Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Royal Icing Syringa

The Syringa is the first flower I've piped out of royal icing whose pronunciation I am unsure of (and spellchecker is jumping all over me for the spelling, which I'm certain is accurate). It's the official flower of Idaho; I suppose if I'd taken the easy way out and piped a potato, I wouldn't have that problem. To pipe syringas (also known as Lewis's mock-orange), you'll need stiff consistency royal icing in white and yellow, petal tip #104, round tip #2, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, parchment paper squares, a glue stick, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Syringas have four petals, which you'll want to pipe at 12, 3, 6 and 9. Hold the #104 tip almost flat on the surface with the narrow side facing outward and angled slightly up. Squeeze and move the tip in a tight upside-down "U" motion. As the tip reaches the end of the petal, stop pressure and pull the tip away towards yourself.
 Repeat a second time, overlapping the first petal slightly.
 …and repeat. Allow these 4 petals to firm up for a while; you can speed this process up by placing them under a desk lamp.
 Using the #2 tip on the yellow icing, pipe a cluster of stamens. Hold the tip against the surface, squeeze, and pull the tip upwards. Stop pressure and pull the tip away after about 1/4". Adjust the directions of the stamens with a fingertip after touching it to the dusting pouch.
 Allow the stamens to firm up for a while, then pipe the little balls on the ends. To do this, squeeze out a tiny ball of icing from the end of the tip, then gently wipe the tip off on the end of each stamen. This sounds like it shouldn't work, but if the stamens are dry enough, you'll be successful!

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