Over these long moths of lockdown, many people have used the extra time to try new things, learn new skills and even start side hustles. So it’s not surprising that 2020 has produced a whole new crop of enthusiastic home bakers. You’ve perfected your sour dough recipe, made and eaten more banana bread than you’d care to admit, and even ventured into the realm of cakes and cupcakes to help make those lockdown birthdays special. But what about decorating your bakes?
Our Buttercream Flower Series over on YouTube is the perfect place to start learning how to finish off your cupcakes beautifully. I’m all about teaching budding bakers new techniques and I’m a firm believer that no matter your skill level, there’s always something new to learn.
The six instalments each cover a different kind of flower that you can recreate with just a few supplies from your local baking store.
Week one I started with a simple, yet elegant, buttercream rose.
You will need:
- A selection of nozzles
- Piping bags
- Cling wrap
- Pink and white buttercream (thick enough to hold its shape)
- Pearls and edible glitter
The consistency of your buttercream needs to be just stiff enough that it holds its form. In winter in Cape Town I find I normally need to soften it a little, and in summer I need to harden it a touch to make it perfect to work with.
TIP: Cling wrap makes things so much cleaner and easier, especially when you’re doing multiple colours. Spread the dominant colour down on a piece of clingwrap. Add a thinner strip of the lighter colour down next to it. Roll the cling wrap up and twist the ends. Pop your nozzle into the piping bag, trim the one twisted end off and slip your icing sausage into the bag, twist the end and squeeze till both colours start coming out.
Twist the end of the piping bag closed and, holding it in the palm of your hand, squeeze the bag from the top. This saves you from icing squirting out the back.
Centre the nozzle on the cupcake and squeeze, pull up and out towards the edge, circling smoothly around.
It’s going to take some practice, be patient and keep at it. Piping requires muscles and movements you may not have used before. A good idea is to practice on a flat surface till you’ve got the hang of it, before worrying about actual cupcakes or cake. It’s easy to scrape up the icing and try again and again till you’re happy with the result.
Have a delicious day!