Now that the colorful striped desserts trend is headed for a ditch somewhere, we can turn our attention to more pressing matters—like how to make glow-in-the-dark frosting. Chances are you've signed up to bring a food item of some sort to a summer potluck, or perhaps your basic frosting game is missing a certain flourescent je ne sais quoi. We've got your back. Because if you have a bottle of tonic water in your fridge, and the ingredients for a basic buttercream frosting and Jell-O, you can make neon desserts.
How? It's bizarrely simple. You mix up a basic buttercream frosting with sugar, butter and vanilla extract, then you add tonic water to the mix; the quinine in the tonic water has a flourescent effect (Scientific American explains why). Then just frost your cupcakes or cakes and freeze them; meanwhile, grab a box of Jell-O and follow package directions but use tonic water instead of regular water. Spread the glaze on top of the frosting on your cakes, and freeze them again. Remove the desserts, place them in front of a backlight, and voila: Glow-in-the-dark cake.
Ready to go? You can find more detailed instructions and extra tricks at Recipe Snobs, where the recipe originally appeared a few years back, or at Spoon University, which just resurfaced it because... why not.
Somehow, healthy-eating advocates like Evoke Foods and some weight-loss sites have gotten a hold of this stuff and decided it fits the bill. Why that is, we don't quite understand. Is it because you can switch out the tonic for diet tonic? That doesn't sound so healthy to us, honestly. But there you have it.
NB: Apparently white frosting has the most neon-like effect, and green comes in second (other colors, not so much).
And quick note before we go: Apparently the brown spots on bananas glow in the dark too. We're off to investigate.
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