Monday, June 18, 2012

Royal Icing Strawberries

Is it silly to make strawberries out of icing when you could pretty much use the real thing as a cupcake topper? In my book (and I do intend to write one): NO. Strawberries are one of the most watery fruits around, and they would probably cause any cupcake to melt down prematurely. Not only that, but strawberries growing out of the ground don't come in hot pink (yet). So, to pipe royal icing strawberries, you'll need a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, parchment paper squares, round tips #12, #1, and #2, Ateco leaf tip #65, a flower nail, a glue stick, a Styrofoam brick to stick the nail in while changing tips, and stiff consistency royal icing in yellow, green, and hot pink (or red, if you're a traditionalist). 
 Start by piping a teardrop on a parchment square for each berry. Hold the tip just above and almost parallel to the surface, squeeze firmly to form a ball, then move the tip away and across the paper while rapidly decreasing and then stopping pressure. Pull the tip away. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch, then gently tap the peak into a rounded end.
 Allow the berry to dry for about half an hour. You can speed up the drying time by placing it under a desk lamp. Pipe short, yellow shots with the #1 tip for "seeds" (keep them as random as possible; not in rows).
 Pipe a #65 leaf or two…
 …and a #2 stem.
 First grapes, now strawberries; this is as close to a health food kick as I've been in a long time!

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