Saturday, May 2, 2009
MY CAKE DECORATING CHALLENGE - PART THREE
Where would the world be without flowers? And where would the world be without colours and to think that there are even more shades, hue, tints, tones, more selective reflections, more prisms of broken light...more colours out there than the human eye could ever perceive, sense and soak in is painfully unimaginable. I thank God for colours and for flowers and for birds and for corals and for all those gorgeously swathed tropical fish in coral reefs of every indescribable hue. If I could live in a coral reef with all those divinely coloured creatures of the sea I would. If I could grow with all those flowers in a field under an open sky I would. If I could fly with all those brilliantly cloaked birds in a tropical canopy of paradise I would and if I could perceive those colours that we cannot see it would complete me. But if only I could.
I don't believe in ugly colours for every colour conceived is a blessing. But there can be an ugly combination of colours. And it is these that spoil my day. They so spoil my day that I would sit and suffer until I realise the perfect combination, until the colours come together to make a pleasant and refreshing sight, until all tones balance each other out and nothing sticks out like a sore thumb, until the green is the perfect hue of green that was hiding in my head. And that was what I did today. I sat and suffered.
And yet I haven't got it quite right. But nevertheless....I shall display my effort for tomorrow is yet another day.
The yellow green of those little flowers were a tone too bright I thought. A little too light and too lively for what I had in mind. Subtle, subdued, muted and romantic shades are what I am aiming to create and so I mixed another batch of royal icing yet again and am in the midst of piping flowers yet again.
Once I get the colours right, the types and combination of flowers will be my next important consideration, the accents I should use, the background and finally the arrangement of the whole. I have a whole month to ponder, to progress or to regress but most important of all I am enjoying it. The pain, the pleasure and the bewilderment makes it a strangely satisfying way to suffer in joy.
Here's the recipe for royal icing.................
3 egg whites
about 675 gm icicng sugar
2 - 3 tbsp strained lemon juice
1 - 1 1/2 tsp glycerin (optional)
Royal icing can be made in any quantity as long as you allow 1 egg white to each 8 oz icing sugar. While using icing cover bowl with damp cloth to prevent a crust from forming. For making the flowers I used only one third of the recipe with no glycerin and no lemon juice. Glycerin helps to soften teh icing for coating a cake so since I was making flowers I did not need the softening agent.
Beat egg whites until frothy, then gradually beat in half the sugar using a wooden spoon. A mixer can be used but it creates too much air pockets which will be hard to remove and interferes with the piping of flowers. Add the lemon juice and glycerin at this point if using and then gradually beat in remaining icing sugar until the mixture stands in soft peaks. Keep icing in an airtight container or cover the bowl with a damp cloth for several hours to allow most of the air bubble to be released if you are icing a cake.
For piping the flowers I used it immediately and a Wilton 101 petal nozzle.