Gold Plate Your Food!
Updated: Aug 4
Have you ever been eating a delicious piece of cake and said to yourself, "This cake is good, but it would be so much better if it were gold?"
I feel certain that you have said that, and I am here to help.
For Valentine's Day, our neighbors had a small wine and dessert get-together at their house. I brought Queer Martha's famous chocolate tart, but Valentined it by adding red raspberries on top. Once I finished placing the raspberries, I took a step back and looked at my handiwork. Then I, like I am sure you would, said to myself, "This tarte needs some fucking gold dust."
I've been living with edible gold dust in my kitchen for about 7 years. Rachel and I went through a homemade chocolate phase - a phase I keep hoping we'll relapse into - during which we bought edible gold dust to decorate our truffles. We never figured out how to use the dust without it clumping or sticking to our fingers instead of transferring to the chocolate, so the wee jar was relegated to the back of the baking drawer. I thought it would sprinkle a la fairy dust, but that is apparently not how edible gold dust works. It is a mysterious substance. In fact, I am not at all sure what it is made out of or how in the world it qualifies as edible. I don't ask these questions.
Then I started watching the French version of the Great British Bake-off (called le Meilleur Patissier - it also features an adorable older lady, but the French grandma throws sexual innuendos around like no one's business). The competitors on the show use edible gold dust a lot, and god damn it if their pastries don't immediately look like elegant - if gaudy - work of art. "That's it!" I said, "I'm figuring out how to use this god forsaken edible gold dust!"
That is how I embarked on my long journey to edible gold dust mastery. My first step was to consult Google. My first step ended up being my last step because it turns out it is very easy to use edible gold dust and Google knows all. Here's the trick:
To spread the edible gold dust on your food in an even and controlled fashion, treat the dust like water color paint. Get a clean paintbrush, dip the paintbrush in a liquid, then pick up some gold dust with the wet paintbrush and start painting your food. However, edible gold dust is water soluble, so it will melt and clump if you try to use water to spread it. You must use an acid, such as lemon juice, to apply the gold dust evenly on your food. That's it. It's super simple. Squeeze a lemon into a bowl, dip your paintbrush into the lemon juice, dip your paintbrush into the gold, then go crazy.
Naturally, the more lemon juice you mix with the gold dust, the thinner the layer of gold will be on your food. You don't need very much lemon juice to effectively paint with the dust, though you will have to keep wetting the brush with the lemon juice as it is quickly absorbed by the gold.
It is a fact that your food tastes better when it is gold plated. People will not realize that your tart is burnt if it is shimmering in the light. With this fact in mind - why not gold plate everything from now on? What is stopping you from serving gold-plated tenderloin for dinner followed by a gold-plated cheese plate? Nothing is stopping you. What are you waiting for? I highly recommend that you learn to gold plate your desserts before you even learn to bake. No one is impressed by another cheesecake, but strike me down if their's not cooing over your sparkling tray of raw apples.