Sunday, September 9, 2012

Royal Icing Bitterroot

The purplish-pink bitterroot is the official flower of Montana, and was even written about by the explorers Lewis and Clark. The Bitterroot Mountains, Bitterroot Valley, and Bitterroot River are all named for it, too! You'll want to use a large flower nail (3" across) and appropriately sized parchment paper squares, as well as a petal tip #104, round tip #3, a glue stick, a Styrofoam block to rest the flower nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar. You'll also need stiff consistency royal icing in almost any shade of pink; I used Fuchsia Soft Gel Paste by AmeriColor. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a generous dab from the glue stick. 
 Hold the tip #104 with the wide end in the center and the narrow end facing outward and angled upward. Move the tip in a "U"-motion while piping, stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 Here is another view of the first petal.
 Pipe three more petals in approximately 12-3-6-9 positions.
 Pipe more petals anywhere you see a gap…
 …and another layer of smaller petals on top of those. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and gently tap the center flat (where all the petals' ends meet). This will be a big, heavy flower that takes a while to dry to the point where you can peel away the parchment, so pipe them well in advance of whatever dessert project you're using them for.
 Switch to the #3 tip and pipe a cluster of stamens in the middle. Hold the tip against the surface and squeeze briefly while pulling the tip upward. Stop pressure and pull the tip away. Talk about a big flower; it's the first one I've ever done that had three sets of double letters in the name!

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