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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Royal Icing Apple Pie

Imagine my surprise when I looked up British Culture on Wikipedia and discovered in the cuisine section that apple pie has been consumed in England since the middle ages! And here I thought nothing could be more American. Anyway, in my ongoing quest to pipe something British or Olympics-themed every day of the 2012 games, I piped a tiny little pie. The first step is to stick a parchment paper square to a flower nail with a dab from a glue stick. You'll want to have a Styrofoam block handy to rest the nail in. 
 Pipe a "pie pan" with a round #12 tip, held at a right angle to and just above the surface. Pipe a ring…
 …then fill in the hole in the center…
 …then tap the disc flat with your fingertip after touching it to a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar.
Let it firm up for a while, then pipe a lattice with a flat, narrow tip. I love the look of the serrated tip #46 by Magic Tip (even though a flat tip probably would have been more realistic). Start by piping a straight line across the center. Neaten the ends with a dusted fingertip.
 Proceed with the basketweave technique. Pipe three (or so) cross pieces…
 …then pipe a little "spacer dot" in between each of the ends of those cross pieces.
 Pipe two more lines, parallel to the first line…
 …and finish off with short cross pieces, filling in any holes. Touch the dusting pouch and tap the outer edges smooth.
 Switch to a round #4 tip and pipe a squiggly line for the crimped edge. This would be cute on top of any apple dessert, like muffins.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Royal Icing Remembrance Poppy

During the Olympics Opening Ceremony, there was a reference to Remembrance Day (aka Poppy Day or Armistice Day), which reminded me of these stunning black and red Remembrance Poppies. I had to try my hand at piping them, and here's what I came up with. Start by sticking a parchment paper square to a glue stick.
 Pipe a base using a round #12 tip and black stiff consistency royal icing. Hold the tip just above the parchment paper, squeeze until the icing starts to build up, and pull the tip straight upward for about half in inch before stopping pressure and pulling away. The base will probably resemble a Hershey's Kiss. Touch your fingertip to a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch, and tap the peak flat.
 When the bases have had a chance to firm up for about 15 minutes or so, pipe a #16 star in the center. Flatten it with your fingertip as well.
 Pipe a total of five petals with a #104 petal tip and stiff consistency red royal icing (I used Super Red by AmeriColor; the black is Super Black). Attach a base to the nail gently by the paper with another dab from the glue stick. With the wide side of the tip #104 about halfway down the base, pipe a wraparound petal just over halfway around the base. I used a gentle in-and-out sawing motion to gently ruffle the icing
 Here's the second petal, which overlaps the beginning and end of the first petal.
 Pipe three more overlapping wraparound petals, being sure to completely cover the black base. If you make several dozen of them, they'd be a perfect, edible prop for a pretty nurse costume (serving poppies from a tray)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Royal Icing Pint Glass

In honor of the London Olympics, I'm finally getting around to a project I've been promising for a while: a tiny little pint glass. This wouldn't even give a hedgehog a buzz! All you'll need are white and black or very dark brown stiff consistency royal icing, a round tip #12, a flower nail, parchment paper squares, a glue stick, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Hold the tip just above the surface at a right angle, and squeeze a shape reminiscent of a witch hat. Move the tip up and away, stopping pressure after about an inch.
 Thoroughly dust your thumb and index fingertip against the dusting pouch, hold the nail upside down, and tap the icing into as close an approximation of a pint glass shape as possible. Mine wound up being somewhere between a tulip and a sleever.
 You can place the nail somewhere like on a dish drying rack with the glass shape hanging down between the bars to dry. If you have several flower nails, you can pipe a whole bunch of them at once. When they dry, peel them off the paper…
 …and pipe a tiny little head with the #12 tip and white icing. Hold the tip just above the surface of the glass, squeeze out a very small amount of icing, and swirl the tip off and away. Use these tiny pint glasses to decorate desserts suitable for any adult-oriented occasion (and, of course, St. Patrick's Day).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Royal Icing Tudor Rose

