I learned this technique on how to color white cake decorating dragees in one of the cake decorating workshops I attended many years ago. And I must say, it’s a really cool technique as it allows me to create sugar dragees in any color I want and in the exact shades of colors I want for my cakes. This technique comes in really handy when you need dragees in a specific color but are unable to find the supply. Knowing how to color the dragees simply means you can keep stock of plain white dragees and these will be readily available to color and use whenever you need specific colored dragees.
Cake decorating dragees are tiny small colourful balls (similar to sprinkles but round) that are sweet and crunchy to the bite and are often used for decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies alike. These are quite commonly found in gold and silver colors but are also available in an array of many other colors. And they come in many different sizes too. Some are as small as 2mm in diameter but most common ones are about 4mm in diameter.
Sugar dragees can typically be purchased from any cake decorating supplies stores. If you are looking for online supply, can also buy them online here . Most of the time, these dragrees are colored and therefore ready to be used. The white dragees are also ready to use as white dragees but since they are white, they can be used as the base for making your own colored sugar dragees.
There are 2 methods in which you can color your sugar dragees. There could be more, but these are the 2 methods I have used and have worked well for me. The main difference between these 2 methods lies in the type of coloring ingredient used. In first method, I use edible dusts to color my sugar dragees while in the second method, I use gel food colors.
Lets look at each method and the supplies needed to color dragees:
Unlike store bought dragees, the color on these dragees tend to bleed when in contact with any form of liquid or buttercream. This means that you cannot mix them into buttercream or any other frosting. You can, however, sprinkle them onto these frostings without any problem.
When using these dragees, for simple sprinkling on frosted
cakes or cupcakes, I would just do it with my hands. But when I want to attach them to fondant or gumpaste, especially
in a particular pattern or neatly arranged order, I use my tweezers.
And to help hold these cake decorating dragees in place, I normally use the help of fondant glue but I would use the glue very sparingly as too much would cause the color on my dragees to bleed. To start with, I normally use the end of my cake decorating brush to form small dents on my fondant or gum paste where I want the dragees to be put. And then I apply very little glue into the hole (just a light touch with my brush) and then insert my dragees into those dents. The dent in itself helps to hold the dragees in place and so the glue is just an extra step to make sure the dragees are totally secured in place.
I have personally made and kept my own colored sugar dragees for close to 6 months but definitely within the expiry date on the dragees bottle (be sure to check the expiry date on your sugar dragees bottle and avoid using the dragees beyond the date stated).
Colored dragees can be stored in airtight containers or ziplock bags in cool and dry place. I keep mine in the refrigerator.
And that is how I color my cake decorating dragees. Hope you find this technique useful.
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Happy Cake Decorating :)
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