Have you ever had a catering job client ask about how they can put their stamp on the event? This question gives you the opportunity use your creative juices and opens the door to additional profits through up selling added features to your culinary presentation. Chances are you have seen photo images on a cake before. Corporate logos for milestone celebrations. Favorite animated characters for birthday parties. If you have, then you’ve seen edible paper and how it can be used on culinary presentations.
Add Edible Paper To Your Food Truck’s Catering Tool Box
To make edible paper transfers part of your food truck or catering repertoire you will need a few basic tools.
- A computer.
- A dedicated new ink jet printer (standard ink is toxic—you can’t use the printer you use to print out documents every day).
- Edible rice paper. (made with rice starch, water and salt). The printable edible paper for cake decorating, known as wafer paper, is made of potato starch, vegetable oil and water.
Prices for these basics will vary but can normally be found at relatively low prices. New ink jet printers can be as inexpensive as $50, edible rice paper or wafer paper costs $19–$25 for a box of 100 8×11 sheets and edible ink cartridges are available for $65–$75.
- Bake cookies/crackers for 3/4 of the usual baking time, then pull from oven and brush with an egg wash while still hot.
- Apply the rice or wafer paper you’ve printed onto the cookies/crackers immediately after you’ve brushed them with egg wash, then apply another coat of egg wash.
- Finish baking the cookies/crackers.
- The rice paper will be clear and plastic-like when dry.
- Rice paper absorbs moisture, so store it in a sealed container or Cryovac after each use to keep dry.
- Take the cartridges with food color ink out of the printer and seal in plastic bags when not it use. This will help keep the ink from drying out so you can use it longer.
- You may want to ask the source of your edible paper which printer works best for their paper.
- Get as many of the images you want to transfer as possible onto each edible sheet to save paper—and money.
- Edible ink and papers can be purchased online.
- Kosher edible paper and ink are available.
Edible frosting sheets can be printed with edible ink and then put onto a frosted item. The sheets leave the printed image in the frosting.
The Bottom Line
Whether social or corporate, your catering clients will love seeing their logo, monogram or photos on food items you prepare for them. To help use this technique for up selling, have a sample ready for your meeting with the client; it might be what it takes to give you a competitive edge.
Weddings, mitzvahs, grand openings, fund-raisers, birthdays; no matter what the catered occasion, this upsell is a perfect fit. And these edible delights can stand alone or complement any sweet or savory culinary creation, so let your imagination fly.