I adore how intricate, unique and artistic celebration cakes have become! It seams the skies the limit, more often we are seeing cakes with vision and uniqueness. Hand painted cakes have become a trend over the past couple of years and it seems the trend is here to stay (yeah!).
You can choose from several cake covering mediums, fondant, modeling chocolate, or royal icing (painting on cakes is extremely versatile). Once your cake is covered in your favored medium it is then time to hand paint. The skies the limit when it comes to choosing a theme, pattern for your cake. Hand painted cakes are completely customized to clients taste. Edible painting isn’t limited to cakes, but are perfect for cookies and cupcakes as well!
Petal cakes are another trend that has gained popularity for weddings and special occasions. Petal cakes are similar to fondant frill cakes, the difference is the petal cake has subtle movement and open to resemble a flower. The possibilities are endless, and can be created on cookies to match the cake (awesome wedding favor)!
I decided it would be fun to combine the two with an edible hand painted lilac dome on an ombre petal cake. I must admit I was happy with the results and could not wait to share my method for hand painted petal cake.
Hand Painted Petal Cake:
A day before you bake your cakes prepare your dome tops.
Once your cakes have cooled cover the cakes with fondant using a wrapped method and allow them to dry for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Have your ombre coloured fondant ready and place in sealed numbered bags.
I achieved the light green colour with 1/2 tooth pick Vine green. Add a mixture of 50/50 paste gradually until you have four variations of the green colour. The light should almost look white and the darkest is your base colour.
After you open the petals quickly place the painted dome in the cake. If you wait there is a 75% chance your petals will crack!
Once your domes have dried and retains their shape it is time to paint. You need to paint your domes prior to adding the petals to the cakes.
Place your artist brushes (with the exception of the scruffy brush) soaked in clean cooled boiled water for about one hour ahead, to keep the food paste from running into the ferrule.
Prepare your palate or coated paper plate.
The Lilac Hand Painted domes for the Petal cake HD with free HD Petal Cake Video 35.5 minutes
The Hand Painted Lilac HD video for domes 15.33 minutes
I would love to see your hand painted petals cakes and post the photos to my FaceBook page.
As always if you have any questions please leave a message.
Cherry blossom season 2014 will occur March 20 through April 13. The Washington D.C. festival entices people from all over to join in the celebration. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® presented by Events DC on Saturday, April 12, is one of DC’s largest spectator events. D.C. pulls out all the stops with top American and international artists, world-renowned dignitaries, and city officials will combine to make for an unforgettable kick-off to this long-awaited yearly celebration. This year’s performers include Grammy Award-winning singer Regina Bell and Aaron Carter, along with giant helium balloons, marching bands from across the country, and elaborate floats in a grand spectacle of showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival.
It is definitely time to bake cherry blossom macarons. They are a favorite here and I thought it would be brilliant to share the method of baking theses delicate biscuits. I am constantly hearing people wish they could create their macarons, but are intimidated by the processes. I am going to delivery a tutorial that is fool-proof and hopefully puts your macaron fears to rest.
Sakura (Cherry Blossom) French Macarons:
Find cherry blossom extract and compound here.
Prepare your mise en place.
For the macaron terms please visit: Macaron and Terms
Place the almonds, powdered sugar, cherry blossom compound, and food colorants in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
Sift the tant pour tant in two batches (almond flour, sakura compound, and icing sugar) and set a side.
Prepare the Italian meringue mise en place.
In a small pot over low heat, combine water, sugar, and vanilla skins. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. (Do not stir).
Increase the heat and boil to a softball stage (235 to 240 degrees F/ 113 to 116 degrees C). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy. Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush. This will help prevent sugar crystals from forming around the sides, falling in and causing a chain reaction.
Meanwhile, prepare your meringue.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the other half of eggs whites and egg white powder on medium low speed until foamy. Add the cherry blossom essence, increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks and add vanilla seeds, and begin to slowly add super fine sugar to the egg whites. Whisk egg whites to medium firm.
With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff, shiny, and glossy. Do not over beat your meringue or it will be too dry and break down.
Take the bowl with your tant pour tant (almond mixture) and add the reserved half of the egg whites.
