Friday, August 17, 2012

Royal Icing Saguaro Cactus Blossom

Tonight's post is the state flower of Arizona, the saguaro cactus blossom. This is an especially interesting flower; it's night-blooming, and is primarily pollinated by bats. Now, before you write to me to tell me how inaccurate my version of this flower is, let me explain that I'm on a road trip and managed to forget quite a few of my tips back home (I can just see where I left them lying out to dry). I'm going to try making this flower again as soon as time allows. To show your love for Arizona by piping saguaro cactus blossoms, you'll need stiff consistency icing in white and light yellow (I only used white, but in some photos this flower appears all white so I guess that's OK), a glue stick, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, round tip #12, tip #2 (I had to settle for #3, which is rather clunky), leaf tip #352, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Attach the #12 tip to the bag and pipe a flat disc of icing. Hold the tip just above the surface and pipe a circle. Pipe a dab in the hole in the center, then touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap the icing into a smooth disc. Allow it to firm up for a while.
 Switch to the #352 leaf tip. Hold the tip at a 45 degree angle to the disc, and about 1/4" in from the edge of it. Squeeze out a petal that points outward and upward. You can add definition to the petals' points by pinching them with dusted fingertips.
 Pipe a row of petals around the edge of the disc, slightly overlapping each other.
 Switch to the #2 tip, and pipe a ring of dots inside the petals. I used a #3, which produced dots that are just a little too big. Leave a hole in the center. This is also the point at which you'd switch to light yellow icing, if you're so inclined.
 Still using the #2 tip, pipe a few stand-up dots in the center. Hold the tip against the center, squeeze, and pull up a short distance before stopping pressure and pulling away. Allow the flower to dry completely before peeling away the parchment paper. You might also enjoy seeing this cactus I piped earlier this summer.

1 comment:

  1. Denise!!!! I absolutely love this post! Saguaro cactus blossoms are gorgeous in person and I have to say you did them every amount of justice they deserve.
    Thanks for sharing this. Next time I get around to baking I'll be looking at this post for decoration ideas :)