When I started Happy Tummies a few years ago, the very first product range that I knew I had to stock was Hopper cake decorations and natural food colours.
These products not only mean that kids with multiple food allergies can have gorgeous cakes too, they're also free from nasty colours.
Hopper 100s & 100s and sprinkles are free from gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nuts and all but the red and gold crush are vegan. The Pearls are gluten, dairy, egg and nut free (not vegan). The kibble range is all gluten, dairy, egg and nut free as well as vegan.
One of the other great things I love about these 100s & 1000s are that there are so many colours to choose from. You can get rainbow and festive 100s & 1000s that are a mix of colours, but the others are single colours so you can get the exact effect you want. The sprinkles, pearls and kibble all have different colours as well ..... so many options to get your cake looking perfect.
I've been using them for years now and despite my really average cake making skills, I've managed to make some pretty special cakes my kids were thrilled with.
The food colours are fantastic as well however there are a few tricks with using them to get the colours you want. I find if I want a vibrant colour, the best way to do it is to just use pure icing sugar and water. I find if I add butter or dairy free spread, the colour isn't the same, although I do that if I want a butter icing.
According to Hopper, the colours are pH sensitive and work best in slightly acidic environments. If you add alkaline ingredients such as eggs or milk you could add a little lemon juice, citric acid or tartaric acid. The colours most affected are pink, purple and red – the red goes a pinky purple. Hopper recommend that you test the colours to ensure the desired colour can be reached before an important event.
It's important to note also that colours fade during baking due to the heat and pH of the product. Hopper do not recommend using them in baking without experimenting first. If you want to make a rainbow cake, you'll need to find a recipe created for the use of natural colours.
I store my Hopper colours in the fridge but you can also store them in the freezer. The best before date is only a guide too, feel free to use them past this date if you think they are okay. I have on many occasions and they have been fine :-) They are fine out of the fridge short term during transportation.
You can check out the whole Hopper range here and order some for your next celebration, or just to have in the pantry for when your baking needs to be fun!