Basic Royal Icing Strings
Finally my internet is working. It’s amazing how life almost comes to a stand still without the internet. I don’t really get to spend a lot of time on the web but the little I do is so important.
Well you all remember my birthday cake yesterday. Thank you for the lovely wishes some of you sent me. I truly appreciate it.
Here are the progress pictures I promised you. This is an 8″ round 4 inch high cake.
It’s my White wedding cake recipe with strawberry flavored buttercream. (my birthday – but my son’s favorite cake)
I covered the board with Royal Icing but since I was going to add more piping later I did not bother to over do the smoothing..
I intended to add two shades of green and two shades of pink for my rose buds.
This is the first shade of green. You can see some places the green is a very thin line just as an impression for me to work on.
I then added the rose bud with the first shade of pink and later more rose buds with a darker shade of pink too.
I wanted the rose buds to be small so used the smallest rose tip Wilton no. 101 tip.
The color is the Amer i-color bright Pink
Icing Consistency for rose buds. It is important that your icing be stiff consistency for this or else the petals won’t hold up straight like this.
Stiff consistency makes you feel like your icing is difficult to work with and you will be tempted to thin it but petal like this will only come with good stiff consistency icing.(the wrist hurts – I know!)
Pipe the close buds – Hold you tip in place, press the piping bag and release pressure without moving your tip. Pull the tip towards you to finish the bud.
Pipe the open buds – Pipe the close bud as above, then pipe two small petals on either side. Again hold the tip in the center but facing outwards (right or left) press the piping bag without moving the tip and pull towards you to finish it off.
Next, add your calyxs and leaves. Without the calyx the flowers are incomplete so don’t skip, you will see how they bring the flowers to life.
I used Wilton tip 2 for the calyx and cut my icing cone into a V for the flowers. You can use the smallest leaf tip.
Next, I added the first row of beads. These are Pink.
I planned to used a row of Pink and a row of white but later changed my mind and added silver instead of white.
Let the beads dry for about a hour so they are glued to the cake or else the weight of the strings will pull the bead down.
Icing for the Strings – The most important thing here is your icing consistency.
When preparing your icing instead of using water to thin your icing use light corn syrup. It adds elasticity.
I used a soft peak consistency, which means when you pick your spoon up from the icing and make a peak that peak should fall over.
If you icing is too thin the string will just fall after a few seconds. If too thick it will break off immediately.
For a test when you prepare your icing. Pipe a string between two fingers. If the string stays when you shake your hand the consistency is right or else work on it.
Once you get the right consistency the strings will be very easy to work. So spend a few second extra and work on that first, even if it means you have to take the icing out of your bag a couple of times.
Piping a string – Point your tip on the bead, release the icing holding the tip in place. Once you feel the icing has anchored itself to the bead continue with a steady pressure pulling away from the bead, towards the center, continue with a steady pressure moving slowly from the center and anchor the tip to the next bead.
If your a beginner it’s best to start with small short strings, they are pretty and easier to work with.
Let the first row of string dry while you work on something else.
I piped two rows of shell borders one above the other. Then piped a small string on the border to match the one on top.
After I piped the first row of alternating colors. I piped the second row of alternation colors.
I say this again…. It is important that you let the beads dry so they are glued to the cake or else the weight of your string will pull the bead down.
After the first batch of strings I worked on the board. I piped the lines in a lighter shade of pink and a shell border on the edge of the board.
Next, I attached the second row of beads in between the first row. Let these dry for at least an hour.
It was late so I let them sit over night.
The next day I piped the next row of strings exactly the same as the first.
Alternating colors on the first row then the second row.
For the top of the cake I piped a C scroll – not exactly a C.
I piped the first scroll in Wilton tip 5
Over piped with Tip 3 in white.
Again over piped with Tip 3 in Pink.
And over piped with Tip 2 in White again. Four scrolls one above the other. Giving them enough time to dry in between. Just wanted the height. Next I piped the Corneille. This is did just because I wanted to practice it, wasn’t necessary.
After I finished the string work I placed a silver bead over the previous bead on the top and on the bottom strings just for decorative purposes.
I also piped the second shade of green stems and more roses around the cake BEING CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE STRINGS. In fact I did not even go close to the string work. Not true I did but I wouldn’t advise it.
Last of all I piped a spray of roses on the top of the cake. I used a cookie cutter to guide me for the circle and piped two rows of shells using Wilton tip 2. First in Pink then over piped in White.
Here is the top view of my cake.
Well, that was my string work. I intend to do another one soon, but this time oriental string work. I will save you some pictures of that too.