Carving Let the egg half stand at room temperature for about 2 minutes. Then hold it gently, and hollow it out with a melon baller or small spoon. For a view egg, start with the window. Much of the sugar will scoop out easily, but it hardens as it cools; you may need to scrape gently. For large eggs, the walls should be about a half inch thick; smaller eggs, quarter inch. The sugar you scoop out can be reused for another egg as long as you remove the hard bits. Inevitably, some eggs will break as you're working with them, so it's a good idea to make an extra half. Sanding To smooth the rough edges and help join the egg halves neatly, rub the eggs in a circular motion over sandpaper that has been placed in a baking pan to catch the sugar shavings. You can also use sandpaper to smooth opening of a view egg or to make a flat bottom so an egg can stand without toppling (if you plan to do this, leave the bottom a little thicker when hollowing out the egg.) Sugaring Glue superfine sugar to egg surface with an egg-white-and-water mixture. Dab powdered coloring into sugar to color it, or leave it plain. Then combine 2 egg whites with a few drops of water; beat with a fork until frothy. Working with half an egg at a time, paint whites onto egg with a soft paintbrush. Spoon sugar over wet egg whites, and gently shake off excess sugar. For plaid eggs, make stripes in 1 direction, and sugar them. Let dry, about 15 minutes. Then make stripes in other direction, painting over the first stripes. Hold finished half against other half; in order for design to match up, pipe dots of royal icing onto second half to mark where stripes begin.
Flocking This technique incorporates royal icing and sanding sugar, which has a slightly larger, crystal-like grain. The icing can be tinted with liquid colors, the sugar with powdered coloring, or they can be left plain. Use a small round tip (#1 or #2) to pipe medium-stiff royal icing onto an egg, then spoon the sugar over it. Let dry; brush off excess. Joining To join halves, pipe royal icing onto one, and press another against it. Hold in place for a few seconds; let dry one hour. For egg ornaments, knot a piece of ribbon at its midpoint, and lay onto royal icing with the knot just inside one half of the egg and both ends of the ribbon sticking out. Dot royal icing onto the ribbon where the other half will join; press egg half into place. Let dry. Tie ribbon ends into a small bow or knot. Piping Flowers Different techniques create different flowers. The daffodil is piped onto a flower nail using a small rose tip (#101); the petals are pinched at the ends (dip your fingers in cornstarch first) for a daffodil shape. Let it dry. Use a #1 tip to pipe the flower centers. For the stem, insert tip of a cloth-covered wire into a #2 or #3 round tip, and squeeze the bag, forcing wire out and coating tip in icing. Adhere this to back of flower. For the leaves, insert a piece of curved wire into a leaf tip (#352), and pipe it out; the wire will be at center of leaf. Pipe the lilies of the valley with #80 tip directly onto a wire. The large green leaves are store-bought. Anchor leaves and flowers in gum paste. To crystallize edible flowers, thin an egg white or powdered egg whites with a bit of water. Hold the stem with your fingers or tweezers; coat with egg white uisng a small paintbrush, and sprinkle with superfine sugar. Put flower on a tray covered with wax paper, set in a warm, dry place to let dry. Working with Gum Paste This malleable, edible substance, available at baking –supply stores, can be formed into almost any decoration, and there are many tools to assist you. To make dogwood blossoms, for example, use a pastry brush to dust a smooth work surface with cornstarch, then roll out the gum paste paper thin. Cut it with a dogwood-shaped cutter. Place the flower shape on foam pad; use a balling tool to shape petals. Let flower dry on parchment; brush on powdered colors.
Royal Icing for Flowers and Decorations:
Combine ingredients with electric mixer; beat with paddle attachment on low until fluffy, 7 to 8 minutes. Thin with water if necessary for desired stiffness. Stir before using; if not using immediately, cover bowl with damp towel. Yield: about 3 cups.
Candy Molds Cake Decorators Delight 1415 North Portland Oklahoma City, OK 73107 405.946.8888 Studio 6 1618 Route 9 Clifton Park, NY 12065 518.371.4478 Nancy Fancy 3480 Airway Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707.546.2253