Add a third of the meringue to the tant pour tant, give it a quick fold to break some of the air, keep folding till the almond mixture is mixed into the meringue, and then fold another third of the meringue into the batter, continue to vigorously fold till there are no white streaks. Now add the last third of the meringue to the batter, fold till thick, shiny and ribbons fall from the spatula. Fold the batter carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself and resembles shiny cake batter. There is no magic, I am not going to tell you that the batter should look like magma, I doubt you have ever seen it up close, I know I haven’t!
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto silicone mats lined baking sheets or parchment paper lined baking sheets. A vented jellyroll pan edge free is perfect. Rap the jellyroll pan on the counter to allow air bubbles to be released.
Let the macarons to sit out for about 1 hour to make sure the shells are hard. A well-made macaron features a crinkly “foot” on the bottom of each shell. Let the piped batter rest for 30 to 60 minutes, check for a skin to develop and place in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/ 149 degrees C.
Right before placing the macarons in the oven reduce the heat to 280 degrees F/ 138 degrees C.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size.
Bake the macarons for 5 minutes, then quickly open the oven door, turn the pan, and close the oven. Bake them for another 5 minutes and open and close the oven again. Continue to bake the macarons until the tops are rounded and firm and a craggy ridge, the foot, has formed around the base, about 5 minutes (check the macarons after a couple of minutes, as the baking time will vary by the oven).
Remove the silicone mat or parchment paper with the macarons still attached to a cooling rack; so they do not become soggy. Once the macarons are freely loosen from the silpat/parchment paper transfer to another cooling rack for a good 2 hours.
Crème Frâiche Cherry Blossom Filling:
I generally pipe the filling the next day.
Place the filling in a disposable pastry bag fitted with an open star tube/tip.
Pipe from the outside toward the center of a macaron and gently place a second macaron on top.
Buttercream is another excellent choice for a macaron filling, white chocolate ganache takes the macaron to a whole new flavor sensation!
French macarons are not daunting as thought.
If you have any questions please leave a comment; as always I would love to your French macarons (any flavor you choose) and post the photo to my FaceBook page!
To create a Strawberry-Cherry Blossom Macaron substitute strawberry (organic and dehydrated) powder for the Cherry blossom compound.
Happy Cherry Blossom Season!
I realize the world’s most famous weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow and declared six more weeks of Winter. I however refuse to except that forecast! This winter has been insane, with my daughter’s university shutting down four times this year and the airports in D.C. closing for most of President’s day weekend. It is time to take action and think Spring!! I am going to start the Spring campaign with a Spring fondant frill mini cake tutorial. The frills are ombre with blue colour and adorned with match blue pansies.
Pansies generally bloom in early spring, which is why I chose to create a spray of pansies for the mini cakes.
Spring Fondant Frill Mini Cake:
Foam pad, with a hard side,NL
Pasta machine, option
Ceramic Stick,HP, plastic JEM
Pasta machine, optional
Nile green floral tape, HH
Small sugar paste rolling pin
Plastic mat or DYI plastic cut bag lightly coated with crisco
1-recipe Vanilla Madeira cake (12 mini cakes)
Ice blue petal dust, Sf
Silver lustre Dust,Blossom
Everclear or lemon extract
Find supplies here.
You will want to colour your ombre colors before you begin. I chose five monochromatic blue colours for the mini cakes.
Prior to frilling your cake cover them in fondant, I used a panel method for my mini cakes.
I painted each of the frill’s edge with silver lustre dust.
The HD video creating the Sugar Pansy 21.5 minutes
The HD video dusting and constructing the SugarPansy 18.46 minutes.
A pansy spray id the perfect size for cupcakes as well.
Here are the pansy spray cupcakes I created for a Cake Central tutorial
I would love to see your inspired fondant frill mini cakes and sugar pansies!
EVERYBODY’S GOT AN OPINION. When it comes to the Academy Awards’ red carpet, that’s about 40 million or more will be handing down judgments about this actress’s ill-fitting dress or that one’s overly done. It’s enough to give both nominees and their stylists a serious case of the nerves. “No matter how long they have been doing this, the Academy Awards are still exciting, and the nominees are still nervous,” said stylist Leslie Fremar, whose clients include Julianne Moore and Charlize Theron. “People lean on the conservative side because they don’t want the fashion to detract from their performance or overshadow the film. But mostly, people don’t want to look back and say, ‘What was I thinking?’ “
Tweeters aren’t known to be a forgiving bunch. On top of all that this year’s figure skater, Johnny Weir, is joining Ellen Degeneres for the Oscar show. Johnny Weir is known for telling it like is is, red carpet walkers will have to endure his eagle eye. I doubt he will miss the smallest detail!
