Friday, September 14, 2012

Royal Icing Peony

The state flower of Indiana is the peony (prior to 1957 it had a few others). Peonies come in many varieties, but no particular one has been designated "official." They are large, showy flowers; I'm afraid their grandeur is challenging to depict accurately in icing, but I gave it a try. You'll need stiff consistency royal icing in white, pink, red, or yellow (pretty much almost any color you have lying around), a flower nail, parchment paper squares, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, and round tip #12, chrysanthemum tip #80, and petal tip #101. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 With the #12 tip, pipe a mound a little taller than half an inch, and allow it to firm up; this is the base. Hold the tip at a 90 degree angle to and just above the surface, squeeze out icing until it's about the size of a dime, then start moving the tip upwards while continuing to pipe (and keeping the tip buried in the icing). Stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 The bases don't need to be perfect, as they'll be covered in petals. Allow them to firm up for about 20 minutes (you can speed this process up by placing them under a desk lamp).
 Switch to the #80 tip and pipe a cluster of short, stand-up petals on the top. Hold the tip against the surface, squeeze while pulling up for a few millimeters, then stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 Switch to the #101 tip and surround these petals with small, ruffled petals. As you pipe each petal (with the wide end of the tip against the base and the narrow end facing upward and outward), move your hand in a gentle sawing motion. Slightly overlap the petals.
 Here's another view of the first row of petals. I'd say that "sawing" motion is like writing in cursive, but I don't want to refer to a skill rarely taught in schools anymore.
 Cover the base with petals, overlapping as you go. Each row should angle further outward than the one prior to it. You might want to try piping these in buttercream with larger versions of the tips, or try your hand at gum paste (there are many gum paste peony tutorials out there; they're generally beyond my skill set!).

1 comment:

  1. Oh, they are beautiful! Peonies and roses are my favorite flowers :)