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Monday, November 19, 2012

Royal Icing Caffeine Molecules

The holidays are coming, and to me that means one thing: consuming enough caffeine to see me through, starting with a long, Thanksgiving Day drive. To pipe this symbol that will have all but your geekiest friends asking what the heck it is, you'll need stiff consistency white royal icing, a #5 round tip, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, a soft brush and edible white glitter. Start by taping a sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet. 
 Hold the #5 tip at a 45 degree angle to and just above the surface, and pipe a hexagon. Stop pressure after every line to form distinct corners. You may wish to trace a template placed underneath the parchment, so your lines will be straighter and more equal than mine.
 Pipe a short line radiating out from each corner.
 Pipe two more lines connecting two of these lines to form the neighboring pentagon.
 Finally, pipe the balls that will approximate the atoms. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap down any peaks that remain.
 Allow the icing to firm up for a while, then dust it all over with edible glitter like Wilton's Pearl Dust; according to Wikipedia, caffeine is described as "white crystalline" so glitter isn't totally out of place. When the icing is dry, slide the molecules right off the parchment (I sometimes attempt to slide a parchment square underneath; if it slides in easily, the icing is dry). Use these molecules to decorate any coffee flavored dessert, or even coffee cake. You could even park one in the foam on a cappuccino or mocha right before serving it.

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