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lebowits

Luster Dust

27 posts in this topic

I would like to start using luster dust to decorate some of my pieces. I've seen what appear to be both "edible" and other products on PastryChef.com, ChefRubber.com, Albert Uster Imports, etc.

Does anyone have recommendations for sources of luster dusts and/or tips for using them appropriately?

My initial thought is to lightly "paint" either the cavities of molds, or finished pieces after the chocolate has crystallized.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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I will often dust after removing from the mold with the luster dusts or interference powders. A thin layer inside the mold should work as well.

Apparently you can also suspend them in alcohol and airbrush in the mold.

Not sure where the best place to get them is - I'm still working on samples.

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My preference is to do it after removing from mold.

I do see some chocolatiers do it in the mold or under

the acetate on enrobed. If I do it this way, I get pits,

which I don't like. But maybe it is by design.

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I would like to start using luster dust to decorate some of my pieces.  I've seen what appear to be both "edible" and other products on PastryChef.com, ChefRubber.com, Albert Uster Imports, etc.

Does anyone have recommendations for sources of luster dusts and/or tips for using them appropriately?

My initial thought is to lightly "paint" either the cavities of molds, or finished pieces after the chocolate has crystallized.

I've ordered from www.lusterdust.com. They have a large selection, plus different sizes.

I lightly brush it into the mold after applying cocoa butter, and it works fine. I think it works better that way, because it has something to stick to. I haven't tried airbrushing with it.

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I've heard - and in my limited experience tend to agree - that dust in the mold sticks to chocolate better than dust applied afterwards. The stuff I have is CK products, non-toxic that I get from my local cake supply shop. I met a woman at the World Pastry forum who makes powder colors and seemed very passionate about having them all be non-toxic and food grade and all that. Her products are Crystal Colors, IIRC.

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I lightly brush it into the mold after applying cocoa butter, and it works fine.  I think it works better that way, because it has something to stick to.  I haven't tried airbrushing with it.

I brush it into molds too. I find that if I brush it on to molded chocolates after, it's just as RWood said - it doesn't stick. It will stay on dipped chocolates, because they're not as shiny.


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I've heard - and in my limited experience tend to agree  - that dust in the mold sticks to chocolate better than dust applied afterwards.  The stuff I have is CK products, non-toxic that I get from my local cake supply shop.  I met a woman at the World Pastry forum who makes powder colors and seemed very passionate about having them all be non-toxic and food grade and all that.  Her products are Crystal Colors, IIRC.

I just ordered some Crystal Colors from Avalon (www.avalondeco.com); Dave there is really nice and was very helpful. I can't wait to try this stuff!

Because I'm painting on fondant covered cakes, we spoke mainly about mixing them with lemon extract; my guess would be that it could be used in an airbrush as well.

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We use dusts from Chef Rubber, and just brush them dry into the molds. Then we "swoosh" liquid cocoa butter on the molds, which holds the dust in place. Those colors also come from Chef Rubber.

I've never tried dusting after removing the chocolates from the mold.

Cheers,

Steve


Steve Smith

Glacier Country

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I use luster dusts often on cakes and cookies.

When the dust is brushed onto a molded chocolate, it catches a little light. The look is pretty subtle and light.

If the dust is painted into a mold, I like to back it with cocoa butter or white chocolate, just as we learned (from the EGullet conference) to add white chocolate behind any color we airbrushed into a mold.

For subtle color - Super Pearl is one of my favorites. It adds a pearlescence without a lot of additional color.

Let's see some photos when you've started experimenting!

Mary


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All those dusts work best with a high-alcohol content liquid. This is especially important when working with the metallics, as using water will tarnish them.

If you have access to Everclear, this is what most decorators in my circles use to mix with the dusts for airbrushing or painting. Next would be 190 proof Smirnoff's, if they still make it. If not, then clear lemon extract is recommended, especially the cheap stuff, because it's usually 80% alcohol, or 160 proof.

pastrygirl - the woman you met at the World Pastry Forum was Beth Parvu. She's such a sweetheart. Would you mind if I ask how much you paid for your colors through Avalon?

lebowits - check out Scott Clark Woolley's selection of dusts, too. He's got some gorgeous colors, including neons. His prices are great, and he ships immediately, or as soon as the post office opens the next day.

http://cakesbydesign.cc/ToolsSupplies.html

then scroll to near the bottom of the page for his dust colors.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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I think that Micheals sells the powder and also most craft stores . You will find it in the cake section.

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pastrygirl - the woman you met at the World Pastry Forum was Beth Parvu.  She's such a sweetheart.  Would you mind if I ask how much you paid for your colors through Avalon?

She was really sweet, and seemed to take great pride in her product. I haven't tried them, it was JeanneCake who had just ordered some. Will look forward to Jeanne's report!

