Friday, August 21, 2009

Wafer paper - edible images

Is it wrong to eat Fernand Point's image? I don't know the answer to that, but I couldn't think of a better way to present his iconic dessert, a cake he named "Marjolaine" after his daughter. I didn't have a picture of his daughter, so Point would have to do. (If you do not know who point is, I recommend you look him up, or better yet, take a look at his book, the recently reprinted "Ma Gastronomie"... this is the old school in its purest form.) This is a classic picture taken of him in his heyday. I had a silkscreen made from it, then, using black food coloring, screened his image onto a sheet of wafer paper.
The wafer paper can also be flavored by spraying an intensely flavored liquid on it without saturating it (the flavors in the cake revolve around hazelnut, so I can see using Frangelico, a hazelnut liquor similar to Amaretto to flavor it, since the alcohol would evaporate faster than water), letting it dry (flat, to keep it from wrinkling), then applying the silkscreen.

I tried a different approach for the image below.

Instead of spraying it with a liquid, I smoked the paper with cherry wood, then, instead of using a silkscreen, used a rubber stamp and food coloring. The wafer paper suffers greatly in the presence of moisture, so I lightly coated it with cocoa butter, which helps it stay firm, and keeps the flavor of the smoke in. This particular image is used to garnish a dessert where all the components have been through the Maillard reaction, where smoke would make sense in a way (too much Maillard = burnt = smoke).


  1. I'm trying to flavor an edible rice paper, actually made from potato starch, and I was searching for ways to do that when I came across your blog. I'm using an oil mister to spay on the paper with Amaretto from about 15-20 inch., but the paper always curls. Is there any other way to flavor the paper, I've tried using light corn syrup on the back of the sheet and sprinkle some dried fruit dust or mixing the syrup with alcohol, but the resulted taste it's not as strong as I'd like it to be. I let it dry for few hours before I put it in air tight zip-lock bag.
    Any ideas on the proper flavoring of the edible paper.
    Also by flavoring I mean "to taste", not sure if you mean the same or the aroma and the taste combined.

  2. Well, if the paper curls, try placing it between two sheets of parchment paper after you mist it, then place a flat weight on top of the parchment paper (such as a cutting board) until it dries out. But as you can see from my images above, the paper does curl a little.

  3. Have you had any further successes in flavoring edible paper? I was interested in trying to do this too, but I want to maintain the strength of the paper so it can be printed on.