Coloring Buttercream: Three Steps to Making Beautiful Buttercream


Adding a pop of color to buttercream makes your baked goods more appealing. However, there is a fine line between seeing beautiful colors and tasting food dye. I’ve had to learn how to make buttercream taste execellent while still managing to add bright and dark colors. Here a few tips and tricks to making colorful buttercream:

1.Choose your colors before making the icing
When I want to color buttercream, I consider who I’m making the baked good for, what event will I bring it to and when it will be hosted. If it’s someone close to you, then you probably know their favorite color. However, think about what colors they wear the most or if they have a certain theme for their party.

2. Consult the internet
After I’ve narrowed it down to two to three colors, then I think about gradients. My go to website is the Frost By Numbers guide on the Food Network website. This helped me a lot when I first started baking cupcakes and cakes. The guide offers various colors, gradients and how many drops of food coloring to use.

3. Don’t be afraid to make new colors
The first time you try to make a new color, it may or may not work out, but don’t be afraid to try. I’ve had made some interesting colors, but I didn’t throw out the buttercream. I would pipe it out using different tips, save the shapes and use them on a different baked goods.

These are few tips to creating a nicely colored buttercream. If you have have anymore tips, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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Rice Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Last July, when I moved to Japan, I lived in a small neighborhood in Osaka. It has tons of little food shops. It was impossible not to find something good to eat. One shop in particular sold Indian food. Over the past few years, I haven’t really eaten too much Indian food, because it was expensive or the restaurants were a little out of the way. Going to that shop and being able to indulge in inexpensive, Indian food was incredible. I loved everything about that little shop.

Now, I live in Tokyo, a food mecca. However, I live a little outside of the city and there are only four Japanese restaurants and a McDonald’s near my house. Luckily, the majority of grocery stores are fully stocked with ingredients from non-Japanese cuisines, so, it’s easy to recreate Indian food at home.

Recently, I’ve been craving Indian food. I wanted to try to make Chicken Tikka Masala from scratch. Overall, the process of making the masala wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be. I’ve only made Indian food about two to three times in my life, and it used to feel strenuous. Making it in a rice cooker helped with the flavor. If you don’t have a rice cooker, try making it in a slow cooker.

Rice Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Rice Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Ingredients
  • 360 grams chicken drumsticks about 3/4 pound of chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup green beans diced (175 grams)
  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas ( 87.5 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons shredded ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 of it should be used for the chicken
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (8 ounces)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Before prepping the ingredients, place your chicken on the counter for about five to ten minutes. The chicken shouldn't be very cold before you cook it or else it will be dry.
  2. Once ten minutes has passed, toss the chicken in 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Then, place the bowl to the side.
  3. In your rice cooker bowl, add the green beans, chickpeas, garlic, ginger, onion and seasonings. Then, add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir the ingredients until well combined.
  4. Next, add the chicken to the bowl. Press the chicken into the mixture until it is hidden.
  5. Then, cook your chicken for for an hour and half. When the chicken has finished cooking, add the heavy cream and stir. Place it on the warming setting for about ten minutes.
  6. Serve with brown rice.
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Dark Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles are an easy dessert to make. You only need two ingredients for the truffle base and one ingredient for rolling the truffle. Recently, I made chocolate truffles for a friend. It had been almost a year since I made them, so I was a little anxious about how they were going to turn out. Also, chocolate and cream are expensive in Japan, so I couldn’t mess them up. Luckily, they turned out great!

During the truffle making process, I had a few less than perfect spheres. Here are some tips to creating perfect, or almost perfect, chocolate truffles.
1. Before rolling, set the chocolate out for a couple of minutes. This will allow you to roll them properly.
2. Don’t skip the cocoa powder! Place a small amount of cocoa powder in the palm of your hand before rolling.
3. Choose your toppings wisely. I suggest sticking with colorful powders, such as matcha or white chocolate powder, or solids, such as chocolate crunchies.

Making truffles can be therapeutic. If you mess up a few, try to stay positive, or just eat the ones that look a little lopsided. It can be your little secret.


Dark Chocolate Truffles
Print Recipe
Dark Chocolate Truffles
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dark chocolate 480 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream 8 oz.
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder 128 grams
Servings:
Instructions
Making the ganache
  1. First, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the pieces into a heat resistant bowl.
  2. Next, on medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. One the cream begins to bubble, remove it from the burner.
  3. Pour about half of the cream onto the chocolate. Vigorously whisk the chocolate until half of it is melted. Then, pour the rest of the cream onto the chocolate and continue to whisk it until all of the chocolate is melted. This process can take about two minutes, depending on how quickly you are whisking.
  4. Next, cover your bowl of ganache with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour. The ganache should be firm but not hard.
Shaping the truffles
  1. To shape the truffles you will need a small spoon and cocoa powder. Place the cocoa powder on a plate or parchment paper. Place the other toppings on separate plates or papers.
  2. Sprinkle cocoa powder in the palms of both hands. Take one tablespoon of gnache and roll it in your hands until a ball shape is formed. Finally, sprinkle it with a little extra cocoa powder or roll it in chocolate crunchies.
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Matcha Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Roses

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Twitter by food blogger, Molly Yeh, about her Rose Rose Cake. The cake looked beautiful and I knew I wanted to try to make it. I had been wanting to make something that was challenging and that I could experiment with color.

It took a full day to make the cake. That was shorter than I expected because originally I thought it would take two days. First, I made the Matcha Chocolate Cake. I needed to make it ahead of time to allow enough time for it to cool. Then, I made the buttercream. In order to make the pink and orange frostings, I referred to this chart. The chart was helpful because I don’t have enough experience mixing colors, and I hate when frostings have too much food coloring. I think it tastes bad. After making the frostings, I turned the air conditioner on in my living room in order to keep the frosting from melting while I worked with it.

In Molly Yeh’s post, she mentions that she used a Wilton Flower Nail Decorating tool. I didn’t have that and I wasn’t going to go look for one, so, instead, I used a pizza saver with two of the legs cut off. I still went through the process of attaching a small square of parchment paper to the top of the pizza saver and creating the roses that way. Honestly, the roses weren’t that hard to make using the pizza saver. You just have to be patient and practice. My first couple of flowers looked a little rough, but by the fifth one, I had gotten the hang of it. Also, if you mess up, you can take the frosting off of the parchment paper and place it back in the bowl.

Overall making the cake was fun and I was able to catch up on my shows. I’ll be making a similar cake soon, and I hope to post the recipe for cake and the frosting. Good luck!

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