The dust method will create a powder-like substance or fine, coarse particles, which can be used to sprinkle over a drink to add an aroma, rim a glass, create an illusion of dirt spread all over a plate, cigar ashes, cotton candy, etc.
I use two ways of creating powders; Maltodextrin, the Tapioca one, and food dehydrator.
The specific Malto I used is Tapioca (cassava root) Maltodextrin; a food starch used to absorb and thicken fat. The final product is a powder, which melts in your mouth and has a nice texture. Any item, liquid or solid, with high-fat content, can be used. Olive oil, Caramel, Nutella, peanut butter, and bacon fat are some of the right ingredients. If they are in a solid-state like bacon fat, they need to be liquefied before that; others like Nutella don’t have to be.
The general ratio is 40-60% of the fat content. The powder can be made using a blender or manually.
In a blender, add;
120 gr Nutella
80 gr Tapioca Maltodextrin
Blend it, scrape the sides of the blender occasionally; if it is not powdery enough, add more Maltodextrin. Store in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
In a bowl, add Nutella first, then add a spoon of Maltodextrin and stir. Keep adding Malto and stirring until you get nice fluffy powder. Strain through a fine sieve.
Don’t add the powder to a drink. It will lose its texture.
Another way of making dust is by using a food dehydrator. For that purpose, you will need a liquid with higher sugar content, and since one of my favorite aperitifs is Campari, I decided to use it for that purpose and make Cotton Candy out of it. Not all the aperitifs or liqueurs will dehydrate to crystallized form, I guess that might have something to do with their ingredients, but it is fun trying.
Cotton Candy Campari
- 500 ml Campari- the amount depends on the size of the dehydrator tray.
- Food Dehydrator
- Pour the Campari onto the food dehydrator tray.
- Turn it on and go have a drink(s). The wait time varies, I have a smaller one and it took me around 6 hours for all the liquid to vaporize. What you have left is a substance with crystallized like texture.
- Scrape it, cover it, and store it in the fridge.
- When is time to use the Campari, you have two options; use a muddler or spice grinder to crush it, pulverized it, to make it look like fine sugar.
- You can rim the glass, sprinkle on top of the drink, or run it through a cotton candy machine.
- The cotton candy can be served as a garnish on top of a drink or placed into an empty cocktail glass, after that the drink can be poured on top of it in front of the customer.
Another way of dehydrating a Campari is in the oven in a low heat140-185F, I haven’t used this method, but I’ve seen different posts on the web of people describing how is done.