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I think that Micheals sells the powder and also most craft stores . You will find it in the cake section.

That's where I get mine. I dust it in my cake pans, and I also use it to shimmer up cupcakes by dusting on top of frosting.

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Tomric sells Luster dust - and you can talk to Brian at the show in Atlantic City about using them - should be fun -

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I bought a few small amounts of several colors and have applied it for the first time to a set of finished chocolates. It takes a bit of getting used to in order to apply it without looking I'm trying to cover something up.

Any suggestions as to the best types of brushes to use? The dust appears to adhere to my brush rather "aggressively" so I am making sure to only dip into the jar as little as possible and then to brush against the lip to try and shake off the excess.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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While you're at the show - check out the booth for Linnea's, a company out of Ohio - they have a bunch of luster dusts available at reasonable prices, as well as brushes and other tools - I use them a lot -


Edited by RobertM (log)

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Any suggestions as to the best types of brushes to use?  The dust appears to adhere to my brush rather "aggressively" so I am making sure to only dip into the jar as little as possible and then to brush against the lip to try and shake off the excess.

I use the nice "puffy"? brushes found in artist supply shops (I get them at Micheals) that are known as "oval Wash" brushes (see chart in post). Its the only brush I use for dusts, and there is usually enough dust in the cap of the container to give me just the right amount of dust for this type of brush. Its large, very soft and fluid, and allows for amazing results. Ive tried many brushes, but this one is the best for dust in my eyes.

http://www.dickblick.com/categories/brushe...1&wmcti=050-069


Edited by pringle007 (log)

"It only hurts if it bites you" - Steve Irwin

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I'm interested to try and airbrush luster dust over a white cake, just to add a subtle shimmer/ sparkle. I have a selection of luster dusts, a budget airbrush, some 90% pure alcohol, and a cake that will be covered in a white chocolate ganache.

Just wondering how much alcohol to luster dust I should mix up for the airbrush? I don't want the cake to look like it's been spray painted silver, and equally I don't want to spray it with alcohol and end up with a soggy cake and no visible luster! Any guides or ratios to follow?

It's subtlety I'm after, I have considered trying to brush dry luster powder on the cake but I'm concerned it will be too heavy.

-Thanks

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ChrisZ, the high proof alcohol is used because it evaporates quickly leaving only the luster so you shouldn't worry about it soaking into your icing. Not sure how much to use, maybe start out not too concentrated and you can do multiple layers if needed, letting it dry in between.

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Don't need no stinkin' brushes! Cut yourself a small piece of rubber foam, mix some dust in a saucer with some high proof booze, dip your sponge in, stamp the inside of your mold, and away you go.

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I use the super-fine shakers that have a plastic or silicone cap over the mesh top and gently sprinkle the dust onto the item.

I have dusted the top of meringues with no collapse.

Mine are similar to this one.

I have several in which I keep xxxx sugar, cocoa, the luster and colored dusts, rice flour and vanilla powder.

I have a bunch of stencils in various shapes - holiday, leaf, lace, etc., as well as larger shapes - such as a wave, lightening bolt, sun and moon faces, that I use to lay down a pattern.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

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I have read a lot about luster dust on eGullet, but in looking on the sites of regular suppliers (Chef Rubber, in particular) I cannot find anything called "luster dust." There are items that look as if they might qualify, but I don't want to order the wrong thing. Previously I ordered products called "edible glitter" in gold and silver, but discovered they were rather large flakes that didn't do much at all in terms of adding "luster"--mostly created pock marks in the shells of chocolates. Can someone provide some guidance? Thanks.

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There is a difference between products that are "non toxic" and those which are FDA approved. Regulations vary from place to place for the use of the non toxic powders, but these are often what I believe is referred to as luster dust. Chef Rubber offers what they refer to as "pearl powder" which is FDA approved. It is located here on their site.

They also offer what they refer to as "decor powder" here, which is non toxic.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Thanks for that information. f you are familiar with both of the products you mention, could you explain the difference in appearance between them? Do you have a source for whatever you use? (Some of the sources listed in this thread no longer exist, and others use some term besides "luster dust.")

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I've always thought of "pearl dusts" as having a lustrous, luminous finish with an undertone of the color named (e.g., gold pearl has a gold sheen, super pearl is white, red pearl has a red shimmer). The "luster dust" has the same shimmery finish, but a distinct color. Petal dusts don't have any shimmer at all, it's just the flat color. Usually I mix them with lemon extract to paint on fondant cakes or or flowers, some people use vodka; I find the lemon extract dries faster for me than the vodka. But vodka is good for correcting mistakes ;) I buy them from Pfeil and Holing (www.cakedeco.com), Avalon (www.avalondeco.com), Cal-Java (www.caljava-online.com), Global Sugar Art (www.globalsugarart.com)

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