I thought with all the nervous tension in the few hours before the night begins I would share a inspired fondant sugar cookie dress, the dresses were inspired by Reese Witherspoon’s 2013 Oscar designer dress,
The dress was designed for her by Louis Vuitton. (Lucky Reese).
Blue Ruching Oscar Dress:
Find supplies here
Prepare your mise en place.
Once your sugar cookie dresses are cooled, brush your sugar cookies with clear piping gel (lightly brush). Roll your coloured fondant out to # 0 through a pasta machine, using the dress sugar cookie cutter cut the fondant out, dust with blue shimmer petal dust. Place on top of the sugar cookies, and smooth out the fondant to adhere to the sugar cookie with fondant smoothers.
This process is done for both cookies.
Reese Witherspoon’s Inspire Oscar Sugar Cookie Dress:
While fondant is still pliable use your dresden tool to draw lines of ruching, if you look at ruching on a dress it tends to go in different directions. You most likely will need to re-dust the fondant.
Mix your breakfast blue fondant with white gumpaste/sugar paste, known as a 50/50 mixture. Once the paste has been amalgamated roll the paste out to a #4 through the paste machine, or transparently thin. Cut three sections of the bottom of the dress with the dress cookie cutter, graduating in sizes. Place two under a stay fresh mat and place the third on a foam pad. With your medium Celpin ruffle the very bottom of the dress, and gather the ruffled pieces together without letting the fondant stick. Pinch the top and open the rest.
Attach the gathered ruffle skirt to the side of dress, where the ruching lines meet. Repeat the same method for the remaining two pieces, attach the pieces on top of one another. Cut a small piece of thin 50/50 paste using your Celpin hollow out the piece and place over the tip of three skirts making a cap.
Mix blue shimmer dust with Everclear or lemon extract to create a paint. Paint the ruching lines on the dress to deepen the colour, and place a clear dragee in the paint to match the color. With a soft brush dust the skirt section with the blue shimmer dust.
Once the paint is dry on the dragee pipe a little royal icing and attach to the cap.
The Second Version Fondant Inspired Dress:
Wait at least 4 hours to over night after fondant has been applied to the blossom dress. Mix your Breakfast Blue fondant with sugar paste/gumpaste until the paste is amalgamated. Roll the paste through a pasta machine gradually to #6, or until transparent and very thin. Cut the thinned paste into several strips, about 50 mm/2 inches on the smallest setting for the width on a ribbon cutter. Place all the strips under a stay fresh mat, except one. Place the one strip on your foam pad and fold the strip in half lengthwise. With a small Celpin roll the edges to close, the strip should be a little puffy. Attach the fold on the bodice of your sugar cookie on the diagonal with a little water, cut the excess with fine sharp scissors and smooth the paste’s edge against the fondant.
Continue to slightly layer the folds on dresses about 2/3 of the way down (leaving one fold out), and frill the remaining strips from the bottom of the skirt to the where the folds ends. Attach the frills 1/3 up from the bottom. Attach the final fold over the tip of the highest ruffle.
Dust the ruching folds and the ruffles with blue shimmer.
Cover an elegant square sugar cookie with fondant, we used mocha flavor. Wait at least four hours before piping royal icing on the bottom of the sugar cookie ruching dress and attach to the elegant square. Hold the dresss cookie until it stands on its own.
I would love to see you fabric inspired designer 2014 Oscar dress sugar cookies!
I’ll be watching the 2014 Academy Awards , however unlike the “dress critics” I will be looking for cake decorating ideas!
