What is edible gold leaf and should we be eating it?

It’s been labelled the biggest food trend but should you be going for gold? Here’s what you need to know.

We all love a bit of shimmer, and what could be nicer than draping yourself in 18k gold?

But what about the gleam of gold leaf - which we’re more accustomed to on an antique dresser (or piece of wood) rather than the topping on a slice of cake…

To inspire a gold rush, here’s the lowdown on this ‘insta-worthy’ ornamentation we’re glamming up our dishes with…

What exactly is edible gold leaf?

It’s a gold product made of pure gold (24k) or a mix of edible metals (such as pure gold and pure silver) and can be used to garnish desserts, chocolates, main courses and cocktails.

What does gold leaf taste like?

While you might think there could be a metallic tang, it’s flavourless, odourless and non-toxic.

What types of edible gold leaf are there?

The most typical types of gold leaf are sheets or flakes. The sheets are fragile and very thin and usually come packaged between sheets of thin paper to make them easier to apply to your food. They can be a bit fiddly, but will gilt your steak to the hilt.

The flakes are easy to use if you just want to sprinkle the tops of cupcakes or champagne truffles, while a couple of gold flecks will pimp up your cocktail if you like the idea of them floating on the top of an espresso martini.

Is gold leaf as expensive as it looks?

Because it’s such a tiny amount of gold (compared to a piece of jewellery), it won’t pull on the purse strings too much. It’s available to buy from speciality cake shops and cookery stores online, as well as high street retailers.

Indeed, Sainsbury’s are selling Taste the Difference Edible Gold Leaf 23CT sheets (x 2) for £3 (in-store only), so there’s no reason you can’t strike gold and adorn your treasure chest of recipe ideas with this precious metal.

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