Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. After weeks of lovely flowers, it's time to do something completely unrelated: an artichoke. A friend of mine is producing the play "Artichoke" at Coastal Repertory Theatre in Half Moon Bay, and I wanted to make some sort of custom cupcake topper for the opening night gala. Basically, the artichoke is the mum from Wilton's Course 3: Gum Paste and Fondant, but not in a traditional mum color (I used Avocado by AmeriColor). Besides gum paste (stored under a plastic cup to keep it from drying out), you'll need thick and thin pink shaping foam, a gum paste storage board to use as a work surface, a container of gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), a small brush, the large modeling stick from Wilton's 10-piece Fondant and Gum Paste Tool Set, one toothpick for each artichoke, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, a 9" fondant roller with pink 1/16" rings, and the large and small mum cutters from either the Course 3 Student Kit or the Ultimate Decorating Set. You'll also need a second gum paste storage board, a Styrofoam block, small flower forming cups and Styrofoam cups.
Alternately, keep going with the remaining three large cutouts. To dry, dust the inside of a flower forming cup, place it on an upside-down Styrofoam cup with a hole in the center of the bottom, and stick the toothpick through both holes.
And here it is! Bring on the Hollandaise sauce!