I cannot claim credit for the original idea for these but it took a few experiments and a bit of trial and error to perfect the technique.
A couple of years ago I was on a transatlantic flight a couple of weeks before Christmas and one of the options on the inflight video channels was Heston Blumenthal’s “Fantastical Food Christmas Special”. This was a series where he made supersized and fantasy versions of British food classics and the Christmas edition included edible tree decorations and a Christmas pudding large enough to climb into.
He experimented with various ways of producing alcoholic snow with little success. He finally opts for “rice paper snowflakes infused with a special whisky infused sugar”, but only makes the briefest mention of them with no detail on how he does it. Many of the fantasy dishes on Heston’s TV shows use ingredients, equipment or techniques that are out of my reach but whisky infused paper sounded well within my grasp, and a great addition to our tree decorations.
The starting point is rice paper, also known as wafer paper, edible sheets typically made with from potato starch or rice. Used in cake decorating and candy making they can be found in cake supply stores or online.
I used a snowflake shaped punch from an art supply store to make the snowflakes but you can use any shape that takes your fancy. The next step is to make a thick paste from powdered sugar and whisky (or the alcohol of your choice). Using a small brush, “paint” this onto the paper and before it dries sprinkle on some sparkling sugar to add some twinkle to the final result.
These snowflakes are somewhat delicate and are at their best within 2 to 3 days of being made before the alcohol dissipates and they dry out. You can hang them on your tree, use them as a drinks garnish or hand them out as an unusual nibble at holiday gatherings.
Edible Whisky Infused Snowflakes
2 sheets wafer paper
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1.5 tsp whisky
2 tsp sparkling sugar
Cut out the snowflake shape (or whatever shape you desire) from the sheets of wafer paper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Mix the powdered sugar and whisky into a thick paste. Using a small brush carefully paint the sugar and whisky solution onto the wafer paper shapes.
Before the paste dries sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
Leave to dry before eating or using to decorate. To prevent the paper from curling as it dries place another sheet of parchment paper on top and then put a flat object such as a chopping board on top of that.
Yield: 12 snowflakes