Achieving Red with Natural Colors:
TruColor Red and TruColor Super Red
With any natural color it is always best to test and color a small amount in your icing to see the results first before committing to making a whole batch.
TruColor Red Paste Powder is a super strength natural red color that you may need to add an acid to show a brilliant red hue in icing or dough. Icing that will continue to darken over several hours, always make your icing a shade lighter that you want the finished icing color to be, almost all colors will deepen on the surface as they dry, this is called “oxidation”
TruColor Red and Super Red are derived from Red Radish, Purple Carrot and blends of other TruColor” products made with vegetables and fruits.
TruColor Natural red colors derived from an Anthocyanin (berries and some vegetables) and as mentioned need an acidic medium by replacing the suggested amount of water with lemon juice to dissolve the TruColor powder. The Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) in the lemon juice will lower the pH and help change the red color to a true red. Without adding a wholesome food acid, you will only achieve a “berry” color which is nice but not the red you want for icing on a fire engine cake or cookie!
Royal Icing is hard to color, and you need to make sure that your TruColor powder is completely dissolved or you may see specs of undissolved color in your icing. Royal Icing is thick and foamy so it absorbs color easily and it often takes more of any type of color to get a dark shade. Although it is possible to get very nice shades when blended “into” icing or dough it often can be more effective and less expensive to achieve brilliant hues and shades by painting on the surface of dry royal icing with an airbrush or a paint brush when using natural colors.
RED “LEMON” ROYAL ICING:
To make a brilliant natural red color from anthocyanins you must have patience as you will need to continuously add a wholesome food acid and let the red color develop over a period of time. Natural red that is derived from certain berries and vegetables need an acid to bring out a true red hue. Naturally occurring food acids include citric acid from citrus fruits, tartaric Acid or Potassium bitartrate is a byproduct of wine making (Cream of Tartar) and malic acid found in apples are referred to as wholesome acids, and is the reason that many natural fruits have that unique tart taste found in cranberries, grapes, berries, plums, cherries, oranges, lemons, guava, grapefruits, pineapples, apples, peaches and other fruits with seeds.
Using the “Lemon Royal Icing” Recipe below add 5 grams TruColor Red to Two Cups of the below described “thick” royal icing, add color and lemon juice getting as dark of a color as possible then cover and refrigerate overnight to let the red color “develop” even more before using. For an even deeper red appearance add an additional 1/4th teaspoon TruColor purple carrot dissolved in several drops of lemon juice. Continue to add lemon juice and blend into your “thick” royal icing mixture until you thin the icing and reach a consistency where you can pipe it through a decorating bag. Natural colors will deepen over time and your red color will also continue to develop and darken when it is stored and darken even more as the icing dries on you cookie.