Hello! I'm a lurker and a newbie, and I first want to thank everyone for all the fantastic information here on CC! I have learned SO much, and am feeling much more confident about making a "pretty, garden-y" cake for my mom per her request for a party she is throwing this coming Monday (which I have refused to take any money for. Hello, not legal!).
Anyhow, my question: I am making royal icing butterflies and dragonflies on wires (which I will NOT be sticking directly into the cake-thanks for the great info!) for the top of the cake. The royal icing has proven to be a royal pain in this weather, but I have several of each drying right now -extras factored in for breaking. I have already made fondant/gumpaste mix roses, to which I applied pearl dust. Am I going to wreck/weaken my royal icing if I apply a bit of clear vanilla with a brush so I can apply pearl dust to my butterflies and dragonflies? Is there a better way to do this? Should I not do it at all? I just don't want to end up over in the disasters thread!
Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi, I only paint with vodka since it dries quickly I've never used vanilla for this application. The ideal way to apply luster dust to RI is spray if you do not have this product:
Since you've having issues with humidity why don't you just dust it on dry?
You should be okay as long as you don't go too heavy on the liquid. I would recommend using either vodka (or tequila...clear alcohol) or lemon extract (because it has a higher alcohol content than vanilla. I typically use vodka, and it works just fine.
Just make sure you let it dry as much as possible if you need to do another coat to make sure you don't watterlog it and the icing should hold up.
Thank you for you advice! Unfortunately, I discovered last night that the royal icing is just not loving this weather (I'm assuming that's the problem, anyway). They were so fragile, and breaking apart before I even got to try putting pearl dust on them. Just picking them up ever so carefully to move them was too much, apparently.
So, on to plan B. I made dragonfly bodies out of fondant last night, and was surprised to discover they'd dried quite nicely by this morning. I'll be attaching fondant/gumpaste wings today.
So sorry to hear about your bad RI experience. If you try them again, just try dusting them dry with luster dust or pearl dust.
I do classes with Eddie Spence and we do not use vodka, we use iso propol alcohol. It dries really quickly that way and again don't go heavy on the liquid.
I'd do the wings first -let them dry,dust them - I did brush enmbroidery dragon fly wings with looked nice then do the body (using the wire) pipe over the wire with a number 3 tube Make sure that it well inserted - let the RI dry. then pipe the body - put in the wings whilst wet and and then leave to dry with the wings supported by sugar cubes.
having said all that I would use the jem cutters and have a gum paste body and wings. they look lovely andaremuch more resilient. Also if you are doing them on wings make them out of cold porcelain and paint