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Melanger

Painting Cake with Silver Dust

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Hi Everyone -

I have a question about painting fondant or piping with Silver dust. I normally use Vodka or Everclear so the liquid part evaporates quickly and doesn't make the color run but I am making a wedding cake for a Mormon couple at the end of this year and I can't use any liquor.

I am thinking of using distilled water as a medium for the silver dusts but before I go and build a test cake (need to see how it holds up under refrigeration, etc.) I wondered if any one has any alternate ideas about some non-liquor mediums that might work.

Thanks!

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Hi Everyone -

I have a question about painting fondant or piping with Silver dust.  I normally use Vodka or Everclear so the liquid part evaporates quickly and doesn't make the color run but I am making a wedding cake for a Mormon couple at the end of this year and I can't use any liquor.

I am thinking of using distilled water as a medium for the silver dusts but before I go and build a test cake (need to see how it holds up under refrigeration, etc.) I wondered if any one has any alternate ideas about some non-liquor mediums that might work.

Thanks!

Hi, have you asked the couple about the alcohol? I am a Mormon, and it wouldn't be a problem with anyone I know. Unless they are really out there, it shouldn't be a problem. Heaven forbid, I actually cook with wine :biggrin: It isn't like sneaking in pork at a Jewish wedding.

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I was about to suggest lemon extract, but that also contains alcohol.

There's a new sprayable luster dust available from the UK company PME. I've bought it from Pfeil and Holing, but it's also available from CalJava. In fact, CalJava sells a silver airbrush color and maybe that would work....

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I ordered sprayable luster dust for a drum set grooms cake I made for my son's wedding. if you're going for full coverage, I really can't reccommend it. It worked fine for giving the drum sides the gold glint they needed, but they did not paint the sides gold, if you understand that. for full painted effect, I used silver dust and vodka where needed.

the gold/silver spray is primarily alcohol anyway.

The reason for using the alcohol is that it evaporates..unlike the water which will dissolve the fondant, right? soo...you don't taste it, frankly I pull it off to serve (buttercream under) anyway. I know it's edible, but I don't know anyone who goes out of their way for a fondant cake because they love to eat the stuff, it's all about the decorating.

just my 2 cents..

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I don't think Mormons would have a problem with flavor extracts such as lemon, etc. I mean, they cook with them. Half my family is Mormon, so I know.

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There's also th Boyajian Pure Citrus Oils: Lemon, Lime and Orange. I have used the lemon oil to luster dust fondant, royal icing and white chocolate plastic.

I just checked my bottle and as far as I can see it's a pure all natural citrus oil.

I bought my oil at a Gourmet specialty shop here in Canada but it must be available in the states as it is packaged by Boyajian, Inc. Canton MA.

Hope that helps.

D.

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I wouldn't recommend using water to paint dusts on fondant; you can't get very even coverage. The best result you'll get is something that looks like a watercolour. :sad:

As for extracts, personally I can't stand using them because they contain oil which does not evaporate, and then you end up with a colour that smears whenever someone touches it, and it (the silver) comes off on people's faces as they're eating too. Worse, the extracts taste just as bad on the cake as they do right out of the bottle. :sad:

Highly recommended would be to use alcohol as a medium. Have your customers specifically requested that you not use it? Are they aware it all evaporates and there is no alcohol left? (Unless you use gin.... then the SMELL sure lingers and you hear lots of: "Who the hell is wearing so much cologne!?!"

:unsure:

If the alcohol is still a no-go, the next best thing is vegetable oil, so at least there's no taste left. After you paint the dust on, wad up a little piece of cheesecloth and buff the cake in little circular motions VERY LIGHTLY and that'll help get any streaks out, plus it'll help remove a little of the excess oil so the colouring doesn't smudge as much later.

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As for extracts, personally I can't stand using them because they contain oil which does not evaporate, and then you end up with a colour that smears whenever someone touches it, and it (the silver) comes off on people's faces as they're eating too. Worse, the extracts taste just as bad on the cake as they do right out of the bottle. 

So if you use vegetable oil to paint, then you would have the same problems as if you use extracts, but worse, right?

I've never used oil, just for that reason. You really want to stick with something that evaporates as fully as possible. I love Everclear but I can't get it here in Washington, so I just use the highest proof clear alcohol that I can find. That's why I use Vodka......it's pretty odorless.

Sometimes I follow the "What they don't know what hurt 'em" philosophy.

Personally, I'd use the alcohol to get the job done, and I wouldn't say anything.

But that's just me. I'm all for full disclosure, but really the alcohol isn't there in any type of amount that's even objectionable once it dries. :smile:

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^^ I should've added that I noticed vegetable oil will actually absorb a little more easily into fondant than extract will. Not sure why, plus I also only ever tried it once. So maybe I'm wrong. :biggrin:

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Sometimes I follow the "What they don't know what hurt 'em" philosophy.

Personally, I'd use the alcohol to get the job done, and I wouldn't say anything.

