Sunday, June 17, 2012

Royal Icing Grapes

I would love to whine (as it were) about how played-out grapes are as a cake motif, but the thing about them is they're pretty darn cute. And WAY easy to pipe, as well as being a perennial crowd-pleaser. All you'll need to pipe grapes are stiff consistency royal icing in brown, green and purple (assuming you want to pipe iconic purple grapes; otherwise go green), a glue stick, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block (to stick the nail into when you're switching tips), a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of cornstarch and powdered sugar, round tips #12, #5, and #3, and small Ateco leaf tip #65. 
 Start by piping a #12 teardrop of purple icing on a parchment square. Hold the tip in place while you pipe a ball; when it's formed, pull the tip to the side while decreasing and eventually stopping pressure.
 Touch your finger to the dusting pouch, then tap it to the point to round it off.
 You'll probably want to pipe several bunches at once if you're going to create a whole grapevine or are decorating a batch of cupcakes. Allow the bases to firm up for at least 20 minutes (you can place them under a desk lamp to speed up the process).
 Dab the glue stick to the flower nail, then stick one of the parchment squares to it. Switch to the #5 tip and pipe a cluster of dots at the wide end of the base. Touch your finger to the dusting pouch, and tap down the peaks so the dots appear more round (do this for all the dots as you go).
 Cover about 2/3 of the base with the #5 dots…
 …then switch to the #3 tip for the bottom 1/3 of the bunch.
 Pipe a tiny #65 leaf or two at the top…
 …and pipe a brown #3 stem. I have a plan for these; if it works out I'll post the results soon!

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