Continuing with projects inspired by the London Olympics, today's post is the Tudor Rose. This is a motif commonly seen in heraldry, but there is an actual version that grows in the dirt, too, which is the one I'm attempting to replicate. All you'll need to pipe this red-and-white rose are stiff consistency royal icing in white and red (I recommend Super Red by AmeriColor to color your icing a true red), a cheap brush from the craft store, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a glue stick, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, round tip #12, and tip #97, which is used to pipe Victorian roses. That's a tip #97 on the left; on the right is a standard petal tip #104 (teardrop shaped)
Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Pipe a base for each rose, and allow the bases to firm up. The bases are basically shaped like Hershey's Kisses, and are made by holding the round tip #12 perpendicular to and just above the surface, squeezing until the icing is the size of about a nickel, and slowly moving the tip upward and away from the surface before stopping pressure and pulling the tip straight up and away.
 Remember how important it is to allow the bases to firm up; you don't want them to flatten out under the weight of all those petals. Warning: graphic photos of icing gone wrong here.
 Work on each rose one at a time by returning them to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. Handle them only by the parchment paper. Start by piping the center petal that wraps around the tip of the base with the tip #97. You can read all of the specifics regarding angle, pressure, distance of each row of petals to the next, number of petals, etc. if you go to the Wilton site and read about The Wilton Rose.
 The main difference in using the tip #97 is the petals will curl over at the edges a little, which I think makes them look so much more realistic than the standard petal tip. Start by piping three overlapping petals around the center wraparound petal.
 Then, you'll want to make a striped bag. Paint a generous stripe of red icing for a couple of inches along one of the bag's seams and all the way into the coupler, if you're using one.
 Fill the bag as much as you'd like with white icing…
 …and make sure the narrow side of the tip is lined up with the stripe.
 Pipe a row of 5 overlapping petals, angling them slightly more outwards than the row of 3 petals…
 …and finish with a row of 7 or more overlapping petals, angling outwards even further (but not lying flat on the parchment; there should still be plenty of clearance between the flower and the paper). How pretty would these be on red velvet cake? But not very British, I'm afraid.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Royal Icing Bowler Hat

I'm going to do my best to come up with as many British and Olympic-inspired projects as possible over the next couple of weeks. I want to get things going with one of my favorite accessories of all time: the bowler hat, which I first became aware of back when Culture Club was my favorite band (I was a very flashy 'tween at the time…except the word 'tween hadn't been invented yet). The base of the bowler is very similar to the pots of eyeshadow from last night. All you need is round tip #12, oval tip # 57, stiff consistency royal icing in black, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a glue stick, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Fit the bag of black icing with the #12 tip, hold it just above the surface of a parchment square on your countertop, and pipe a quarter-sized circle (if a hole remains in the center, don't worry).
  Touch the dusting pouch with a fingertip and tap the disc to even it out (and to fill in the center hole, if there is one). Alternately, shake the dusting pouch over a spot on your countertop and touch that spot instead of directly touching the dusting pouch with a fingertip that may have black icing on it.
  Allow the discs to firm up for a while. You can speed up this process by placing them under a desk lamp.
 Hold the tip just above and at a right angle to the center, and squeeze out a ball of icing. Pull the tip away straight up. If a peak remains, tap the icing into a rounded shape with a dusted fingertip.
 Switch to the oval tip #57. Carefully stick what you've piped so far, still on its parchment paper, to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. To form the outer edge of the hat's brim, hold the oval tip upright against the edge. Pipe all the way around while you rotate the nail. Where the two ends meet, tap them together with a dusted fingertip.
Feel free to send me more British and Olympic ideas! I promise, I'll try to pipe a pint soon. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Royal Icing Eyeshadow

I just had to pipe a companion piece to yesterday's lipstick: eyeshadow! That project was pretty easy, and this one is even easier. All you need are round tips #10 and #12, stiff consistency royal icing in black and any colors you like, parchment paper squares, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Fit the bag of black icing with the #12 tip, hold it just above the surface of a parchment square on your countertop, and pipe a quarter-sized circle (if a hole remains in the center, don't worry).
 Touch the dusting pouch with a fingertip and tap the disc to even it out (and to fill in the center hole, if there is one). Alternately, shake the dusting pouch over a spot on your countertop and touch that spot instead of directly touching the dusting pouch with a fingertip that may have black icing on it.
 Allow the discs to firm up for a while. You can speed up this process by placing them under a desk lamp.
 When they've firmed up, pipe the eyeshadow part. Using any color you like and the #10 tip, pipe a smaller disc on top of the black disc using the exact same method.
 Make this disc as thin as possible (but not so thin that you can see through to the black).
 Allow them to firm up. And if you're wondering if these are actual eyeshadow colors…
 …they are.
 Use them to decorate any girly-girl dessert!