But that's just me. I'm all for full disclosure, but really the alcohol isn't there in any type of amount that's even objectionable once it dries. :smile:

I think this is a difficult subject to handle. I'm not a pastry chef, and know little about this. But if my faith required certain dietary restrictions, and someone knowingly violated them when making something for me, I'd be pretty upset. I wouldn't, but some people might be inclined to sue.

I think I'd just tell them, "if you want X, understand that it involves using alcohol" and let them make the decision after you've provided the details.

Myself, I see nothing wrong with a little alcohol in cooking, even if I were someone who doesn't drink it. In my own mind I separate drinking alcohol from using it for chemical purposes in cooking; if others don't make that separation, though, I think their wishes should be respected. It may mean that they don't get their first preference if I can't produce the product without alcohol, without going to a lot of trouble. If I invested a lot of time trying to get around the no-alcohol restriction, I'd expect to be paid for that time.

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Hi Everyone -

I have a question about painting fondant or piping with Silver dust.  I normally use Vodka or Everclear so the liquid part evaporates quickly and doesn't make the color run but I am making a wedding cake for a Mormon couple at the end of this year and I can't use any liquor.

I am thinking of using distilled water as a medium for the silver dusts but before I go and build a test cake (need to see how it holds up under refrigeration, etc.) I wondered if any one has any alternate ideas about some non-liquor mediums that might work.

Thanks!

Hi, have you asked the couple about the alcohol? I am a Mormon, and it wouldn't be a problem with anyone I know. Unless they are really out there, it shouldn't be a problem. Heaven forbid, I actually cook with wine :biggrin: It isn't like sneaking in pork at a Jewish wedding.

Well, my bad. I didn't specifically ask this particular client but I know from other parties that we have done for Mormon functions that the BEO would specifically state no alcohol - I assumed, you know what they say about that.

I'll talk to her and find out the deal-i-o. I had another brainstorm though, perhaps mixing the powder with clear piping gel and then thinning out that mixture with water might work, at least it would have more body.

I'm interested in trying out the the oil rubbed technique, it might be a good look to file away for future use. I've used the gold and silver sprays before but mostly on top of a chocolate shiny glaze and only occasionally on fondant just to give a cake a finishing "sheen"

Thanks for all of the good ideas - I'll let you know what I figure out.

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I think this is a difficult subject to handle. I'm not a pastry chef, and know little about this. But if my faith required certain dietary restrictions, and someone knowingly violated them when making something for me, I'd be pretty upset. I wouldn't, but some people might be inclined to sue.

Normally I would agree with this. But in the case of using a high proof alcohol to paint with, there is no alcohol left once it's evaporated. I'm not violating dietary restrictions because they won't be consuming alcohol......it's gone....into thin air. Besides if Mormons cook with extracts, then how is it a violation of their dietary restrictions to use it to paint with?

I don't want to make this thread into an argument about ethics. Like I said, I'm all for full disclosure. If this were my client and they were wanting metallic embellishments, I'd tell them how I would go about it. If they objected, I'd say to them it would cost more for an alternative (such as using 24k gold leaf) or they can just leave the metallic stuff out. :wink:

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I am a member of the LDS church and I use extracts in my cooking/baking. Unless the bride and groom specifically told you that they avoid all alcohol including extracts, I would not worry about it. Use vodka and don't get too excited. I make my vanilla extract and I buy my vodka, rum and bourbon at the liquor store down the street from the church. People beg to get my extract. I don't drink and my LDS friends don't drink, but it's not like you are soaking the cake in alcohol.

I agree with Annie.

Ellen

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I believe honesty is the best policy. I would say something like, "I know you mentioned you wanted silver painted fondant and we agreed on that for your cake, but I was just talking to a friend about your cake and she brought up to me that mormons don't consume alcohol. I wanted to inform you that the only way to paint the cake is to mix the luster dust with alcohol. Now the alcohol will evaporate off, but I wanted to make sure you were comfortable with that before we proceeded. The only othe rway to get silver on your cake is to sprinkle it with the luster dust. I know it's not the same..."

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I believe honesty is the best policy. I would say something like, "I know you mentioned you wanted silver painted fondant and we agreed on that for your cake, but I was just talking to a friend about your cake and she brought up to me that mormons don't consume alcohol. I wanted to inform you that the only way to paint the cake is to mix the luster dust with alcohol. Now the alcohol will evaporate off, but I wanted to make sure you were comfortable with that before we proceeded. The only othe rway to get silver on your cake is to sprinkle it with the luster dust. I know it's not the same..."

Very interesting topic, as I've made cakes for people who are alcoholics. They're VERY concerned about any lingering alcohol taste or content in the desserts. For flavoring, I've always substituted a non-alcoholic flavoring (vanilla, mocha...) for the required liquour. However, for painting luster dust on a cake, I only use vodka.

I make it a point to mention using the vodka for painting, but let the customer know that I probably used no more than 1 teaspoon of vodka for the entire cake. That puts things in perspective - I've never had a client ask me not to use vodka for luster dust painting.

As a side note - could cocoa butter be used?

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