Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Royal Icing Yellow Hibiscus

Hawaii's official state flower is the yellow hibiscus (additionally, each individual island has its own official flower). Several varieties exist with red in various places, but the one I'm doing is primarily yellow with red dots in the middle (I'm guessing they're stamens). All you'll need to pipe yellow hibiscus flowers are stiff consistency royal icing (in yellow, of course; I used Lemon Yellow Soft Gel Paste by AmeriColor), tip #104, tip #5, a glue stick, a flower nail, parchment paper squares, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of powdered sugar and cornstarch. You'll also need round toothpicks and AmeriColor's Super Red to make the dots that represent the stamens. Use a 5-petal flower nail template if it helps you to keep the petals even. 
 Pipe the first petal by holding the #104 tip almost flat against the surface. Keep the wide side of the petal tip against the center while gently waving the outer edge (the narrow side of the tip) up and down to form the grooves as you pipe.
 Pipe slowly and allow the icing to build up as you go; that will cause the icing to "ruffle" (instead of being flat like a rose petal).
 Pipe each petal in the same way, allowing them to overlap slightly. Here's the second:
 And the third:
 The fourth:
 And the fifth:
 Here's a side view. I love the dimensionality of this flower!
 Switch to the #5 round tip, hold it against the center, squeeze and pull up slowly. When the center is about half an inch tall, stop pressure and pull the tip away. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap it against this formation to straighten it upright, if need be.
Lastly, when the flower has dried, use the pointy end of a round toothpick to paint the red dots of food color in the center. Aloha! 

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