Creating edible figures for cake toppers is a popular cake decorating technique. Lately pregnant mommies for baby showers have been showing up all over the internet. Brides and grooms are also a favorite. There are many mediums that can be used for sculpting these fun figures; gumpaste, fondant and modeling chocolate. I prefer moldering chocolate due to its clay like quality. It reminds me of polymer clay, but of course modeling chocolate is edible. Many years ago when Sydney was a figure skater I used to make figures of her skating, with polymer clay, and give them to her grandparents. Now with modeling chocolate the characters you can design to resemble friends and family are limitless. I would suggest investing in the book “Family and Friends in Polymer Clay” by author Maureen Carlson. I realize there are several difference between the two mediums, however the the book explains proportions of the human figure (including children). There are also patterns for clothing that can be used for modeling chocolate.
Modeling chocolate is created by two or three ingredients, chocolate melts, corn syrup, and icing sugar.
White Modeling Chocolate for Figures:
Melt the chocolate or confectionery coating. Allow the chocolate to cool to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring often. If you add the corn syrup when the chocolate is too hot, the cocoa butter or oil will rise to the surface and you will have a greasy mess. (See trouble shooting below.) If you don’t have a thermometer, test the temperature of the melted chocolate by putting a drop on your lip. It should feel cool. If it’s hot, let it cool longer. Pour in corn syrup. Stir until well incorporated.
The mixture will become thick very quickly, so scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all of the melted chocolate. Pour the mixture out onto a counter top, preferably marble or granite. Knead until glossy and smooth. My hands tend to be rather warm, so I use a plastic bench scraper to help me knead the modeling chocolate, so that I don’t over heat it as this can bring out the oils in the chocolate. Store the modeling chocolate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and place in a zip top bag or airtight container. Modeling chocolate will keep for several months, if stored properly.
Figure Making with Modeling Chocolate:
Find supplies here.
Your modeling chocolate should have been made the day before (longer is okay too).
You will want the room you are working in to be 72 degrees F./22 degrees C.
Modeling chocolate’s enemy is heat, keep your hand cool and the your work area. If you find the chocolate becoming
too hot, either place the piece in the refrigerator for 3 to4 minutes or let the piece rest on your work surface for 15 minutes.
Colour all 95 grams of the modeling chocolate flesh colour.
1/2 tooth pick ivory to 1/4 tooth pick peach. Knead the colours into the modeling chocolate and allow the the coloured chocolate to rest for ten minutes, to cool down.
I hope you enjoy creating figures with modeling chocolate.
As always if you have any question please leave me a message.
I would love to see you modeling chocolate figures!
The world of cake decorating has exploded with new techniques and methods. Over the past 25 years or so cake decorating has evolved, from simple cakes that were made mainly for flavor, to complex, multi-layered, multi-tiered delicacies that are shaped like realistic objects and entered into competitions. Along with the changing methods, tools have advanced as well. Today, elaborately decorated cakes are common, not just for a wedding, but for birthdays, graduations, baby showers and even seasonal holidays.
I wanted to share a few methods and tutorials to help advance your decorating skills. I will be scratching the surface of the multitudes of decorating techniques, the only limitation on cake decorating, today, is your imagination! All of the methods I am showing you can be used for cupcakes and cookies too.
Hand painting directly on your fondant or royal icing is a technique that is not only beautiful, but addicting as well.
You can achieve a beautiful scenery with a one stroke method or really show your painting artistry. You do not necessarily have to be an artist to hand paint; if however your are blessed with advanced painting/drawing skills your cakes can go to a whole new level. Take a look at Nevie-Pie cake Natasha is an amazing cake painter.
Flower paste/gumpaste flowers are always in demand, as they have evolved to appearing as real as fresh flowers.
Here is a Black Magic Rose I created for a fall wedding!
Sculpting figures and flowers from modeling chocolate has become popular, especially for brides.
You can design a cake shaped to match a wedding gown covered with modeling chocolate. Rachael Teufel has a wonderful tutorial showing modeling chocolate wedding dresses.
Fashion inspired fondant is in high demand for weddings anniversaries and speciality cakes.
Lambeth method of piping is a vintage technique that has gained popularity lately.
It is an english piping technique that is the definition of elegance.
I promise her photo gallery will not disappoint her work is brilliant!
Tufted Billow Weave is an exciting new design, where the fondant appears to resemble fabric pillows.
Tufted Heart Cookie
Elaborate floral sprays is a relaxing and artistic expression for designing cakes.
This spray is my favorite, most likely because it is the cake I designed for Sydney’s 21st birthday.
