I love baking and we love pretty things. So baking, AND decorating that baking with something pretty, is a natural progression round here.
I buy little pots of edible 'glitter' at the supermarket and cake decorating store, for around $7 for a tiny little pot about the size of a pot of lip balm. I use it like nobodys business, so I knew there had to be a better way.
I consulted Pinterest, the font of all knowledge and discovered several ways of making edible glitter, disco dust, whatever you want to call it, each with it's own good and not so good reviews.
I decided to start with the most pinned version which, paraphrased from several different sources, goes like this...
To 1/2 cup sugar, add a drop of food colouring and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, crumble and store in an airtight container. Use within six months.
I decided to try both raw sugar (which here in Australia is a light brown and coarse, not like brown sugar at all) and caster sugar, which is also known as superfine, but which is not Icing sugar.
I was aiming for that pretty shade of pink that I call Ballet Pink as it's the colour of the satin in pointe shoes, and it's a favourite.
One drop each of pink and yellow did nothing, although I was using 'natural' food colours, so I added more. One drop of yellow to two drops of pink seemed to yield that shade although a very pale version of it. Eventually, to my half a cup of caster (superfine) sugar, I added 12 drops of rose pink, and 6 of yellow. It's possible that normal food colouring would not have needed as much.
NO amount of food colour seemed to make much difference to the raw sugar, although I eventually got a sort of dirty pink.
I spread them on u-channels of foil and popped them into the oven, checking them every 2 minutes. Tedious, but the key, and what makes the sugar 'glitter', is that it starts to melt ever so slightly, causing the edges of the sugar crystals to go clear, thus catching the light more effectively, creating the glitter illusion.
12 minutes did the trick for the white superfine sugar, but alas, even by increasing the temperature significantly, I could not make the raw sugar look anything like glitter. I'll try again another day. I will not be defeated by glitter!
Here's how my ballet pink edible glitter looks on a white fondant rose I made...
Here's how it looked before I baked it in the oven...
The simple fondant rosettes are just to give you an approximation of the shade of pink...
And below, is how it looked after it was baked.
I'll be trying this again for sure. Not only will it save me heaps of money...this batch alone is worth about $28 and cost about 5c...but I can now make edible glitter in lovely pastel shades and even fluoro ones. I'm only limited by the food colouring I have on hand.
And what a gorgeous inexpensive gift for the cake baker in your life. Imagine a rainbow of edible glitter in little jars in a sweet hamper. Adorable!
Give it a try. You won't be disappointed!