colors and melts easily in the microwave, you just have to make yourself a little parchment triangle and you're all set.....it will set up on the plate and scrape off later....

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As a baker, I would say the easiest method would be to make an edible "ribbon" for the edge of the plate out of chocolate plastique (in dark or white) then print (with melted chocolate in a little cornet piping bag) the name on each one.  Put the ribbon on the edge of the plate, and then the diners can put them aside til the end of the night and eat them with the chocolate lava cake or save them for ... later.

You can make chocolate plastique (aka candy clay) yourself.  I can't remember offhand the proportions, but it's basically melted chocolate and heated corn syrup.  You mix it together, knead for a bit and then let it sit overnight or at least for a few hours (you can use it immediately but I find it easier to work if I let it rest).  If you use too much corn syrup, it will be "greasy" and you can mop that up with paper towels.

It would be far less work/aggravation to just use candy melts (the stuff that you can get at the craft store) to write on the rim of the plate.  It comes in various colors and melts easily in the microwave, you just have to make yourself a little parchment triangle and you're all set.....it will set up on the plate and scrape off later....

This is why I'm addicted to eGullet! This is a perfect idea... Make them ahead of time and add them as I plate. I was trying to imagine how I was going to prestencil all of the plates and stack them without smudging the stencils, but your method is the easiest of all.

Thanks!!!

PS: I love the idea of the transfers, but I'm not sure I want to invest in a new printer and all of the materials for this dinner party. My husband is already steamed that I'm buying more plates and flatware (I've only got service for 12 right now). :rolleyes:

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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