Sugar flowers can be saved forever; keep in mind they are extremely fragile!
All of the techniques I have shown you have videos or tutorials to teach you how to recreate or put your personal touch on your cake decorating!
As always I would love to see your cake decorating designs!
Champagne Cake Recipe, this a wonderful recipe for time consuming decorating cakes (i.e. Lambeth Method)
The Mariposa Lily Cake.]]>
It is time for us to have fun and good fortune with a special St. Patty’s Day pot of gold and leprechaun hat created with modeling chocolate tutorial.
Dating back to Medieval times, in Europe , the legend of the pot of gold is enthusiastically told by the Irish. The folklore claims fairies put the gold at the end of a rainbow and commandeered the leprechauns to guard it. This folklore has become an intricate symbolism of St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that celebrates everything Irish including the hope and luck it takes to find that elusive pot of gold.
The famous Irish lore is based on a bit of trickery. A rainbow does not have an end point. “The way the physics work, rainbows are actually full circles,” the Earth being round as well prevents you and me from seeing the complete circle. Our vision is limited to only seeing as far as the horizon. Rainbow’s end is similar to a magic trick, an optical illusion. However that does not mean we can’t believe one day one of us may find the legendary pot of gold.
I thought why wait when we can construct our own edible pot of gold and Irish luck!
Pot of Gold and Hat:
You may find supplies here
With the exception of black colour it is perfectly fine to use regular food paste for the modeling chocolate. If you want to add colour to the embellishments you need to create a paint with petal dust and Evercler (or lemon extract). Dusting the modeling does not work well!
The Pond and Grass:
Cover the cupcakes, and allow the marzipan to dry. Color your piping gel with blue food paste and whip vigorously, place the colored piping gel in a piping bag fitted with a #2 piping tip/tube, outline a body of water with light blue royal icing, pipe the dam with your blue colored piping gel, and use a toothpick to spread to the edge (this will also create ripples for a water effect). With a piping bag fitted with a grass piping tip/tube pipe the grass from the outline of water to the edge of the cupcake.
The Pots of Gold:
Color the dark modeling chocolate with confectionary black candy color roll a “jacks bouncing ball” size ball smooth, hollow the ball with a ball tool, flatten the hollowed ball, and shape the sides. Add a flatten round of dark modeling chocolate disks to the top. Using a clay gun and round shape disk create the rim of the pot, and attach the rim with edible glue (sugar water, egg white, or store bought).
Roll your white modeling, colored yellow, to about a # 3 on a pasta machine (coins are thick). Use a #7 piping tip/tube, to create little round disks and paint the little disks with a mixture of gold lustre dust and Everclear.
The Leprechaun Hats:
Color some of the white modeling chocolate with 1/4-toothpick moss green to 1/8-toothpickelectric green.
Roll some green colored white modeling chocolate and place in a pasta machine, thin to #3. Using the wide end of a large piping tip/tube cut a circle for the brim of the hat, and place the brim on a lightly cornstarch area and use a large ball tool to smooth the edges. Form a “jacks bouncing ball” size of green fondant into a smooth ball, turn the ball into an egg shape, with the pointy end of a medium celstick, hollow out the the egg point of the egg shape, play with the top to add movement, and with edible glue attach the top to the brim.
For the band roll to a #4 on a pasta machine flat, and cut about 3 mm or 1/8-inch wide strip, size the strip to the narrow part of the hat, and attach with edible glue.
Since you are using modeling chocolate you do not need to allow drying time, nor do you need to use anything to hold the shape. Once your hat is shaped (unless you smash it) it will hold the shape.
I added a few gum paste blossom in different colors for accent, but you could use white modeling chocolate for the blossom. Colour the modeling chocolate pink, yellow and blue.
Using melted white chocolate pipe a drop for each coin, attach the coins to the pots, now apply white melted chocolate to a hat, place on top of the coins, spray with freeze spray. Decide where you want to place the pots of gold and attach with the melted chocolate and freeze spray the melted chocolate. Place the flower blossoms around the cupcakes.
White Modeling Chocolate:
Prepare your mise en place.
In a microwave safe bowl melt the white candy melts, in 30 second intervals. Stir after each interval until most of the candy melt have melted (stir the little bit that has not melted.) Set to the side and allow the chocolate to cool to about 89-91 degrees F./32-33 degree C.
