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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lily of the Valley

My apologies for the brevity of this post; we just walked in the door from a weekend road trip and my self-imposed deadline of midnight is less than 20 minutes away! Forgive me also for demonstrating on a pracice board and not something edible (an abomination, in my book). I wanted to show you an idea I’ve been thinking about; a variation of the lily of the valley that’s sort of a mashup of the instructions given in the Wilton book “Decorating Cakes: an Idea and Reference Book” and the photo in the Ateco publication, “Cake Decorating Reference Manual.” The tips you’ll need are leaf tip #69 or #70, round tip #2 (or #3), and fluted tip #80. 
 Start with a bag of green buttercream fitted with tip #69. Pipe an extended leaf.
 Switch to tip #2. Add as many short stems as you can fit, with the beginning of the stem on the center vein and the end of the stem at the edge of the leaf. Pipe a bead down the center of the elongated leaf, if you really want to add dimension to the center vein.
 This part is a bit tricky, and warrants practice on parchment paper (or a practice board) before attempting the maneuver on a cake. With a piping bag of white buttercream fitted with the fluted tip, pipe a small, bell-shaped flower at the outer edge of one of the short stems where it ends at the outer edge of the leaf. This is done by moving the fluted tip in a “C” formation, while piping slowly and carefully. You may need to touch your finger to a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch and then gently tap the corners of the bell into place.
 Repeat until each short stem has a bell. As you can imagine, these look really lovely in groups; the Wilton book even went so far as to have a pair of swans on the cake demonstrating the lily of the valley! I might be inspired to copy that…

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