Thursday, December 23, 2010

Italian Meringue Buttercream (Engl)


First, make your 24 basic cupcakes using this recipe
300g (10oz) caster sugar
5 large egg whites
500g (1lb) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
Few drops of vanilla extract
Paste food colourings in pink, violet, yellow and orange
Sugar/jam/candy thermometer

Piping Italian Meringue Cupcake Buttercream (Engl)


- Basic cupcake recipe
- Italian Meringue buttercream, coloured as required
- Large disposable piping bags
- Large petal piping tube, eg Wilton No. 123

1. Cut off the end of the piping bag and insert the piping tube then fill the bag with buttercream. The petals are piped in 3 layers. The petal piping tube has a thicker side and a thinner side. The thin side needs to be kept outwards, with the thicker side in the centre, and the piping tube needs to be kept almost parallel to the top of the cake. Start in the centre of the cake and press gently to squeeze a petal which goes out just over the edge of the paper case. Turn the cake anticlockwise and pipe the next petal close to the first one. Repeat to completely cover the edge of the paper case.
2. Starting at the centre, pipe another row of petals, slightly shorter than the previous layer.
3. Pipe a third layer of petals in the centre of the cupcake, to give a very small flower shape with four or five petals.

Making the butterflies (about 70-90)


- 200g packet white flower paste, eg: Squires Kitchen Sugar Florist Paste
Cornflour, for dusing
- Powder dusting colours, eg: Squires Kitchen Professional range of Dust Food Colours, Bridal Satins, Pastels and Metalic Lustres in yellows, pinks, blues, lilacs and gold
- Rose water: alcohol based, eg: Star Kay White
- Aluminium foil
- Smooth plastic board and small rolling pin
- Butterfly cutters, eg: PME Set of 3 veined plunger cutters
- Cocktail stick, optional
- Baking parchement
- Soft paintbrush, for dusting
- Fine point paintbrush, for painting

1. Take a length of foil and fold it to give 4 thicknesses, and then form it into an "M" shape. Knead some of the flowerpaste to soften it, keeping it well wrapped in a plastic bag all the time that it's not in use, as it dries out very quickly. Only work with a small piece at a time, because the more you work it, then the quicker it dries out. Dust a little cornflour on a plastic board and roll out the flowerpaste so that it's very thin. Press the cutter into the paste and press down firmly on the plunger to emboss the paste. Lift the cutter up, with the butterfly in the cutter, then peel away the butterfly from the cutter and place it in the foil former to dry, preferably overnight.
2. On some of the butterflies, the outer edge of the petals can be rolled using the tip of a cocktail stick to ruffle them before they are placed in the foil former.
3. Working on baking parchment so that the plastic board doesn't get stained with the colours, use a dry soft paintbrush to brush the powder colour on to the dry butterflies, colouring both the front and back of the wings.
4. Mix some of the lustre colours and metallic gold colour with the rose water and paint detail onto the embossed side of the butterflies. Leave the colours to dry. Taking care not to scald yourself, hold each butterfly carefully in the steam of a kettle, until the surface just looks shiny, this helps to set the powder colour and make it appear slightly more vivid, but don't hold it in the steam for too long, or the colour of the painting will run and the wings may soften.

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