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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Royal Icing Pasque Flower

The official state flower of South Dakota is the pasque flower, which is also called the May Day flower, the Easter flower, the prairie crocus, the wind flower, and the meadow anemone. According to legend, pasque flowers grew alongside Jesus' tomb and were part of His resurrection. They're also highly toxic, and for that reason might be a peculiar choice for a cupcake topper, but I'm sure some folks like to live dangerously. 

To pipe pasque flowers (or pasqueflowers), you'll need stiff consistency royal icing in purple and yellow, tip #104, tip #3, tip #2, a flower nail (you can use a 6-petal flower template to help keep your petals even), parchment paper squares, a glue stick, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Put the #104 tip on the bag of purple icing and pipe an oblong petal. Lay the tip almost flat against the surface with the narrow end facing outwards and pipe while moving your hand in an upside-down "U" motion.
 Repeat for a total of six petals. Touch your fingertips to the dusting pouch and subtly taper the outer edges of each petal. Allow the petals to firm up for a while.
 Load the #3 tip on the bag of yellow icing and pipe a cluster of stamens. Hold the tip at a right angle and against the center, squeeze while pulling upwards a short distance, then stop pressure and pull the tip away. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and adjust the direction of the stamens, if need be. Allow them to dry for a few minutes.
 Switch to the #2 tip on the purple bag and pipe an even smaller cluster of stamens in the center of the yellow cluster. Consider these for an interesting alternative to other traditional Easter icons, or when you're making a cake in honor of South Dakota.

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