Saturday, May 12, 2012

Briar Rose in Royal Icing

Would you believe, the gum paste briar rose post I wrote back on February 25th has the second-highest number of page views on this blog? No doubt, that has something to do with it being one of the prettiest (yet easiest) flowers in Wilton's Course 4: Advanced Gum Paste Flowers. I loved every minute of that class, but there's no way I'll ever feel about gum paste the way I do about royal icing. I wanted to try piping a briar rose, and wasn't sure which tip I'd need. I did know I'd need a piping bag of white royal icing, a glue stick, parchment paper squares, and a flower nail (I used a 5-petal template decal, just to keep the petals somewhat equilateral). 
 After fumbling around with different tips, here are three specimens I came up with. I thought the #97 might work, but I wasn't crazy about the end result.
Tip #61 wasn't much better; the petals sort of blurred together, too. 
I was a little hesitant to try petal tip #104, because it's so pedestrian; it gets enough of a workout for more than its fair share of flowers, and I really want to press those other tips into service! However, I really think the flower it piped looks closest to the briar rose, so here's how I did it…
…I started by sticking a parchment paper square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick.
 Then, I piped a petal, staying in between the lines of one of the wedges. While squeezing, hold the tip almost flat on the nail's surface, with the wide end in the center, and gently wave the outward-turned narrow end up and down while moving the tip in a small, upside-down U formation. As you reach the right side of the petal, stop pressure and draw the tip toward you.
 Tuck the tip against the right edge of the petal, and start squeezing the second petal. As you start to squeeze, the second petal will catch on the right edge of the first, curl over slightly, and really differentiate the petals.
 Repeat for a third petal…
 …and a fourth…
 …and a fifth.
 For the stamens, load a bag with yellow royal icing and a #2 round tip, and pipe several stand-up dots. Hold the tip just above the center of the flower, squeeze, and as the icing builds up, slowly back the tip away. When it's the right height, stop pressure and pull the tip away.
To give the petals a pink edge, you can pipe them using a striped bag, or brush some Deep Pink Color Dust on the edges. 

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