I found myself yet again playing with new and old designs for cupcakes. These cupcakes would be perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day you want to show someone special that you are thinking of them. There are a couple of ways out there to make roses, but this is one way that I have learned to make them that simplifies the process, since the roses are piped directly onto the cupcake. However, if you want to pipe the roses onto a piece of parchment on a rose nail and then transfer them to the cupcake, you can do that too. Now to make these kind of decorations you need to use a meringue based buttercream, not a traditional powdered sugar and butter one. You can find a great recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream at Martha Stewart.com. I will post up the recipes I used for these cupcakes later today.
First you need to color your buttercream the desired colors you want. Remember you want a base color, leaf color, and petal color. You can find great gel-based colors at Kitchen Krafts or Pfeil & Holing. Now the colors tend to get darker/brighter over time, so if your red doesn’t look deep enough, let it rest a little and then check on it.
I then spread the white frosting over my cupcakes with a small offset spatula, being carefully not to get any crumbs in it.
You then need to fill a pastry bag or zip-lock bag with the color of the rose you are using, in my case red, and then start in the center and pipe a straight cone about 1 1/2″ high. To make your cones perfectly round you can place a round tip in your piping bag, before filling it, like I did. I used a round #804. You want the base to be thicker than the tip, so make sure and pull up your pastry bag when you are about to release pressure. Once you have piped the cones, you need to put them back in the refrigerator so that the frosting can set up enough to support the petals.
Now it’s time to pipe the petals. Now if you are using a coupler (a tool that helps you to switch out tips, when you are using the same color) you can just switch out the round tip for the petal/rose tip…I used a #127. If you don’t have a coupler though, just add the pastry tip to your bag and cut off the tip of the bag so that the metal tip comes through. Now to pipe your first petal, you want the thin side up of the petal tip pointing up and you want to start piping at the top of the cone and then pulling down the petal to the base. While you are piping, slightly turn the cupcake so that that petal forms around the cone.
Continue to pipe two more petals on the cone, so that it is completely covered.
Now you are onto your second row. You can choose to do 3 large petals on this row or 5 smaller petals…always pipe in odd numbers though, because it helps the rose look more realistic. After you have finished your second row, move onto the last row. However these petals are slightly different…this time you need to start at the base of the rose with your tip and then wrap/curve around the petals (sort of like a rainbow is…low at the start, with a higher middle, and then a low base again). Here is a finished rose.
At this point you can add leaves or other decorations like sanding sugar or dragees…both can be found at The Baker’s Kitchen. To make leaves you can either use a leaf tip or you can cut your pastry bag to make a leaf tip. To do that you need to cut you bag’s tip straight across, about 3/4″-1″ up. Now you have a flat line and you need to cut an upside “V”. Make your first cut from one side of the pastry bag tip and angle the cut up to the center of the bag (about 1/4″-1/2″ up). Next, cut the other side the same way. The larger your first cut is, the larger you leaf will be. Your bag should look like this. Once your bag is made, fill it will the buttercream. When you go to pipe the leafs you need to make sure one of the pointed tips is pointing up (the tip should look like a bird’s open beak). Now put pressure on the bag, slowly pull back, and then release and pull.
OR if you don’t want to make leaves, you can decorate the base with dragees or sanding sugar like I have done here too.
Also, here is another photo of a cupcake using the embossing technique on fondant that I described in an earlier post.