These are my Irish cream roses, I love doing them and it definately gets a bit easier everytime I make them.
I wanted to share some of my humiliating (baking) moments, as well as some useful tips and links I've found along the way. I hope you'll all find these useful and be encouraged to try some techniques yourself and keep on baking!
Don't worry I'm not an artist and can barely draw a stick man but cake decorating is different and cleaver techniques can be learnt easily with practice! If you're like me, start off with something simple - different piping effects can make a cupcake look stunning.
You tube is a fantastic source of video tutorials on piping swirls and things like buttercream roses - I found Peh Teng Sern's videos when I first searched for inspiration - he's very funny! Check out his site for lots of fun videos, he shows how easy it is once you've mastered the techniques:
Don't get disheartened if you don't get the piping effects right straight away - you should have seen my first attempt at hand-piping a buttercream rose, it had my hubby in stitches, until he had a go and realised it wasn't quite as easy as it looked! It does take practice to get the hang of it but just keep trying.
The best tip I can give you, is to get the consistency of your icing just right! If it's really thick you'll need arm muscles like an Olympic shot putter to be able to pipe it! If it's too runny your petals will flop and it won't hold its form. You should be able to stir it easily but it shouldn't be so lose it it runs off the spoon. If it's too thick, add a little milk or cream but make sure your colour is right before adding too much liquid as your food colouring may alter the consistency. If it's too runny add a bit more icing sugar, or cocoa powder if you're making chocolate buttercream.
Also, don't overload your piping bag. The reason I had so many problems on my first attempt was I had heaped my entire bowl of buttercream into the bag, which made it very heavy and cumbersome to handle. You need one hand to hold your flower nail or cupcake if you're piping straight onto the cake, so you have to hold the bag and pipe at the same time.
To make a nice two-tone colour effect when piping your roses, try running a toothpick of neat colour paste down the inside of you piping bag before you add your buttercream. Make sure it's to the side when you're piping.
Happy piping! :-)