Friday, September 21, 2012

Royal Icing Jessamine

Yellow jessamine (or jasmine) is found throughout South Carolina, where it was designated the official state flower in 1924. Piping this flower is a little tricky, in that you'll need to use a lily nail instead of a flat flower nail. The lily nail comes in two pieces; just to simplify things, I'm going to call the one on the left the cup and the one on the right the plunger. 
 There are different ways to accomplish this step, but what I like to do is place a 4x4" square of candy foil on a flat surface, and place the plunger in the center.
 Draw the foil up around the edges of the plunger…
 …and then stick it into the cup.
 Fold the foil down over the cup…
 …and then tuck it around so it won't fly off when you're piping. Remove the plunger and you're ready to go.
 In addition to the lily nail and candy foil squares, you'll need medium-to-stiff consistency royal icing in yellow, petal tip #104, round tip #4, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 blend of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Place the tip in the middle of the cup, and squeeze while slowly drawing the tip out along the side of the cup. When you get to the edge, stop pressure and pull the tip away. You may find you need to taper the end of the petal; touch your fingertips to the dusting pouch and then gently pinch the end of the petal.
 Repeat 4 times for a total of 5 petals. Try not to squeeze too much icing in the center, or it will take a VERY long time to dry completely.
 Switch to the #4 tip to pipe a pistil. Hold the tip in the center, squeeze while slowly drawing upwards for about 1/2". Stop pressure and pull the tip away. Adjust the angle with a dusted fingertip if you need to. Pipe these flowers well in advance of needing them (depending on your climate, that might mean a week); it's heartbreaking if you peel the foil away too soon and a petal comes with it!

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