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27 August, 2015

How to make natural food colours using vegetables and an eggless chocolate cupcake.

Comments : 2 Posted in : How To on by : Ratna Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

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Imagine  a  world  without colour.  Just  close  your  eyes  and  try.  It  is  hard,  isn’t  it  ? We  live  in  a  world  of  colours.  The  beautiful  flowers,  sweet  fruits,  birds,  attract  us  with  their  myriad  and  brilliant  colours.

Research  has  shown   that  we  prefer  coloured  things  over  white,  even  as  a  child.  Taking  this  further  we  started  incorporating  colours  in  our  food.  Take  for  example  ‘Smarties’  and M&M.  Their  dazzling  variety  attract  young  and  old  alike.

Adding  colour  to  food  to  make  it  more  attractive  is  by  no  means  unacceptable.    .  What  is  harmful  are  the  artificial  colourings.  More  and  more  research  indicates  a  direct  link  between  certain  food  colourings  and  Cancer,  ADHD  in  children  etc.  You  can  read  about  them  here,  here,  and  here.

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Saveur  had  an  excellent  article  showing  how  natural  food  colours  can  be  made   using  vegetables.  They  made  pink  frosting  using  Beets.  Taking  that  as  an  inspiration  I  tried  using  carrots  and  Spinach  leaves  to  make  yellow  and  green  food  colours  respectively.

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What  is  coloured  frostings  without  cupcakes?  So  here  you  go  –  chocolate  cupcakes  with  coloured  frostings.

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A  match  made  in  heaven.

Recipe:

Pink  food  colour,

Spread  1  lb  peeled  beets,  sliced  paper  thin,  on  a  Silpat  lined  baking  sheet  and  bake  at  200  degrees  F  for  2  hours.  Place  dried  beet  slices  in  a  food  processor  and  puree  until  finely  ground.  Made  two  Tbsps.

Yellow  food  colour,

Follow  exactly  the  same  procedure  with  carrots.

Green  food  colour

I  took  two  cups  of  Spinach  leaves,  and  followed  the  same  procedure.  I  got  about  one  and  half  Tbsp  of  colour.

Eggless  Chocolate  cupcake

(Adapted  from  Eugenie  kitchen ).  Made  9  cupcakes.

Ingredients;

All  purpose  flour                                                        3/4 cup

Baking soda                                                                1/4  tsp

Baking powder                                                            1  tsp

Salt                                                                              1/4  tsp

Unsweetened  cocoa  powder                                     3  Tbsps

Unsalted  butter,  softened                                          3  Tbsps

Granulated  sugar                                                       1/2  cup

Pure  vanilla  extract                                                   1/4  tsp

Milk                                                                            1/2  cup  and  extra

Yellow  Buttercream  frosting;

Unsalted  butter,  softened                                          1/3  cup

Icing  sugar,  sifted                                                        1  cup

Yellow  food  colour                                                       1  tsp

Milk,  to  adjust                                                             1  or  2  Tbsps

Pistachio  nuts,  chopped                                              2  Tbsps

Method;

Preheat  oven  to  360  degrees  F.

Sift  the  dry  ingredients  like  flour,   baking  powder,  baking  soda,  salt  and  cocoa  powder  together  and  set  aside.

In  a  mixing  bowl,  add  the  softened,  unsalted  butter  and  spread  with  a  spatula.  Add  the  granulated  sugar  and  whisk  till  light  and  fluffy.  Throw  in  the  pure  vanilla  extract  next  and  stir  till  combined.

Add  in  only  a  half  of  the  sifted  dry  ingredients  in  half  of  milk.  Whisk  till  homogenous.  Add  the  remaining  dry  ingredients  and   milk.  Stir  again  till  smooth.  Adjust  the  thickness  of  the  batter,  if  needed  with  one  or  two  Tbsp  of  milk.

Divide  the  batter  in  cupcake  molds.  Fill  only  about  two  thirds  full.  Bake  for  20  mts.  Once  out  of  the  oven,  let  them  cool  completely  on  a  wire  rack.

Frosting;

In  a  mixing  bowl  add  in  softened  unsalted  butter  and  spread  out  with  a  spatula.  Fold  in  the  yellow  food  colour  that  we  made  before.  Mix  till  smooth.  Sift  in  half the  icing  sugar  and  mix.  Then  add  the  remaining  sugar,  mix  till  smooth.  Adjust  thickness  if  needed  with  milk.

Decorate  with  Pastry  tip.  I  used  Wilton  22.  Start  piping  in  the  middle  and  slowly  make  concentric  circles  until  the  top  is  covered.  Garnish  with  chopped  Pistachio  nuts.

Enjoy!

Inside  Scoop;

The  home  made  food  colour  can  be  stored  in  plastic  containers  in  a  fridge.

Apart  from  colouring  frostings  it  can  also  be  used  in  other  foods  to  accentuate  the  colour.

By  Ratna

2s COMMENTS

2 thoughts on : How to make natural food colours using vegetables and an eggless chocolate cupcake.

  • August 27, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Cheers to colors from nature! Happy baking!

    • Ratna
      September 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you ‘thefolia’. It was lot of fun..

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