A while back, I was inspired by a really beautiful photo on Bravetart featuring dessert garnished with a spoon stenciled in cocoa. I saw an opportunity to use my favorite tool, a digital cutter, to create customized stencils. I've also been a little obsessed with macaroons lately and decided to fancy up a plate of them. For the first attempt over Christmas, I stenciled "joyeaux" in cocoa powder. It was a little more difficult than expected. The goal was super crisp cocoa edges, but they are a little fuzzy. It was pretty fun, so I revamped for Valentine's Day with an "i ♥ you" stencil in red.
The V-Day plan was to grind freeze-dried strawberries in the spice grinder to create a pink powder. Since the grocery store was out, I switched to plan b – use up those sprinkles languishing in the cabinet. A set of Valentine's Day sprinkles included little red lips that I couldn't imagine ever using, so I used a spice grinder to turn those into red powder. Based on lessons learned with the joyeaux plate stencil, I added toothpick "poles" to make it easier to pluck the stencil off the plate after shaking the red dust over the top. A fine mesh strainer was used to sprinkle the powder over the stencil and plate, just like decorating a dessert with powdered sugar. The final design isn't as crisp as I'd like and the powder is a little more orange than expected, but it was fun to play with and I think I'll try again when I find those freeze-dried strawberries.
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