Monday, 13 May 2013

Experiment: Homemade Sprinkles

Firstly, happy Coeliac Awareness Week! As you all know, this blog is dedicated to the pursuit of making wheat-free goodies that are as good as any wheat-ful kind you’ll buy in the shops. Please, utilise these recipes to enjoy a few sweeties this Coeliac Awareness Week, just substitute all the spelt flour for gluten-free blend, as spelt is not suitable for a gluten-free lifestyle, just for a select lucky few who are just wheat-intolerant.

Anyway: moving swiftly on.

I’ve always wanted to make my own sprinkles. Why, you ask, would you want to go to all that bother if you can get them in the shop relatively inexpensively? Two reasons: one, when one gets into the mode of making everything themselves from scratch to accommodate for a wheat-free lifestyle, it starts to become less of a necessity and more of a challenge to see how many shop items one can recreate as faithfully as – if not better than – the original version; two, because shop-bought sprinkles have loads of very suspect ingredients in, and my version has only four. Those four ingredients are icing sugar, egg white, lemon juice, and food colouring; if you can get your hands on natural food colourings, you can make completely natural sprinkles.

Also, when you make your own sprinkles, you can make them any shape you want, as long as your piping skill and array of icing nozzles facilitates. I had some left over royal icing from the other day, so I decided to try my hand at making some, and I did a few different shapes. They’re all quite pretty! I think for a first go, they’re pretty awesome...

  • For the traditional, sugar strand style sprinkles, I piped long straight lines of royal icing onto a piece of non-stick baking paper. Once they were completely dry, having been left to set overnight, I cut them into shorter pieces using a sharp knife. You could also break them up with your fingers.
  • I piped a large amount of little dots, and they were pretty cute. They weren’t flat enough to be confetti, but I think they were quite nice in their own right.
  • I also piped some teardrop shapes for added interest; I wouldn’t do that again, to be honest: I didn’t like them as much.

And there they are. I did two different colours and mixed them up, which was a nice touch. You could do any combination of colours: you could have a rainbow mix, or a pink mix with different shades of pink, or green or blue or whatever. Hell, go crazy!

As for the creation of these little beauties, the consistency of the royal icing itself is key. Here are a few tips:

  • Use the recipe in my iced biscuits post, but whip the royal icing to firm peaks. A flowing consistency will be too thin, and the sprinkles won’t keep their shape; very stiff peaks stage is a little too far, but firm peaks stage is just right.
  • Also, when colouring the icing, bear in mind the colour will deepen as the icing dries. Your delicate pink may turn out neon if you’re not careful, but maybe that’s what you want.

This is only my first adventure in homemade sprinkles, so watch this space for more adventures in Sprinkleville!

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