In a measuring jug heat the corn syrup for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Pour the corn syrup into the melted white chocolate, sift the icing sugar on top, and stir slowly about 25 strokes until the mixture does not have any streaks from the corn syrup. Do not over mix or instead of having a dough you will have a greasy mess. Pour the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, tightly wrap.
Allow the mixture to rest for 12 to 24 hours. After resting unwrap your dough and knead on a cool surface. Now you have modeling chocolate. Lauren Kitchen’s has a wonderful video showing step by step instruction.
Dark Modeling Chocolate:
In a microwave safe bowl melt the dark candy melts, in 30 second intervals. Stir after each interval until most of the candy melt have melted (stir the little bit that has not melted.) Set to the side and allow the chocolate to cool to about 89-91 degrees F./32-33 degree C.
In a measuring jug heat the corn syrup for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Pour the corn syrup into the melted dark chocolate, sift the cocoa powder on top, and stir slowly about 25 strokes until the mixture does not have ant streaks from the corn syrup. Do not over mix or instead of having a dough you will have a greasy mess. Pour the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap, tightly wrap.
Allow the mixture to rest for 12 to 24 hours. After resting unwrap your dough and knead on a cool surface. Now you have modeling chocolate.
Crème de Menthe Cupcakes:
Prepare your mise en place.
Use the three stage method.
Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, sift the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla bean until smooth. Add zest, add the sugar gradually, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Whisk the eggs with the crème de menthe in a measuring jug. Sift the dry ingredients until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the mixture, alternating with the flour mixture and egg mixture (beginning with flour and ending with flour) beat on low speed until all the ingredients are amalgamated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Use a medium ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
**If you do not want to use alcohol substitute mint extract or an emulsion i.e. mint oil.
I would enjoy seeing your St.Patty’s Day cupcake designs, and if you give permission I will place the photos on my FaceBook page with you name!
I thought it might be fun to learn a new method of brush embroidery..Victorian brush embroidery. Although the name sounds fancy the technique to create victorian brush embroidery is quite simple.
Victorian brush embroidery generally is applied with two colours of royal icing to each petal. The embroidery is raised and lightly petal dusted or painted with petal dust for an elegant finish. This technique is prefect for special occasions such as bridal showers, wedding favors, and wedding cakes!
I finished the cookies off with a few ivory tone vines for a delicate effect.
Victorian Brush Embroidery:
Recipe for Ivory Colored Royal Icing:
You may find supplies here
Prepare your mise en place.
Add all your food paste colors and fold. Try not to beat (you do not want to incorporate air into the icing). Continue to fold with a spatula until ivory is achieved.
Prepare your parchment cones fitted with a tip PME #1.5 (or pastry bags) and royal icing colors. We used pink, ivory and spring green. Once your cones or bags have the icing inside place them either in the PME sponge holder or you can lay the tips between a dampened paper towel, (do not place a pin in tips,tubes, or nozzles the pin will scratch)! The Idea is to keep the air from hitting the icing and the icing crusting over.
Prepare your mise en place.
Pour boiled water in a heat proof glass and allow the water to cool. Roll out your fondant, cut the fondant to fit your cookie, and attach the fondant to the cookie; you may begin decorating at this point.
You will have 3 pastry cones fitted with a #1.5 tip ready to use; one cornet will have pink, one will have ivory, and the last will the be the spring green royal icing.
If you are a confident artist you can free hand pipe your design on the covered fondant. If the design is intricate I prefer to transfer my design on the fondant cookies with a pin. To transfer the image lay the design on the cookie, follow the lines, and prick them with a pin.
For the Petals:
Beginning with the back petals, pipe one petal at a time with a thick zigzag line of the ivory royal icing, switch pastry cones to the pink royal icing, pipe the same thickness zigzag line of the pink inside with the ivory. (The colors should gently touch). Dip your brush in the bowl of cooled boiled water, wipe the excess water off the brush with your dry piece of paper towel, brush from the outer ivory line, but do not break the line, through the pink pulling towards the centre of the petal. Move on to the next petal until the flower is finished.
A successful victorian two tone embroidered design will have a raised royal icing edged petals with inner lines showing both colors and become thinner as the lines reaches the centre of the flower.
