Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Royal Icing Sycamore Leaf

Sycamore trees can produce enormous leaves; up to 15" across! I should know, because when I was growing up I had to rake an awful lot of them this time of year. All you'll need to pipe tiny versions about one-fifteenth this size are stiff consistency royal icing in any muted fall color (especially brown, gold or green), leaf tip #69, oval tip #55, a flower nail, a Styrofoam brick to rest the nail in, parchment paper squares, a glue stick, a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar, and round toothpicks. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Pipe a line about 1" long with the #55 tip.
 Switch to the #69 tip and, holding the tip at about a 45 degree angle, pipe three shots of icing for the leaf. The "spine" of each leaf should radiate out from the stem. Pipe the center piece first, and then the sides. Taper the tips with your fingertips after touching them to the dusting pouch.
 Press the toothpick into the icing around the edges (but not the tips) and draw it outward to create an approximation of the texture of sycamore leaves. Pipe several hundred of them if you want to recreate the real deal, or pipe a few dozen to dress up a festive fall cake.

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