Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Royal Icing Calendula

The official flower of October is the calendula, a member of the daisy family which comes in colors ranging from yellow to orange. And, like the daisy, it's very easy to pipe. All you'll need is stiff consistency royal icing in a golden yellow or orange, round tip #5, petal tip #101, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, 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. 
 Pipe the petals by moving your hand in a tight "U" formation, starting from the center, moving the tip out toward the edge, then back in again. Keep the narrow end of the petal tip facing outward and slightly upward off the surface, while moving the wide end along the surface. Usually I like to pipe four petals first in the 12-3-6-9 positions to keep the flower balanced; I didn't do that this time. I just made sure to rotate the nail steadily while keeping the petals basically the same length, and the end result was pretty even. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and gently tap the center flat.
 Repeat, piping a smaller flower on top of the first one. Try not to line the petals right on top of each other; attempt to stagger them. Again, flatten the center with a dusted fingertip when you are finished.
 Pipe a cluster of #5 dots in the center. You can pipe them in a deeper color to give the center some contrast. Look at actual photos of the many varieties of calendula for inspiration when piping this autumn bloom!

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