Remember to keep your tip either covered, on the sponge, or have a pin in the hole when you have finished using a color.
For the Leaves:
Generally I embroider the leaves last working from the back leaves forward, unless the design dictates they need to be embroidered first. Pipe a thick zigzag line of spring green, change piping cones to the ivory, pipe the same zigzag line thickness of ivory inside the green (again the colors should gently touch), and using your lightly dampened brush stroke from the outer spring green, without breaking the line, a diagonal line downwards toward the centre of the leaf. Move to the next leaf following the same method, and continue until all the leaves on your design are finished.
The leaves should have raised royal icing edged with inner lines showing both colors and become thinner as the lines diagonally reaches the centre of the leaf.
I added a few twigs, stamens and buds, opted to not have a border due to the design and colored the icing with petal and lustre dust to add a depth of realism to the flowers.
For video tutorial
By adding a few extra steps to your brush embroidery you will have transposed your cookie from beautiful to luxurious!
So many of you have asked if it was possible to create a sugar peony for a cupcake. I thought why not… As I have proclaimed in the past, cake decorating is not limited to cakes; you can use the same method for your cookie art and cupcake art. I designed three separate peonies methods for these cupcakes and just for fun I flavored them with edible dried peony petals . The peony cupcake in the front contains individual petals that I veined and frilled. The middle peony cupcake has individual petals that have been lightly veined, but not frilled (less time consuming). Finally the back peony cupcake has a brushed embroidered peony making this one the fastest cupcake to construct. All of them are lovely and will impress the recipient.
Sugar and brush Embroidery Peony
Find your supplies here
Brush Embroidery Peony Cupcakes
Prepare your mise en place. Prepare your royal icing cornets with off peak consistency and nozzles.
For The Individual Petal Peony
Mix 50/50 fondant and gum paste, colour the paste with 1/4-toothpick dusty rose/wine.
The flower and petals should be prepared ahead of time, how ever you are going to build the peony on the cupcake. Place foam pieces inside the petals once they are all attached and ready to be opened for arrangement.
You only need the smallest peony cutter of the peony set.
You will vein, frill the petal with your dresden tool, and lay them over the same dome you used for the fondant cover. Allow about 10 to 15 minutes for the peony petal to curve. It is imperative that the petals do not dry.
For more information about constructing a sugar peony
I would love to see your peony cupcakes and/or flowers.
I wanted to share a fun Valentine’s Day tutorial with you (my way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day)! I began by baking up a batch of cupcakes and a batch of royal icing, while the cupcakes were doing their own thing, baking, I used the time to sketch some ideas rattling around in my brain. I wanted the cupcakes to be stunning yet simple.
I remembered I purchased a ClearView key and lock mold before Christmas, that is when I experienced a Eureka moment! While the cupcakes were cooling I prepared the heart lock and key. If you don’t own a lock and key mold, no need to despair…You can pipe the lock with royal icing. Trace a lock and key image from google images. I will explain the method below with a video tutorial. The champagne cupcake recipe can be found here.
You Hold the Key to My Heart Cupcake:
Cover your cupcakes with your domed fondant, allow to set for a least 6 hours to over night. No need to worry the cupcakes will remain fresh, soft, and moist!
To condition your white gumpaste use a small amount of Crisco and knead the gumpaste. Once your stiff gumpaste has transformed to soft, stretchy, and pliable, it is ready to use.
Prepare your keys and lock embellishments, allow them to dry for at least 6 hours to over night.
As I mentioned above you can still construct the same lock and key embellishment without the special mould.
Once you have found the lock and key image you like (check for copy right), trace the image and tape the corners to your work surface. Place a piece of clear cellophane over the traced image and tape the corners down. If you are a talented drawer draw your own design (you will not need to worry about copyright). Now with a #2 PME nozzle pipe with soft peak consistency royal icing outline the image.
Next fill in the outline with flood consistency royal icing. Set the images to the side and allow to dry for two days. If you choose the royal icing image method you will want to pipe the lock and key prior to baking the cupcakes.
You Hold the Key to My Heart Video/Tutorial:
You can either pipe the snail trails border before decorating the cupcakes (you will need to let the border dry completely), or pipe the snails trail last.
Happy Valentine’s Day!