It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. It’s been so busy here lately! But I’ve had tons of ideas about art and food whirling in my head and this ice cream rose was one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a bit. I saw a video on YouTube on how they had been done in ice cream shops in Asia and Europe, and said “I can do that!” It is often that innocent and slightly delusional mood that gets me started in these projects. So… I tried it.
It ain’t easy.
What I learned from making ice cream roses:
- If it’s moderately warm outside, then either I have to go REALLY fast, or do this in parts. My first few attempts were no bueno because I took too long shaping the petals. For my best rose, I ended up doing it in parts; the middle petals first, put it in the freezer, then a couple hours later the next set and so on. Technically, this took me a few hours to make, but only working in 3-5 minute bursts. I went along with my day for the rest of the time.
- Use the right tools. I bought an ice cream spatula thing for this but it was bulky. Instead, I ended up using a cheese slicer at the suggestion of someone else on the internet. I liked that it was thin and could make thin slices in the ice cream. I think there are better ice cream spatulas out there for this too… something small.
- Oh yeah. The ice cream should be firm. REALLY firm if you want thinner petals which are more lovely but harder to place. I used Hagen Daaz ice cream for this but any firm ice cream should work.
Would I make this again? Eh, I don’t know. I would because I like to make pretty things (and I like to master technique), but seeing as they melt the minute you’re done, I don’t know how practical it would be to make them for, say, a party.
Today I used:
My kiddo’s birthday is coming up and I’m all about special birthdays. The one thing she asked for was a butterfly cupcakes for her class. I’d done the Hello, Cupcake butterflies before for her first birthday but wanted to try out a new technique. This one was super challenging as the wings kept breaking, but I finally managed to get them done. I present the daintiest butterfly cupcakes I’ve ever done.
They ended up looking gourmet, but I kid you not, that’s Pillsbury Funfetti cake there (from a box). So yellowish cake with some sprinkles in it and plain ol’ vanilla frosting. The butterflies were done with this technique with melting candy wafers. They turned out lovely but really, I should’ve practiced more. Some tricks and tips for these cupcakes:
- Pipe enough on the outlines so that they don’t break at the edges and thin on the inside so that they make the lacy effect. It takes some playing around and careful hands.
- As soon as you’re done piping and you are folding the wings together, make sure you aren’t pushing down hard to get the mirror impression (for the other side of the dainty wings). I got a bit of a technique down by doing half the wings, folding them, flipping them to the other side and just lightly tapping on all parts of the wings so that they stuck to the other side of the wax paper (and then opening them, as the tutorial goes).
- I let the wings set three ways: Open air, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. The freezer worked best. Since the wings were so thin, sometimes they wouldn’t set correctly on the counter. In the fridge they took a bit of time (and I was in a hurry) so I put them in the freezer and that seemed to work best.
- It also helped to peel them in the freezer (me standing outside an open freezer door, holding the butterflies in the freezer).
- Food tweezers! Again, so thin, these butterflies were melting at the touch of my hand… so to set them in, I used food tweezers/tongs. Much easier.
- I think next time, I’ll probably try the dual color ones or perhaps adding non-pareils for a more delicate touch.
Today I used:
Ahh Superbowl Sunday. A day I will never, ever understand. I have very little idea of what goes on in football and really, barely know who’s playing. However, some friends are having a Superbowl party (with bouncy house!) and you say potluck and helmet, well, gee, I gotta think watermelon fruit tray. So here is my one big tribute to Superbowl Sunday… a watermelon helmet.
Note: This watermelon helmet is nowhere near the size it would be in the summer. It’s probably the size of a (ironically) soccer ball, which is as big as watermelons get around here, apparently, in the winter. Fortunately, though, it was pretty sweet still.
Update: An awesome video tutorial by the National Watermelon Board, right here! Written instructions here.