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When we think of blue foods we…. wait a minute, I don’t really ever think of blue foods… do you? A few days ago I started to create an Igloo cake and got to thinking that a blue frosting would be cool (pun intended). It would represent the chill of an igloo, but I wasn’t quite sure where to turn. I sat at the island in the kitchen, my head resting in my hand, my other hand tapping out some song on the counter top… blue, blue… what blue food is there that I can juice? Maybe I could use… hmm, nope that is purple… or how about… nope… purple… darn, I really don’t think that there is a blue food.
Blueberries was the closest I could get to blue in my thoughts… I mean the name itself has the word blue it in. So, I grabbed a packed of blueberries out of the freezer that I had put up last summer. I thawed them, popped them in the blender to puree them, then pressed the juice through a nut bag. Purple! I guess I knew this was going to be the case, I was just living in denial. :)
I knew that I couldn’t mix two colors together to make blue since it is a primary color… so I caved and turned to Google. Site after site after site… spoke about adding baking soda to either red cabbage juice or blueberry juice, both of which were to be boiled. But I couldn’t find any ratios or if it worked differently with raw ingredients rather than the standard sugared frostings.
So, I grabbed my raw white frosting, my juiced blueberries and a box of baking soda and went to work. It took a while to get the right ratio but I nailed the glacier blue that I was hoping for.
In my research for creating a natural blue food dye I found out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved; Blue No. 1 and Blue No. 2. So what are they made from? “Blue No. 1 is called “brilliant blue” and, as is typical of modern dyes, was originally derived from coal tar, although most manufacturers now make it from an oil base. Blue No. 2, or “indigotine,” on the other hand, is a synthetic version of the plant-based indigo that has a long history as a textile dye. (source)
The picture to the left was my inspiration. Glacier blue! I took this on the day of our wedding.
White frosting base:
Glacier blue coloring:
Soaked cashews ~ soaking the cashews is key (!) and this step should never be skipped. Soaking causes the cashews to swell, giving a bit more volume for the money and it softens them which is vital when creating a creamy texture.
Coconut milk ~ whether you use fresh Young Thai Coconuts or canned full fat coconut milk, this ingredients helps give body, creaminess and hint of coconut undertone. It is a healthy fat that also acts as an emulsifier, brining the recipe together. If you can’t find Young Thai coconuts you can use canned, but do your homework. Aim for organic, BPA free, and free of other ingredients.
Maple syrup ~ I used maple syrup because it is more alkalizing for the body than most other liquid sweeteners. You can use raw agave, coconut syrup or any other liquid sweetener that you prefer.
Vanilla ~ The role of vanilla in sweet goods is like the role of salt on the savory side: it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe. You can use vanilla bean (seeds only), powdered vanilla or vanilla paste.
Raw cacao powder ~ well, really, what can say about this?! Without it, we wouldn’t have a chocolate frosting! I made this recipe to resemble a “milk” chocolate flavor. If you want a more dark chocolate flavor, increase the cacao with 1 tablespoon at a time, till the right flavor is reached.
Salt ~ I use sea salt in just about all of my sweet desserts. It elevates the sweet level.
Coconut oil ~ It is a healthy fat but also gives the frosting the overall body. Once chilled below 76 degrees it forms up, making this frosting perfect for decorating.
Lecithin ~ This plays several roles and is a great support for all the other ingredients used. It is an emulsifier and thickener.
After making this frosting, it will be very runny. Place in the fridge to chill and firm up. You can take it out at any time, depending on the consistency that you want for your dessert. If left at room temperature for an extended period of time, it will start to soften to a point that it will lose its structure. Enjoy and have fun!
After blending the blueberries into a puree, strain through a nut bag.
The puree will be thick and concentrated and pretty darn purple looking.
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