Thursday, June 21, 2012

Royal Icing Sunflower

I think the sunflower is one of the easiest yet boldest flowers you can pipe. It's larger than most royal icing flowers; just one would cover an entire cupcake! You'll need larger parchment squares (about 3") and a larger flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, a glue stick, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar, stiff consistency royal icing in yellow and brown, round tip #3, and a curved ribbon tip (I used #79 by Magic Tip).
 Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick.
 Make a dot of icing in the middle of the square to keep your flower centered.
 Hold the tip just above the surface at a 45 degree angle. Pipe two petals opposite each other. Start from the center and radiate out to just inside the edge, at which point you should stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 Touch your fingertips to the dusting pouch, and pinch the ends of the petals into a point.
 Repeat the process…
 …again and again…
 …and again. Don't worry if you don't wind up with exactly 16 petals.
 Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch again and tap it against the center to flatten out all those raw ends.
 Allow the flower to firm up for about 15 minutes. Pipe a cluster of #3 short stand-up dots. Hold the tip against the center of the flower, squeeze briefly while drawing the tip upwards for about 2 millimeters, stop pressure and pull the tip away. If any of the dots are especially taller than the others, touch a finger to the dusting pouch and tap them down. Allow this flower ample time to harden; the drying time can be sped up by placing it under a desk lamp. This is a great flower for decorating cakes all the way from summer through fall!

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