My girlfriend just recently celebrated her birthday.  I will spare her the public announcement of how many years. Although, she is the first to announce her age to anyone, anywhere, much to MY public embarrassment. And I quickly shy away lest people figure out that I am just a few years behind her!

This is the cake I made her last year…

Those flowers were store bought.  This year I wanted to do something a little different and more handmade. I had some free time the day before her party so I decided to make my own decorations.  I looked through some of the cake books I have at home including “pretty party cakes” to get some ideas. This cake caught my eye and ended up inspiring the flowers I made.

I knew I wanted to make the flowers really stand out so I planned to ganache the cake. I thought pale pink flowers would look great with a dark, chocolate brown background.  I made up some royal icing, tinted it with a tiny bit of pink, picked a piping tip and got started.

Working on flowers like these really are a labor of love as they are made one at a time.  My icing was just a little thin so as I piped each flower I had to put the piping bag down, pick up a bamboo stick and make slight corrections to each flower.  Or perhaps I didn’t “have” to do that, but I wanted every flower to be perfect. They would eventually look like this on the cake…

I just love how they look on the chocolate.  The cake inside is my chocolate, gluten free cake that my friend just happens to love. Recipe is posted here.

And one more glamour shot…

I had so much royal icing left that I continued to make flowers until I ran out. I can always use them for future projects as they keep really well.  These ones are white and a little smaller.  So cute.

The Royal Icing recipe I used is out of the book “The Icing on the Cake“.

2 egg whites
3 cups powdered sugar

1.  Whip egg whites with an electric mixer
2. As they start to frost and turn white, add powdered sugar
3. Whip for 5 to 10 minutes, until stiff peaks form.

I found that my icing never formed really “stiff” peaks and I eventually just went ahead and started using it.  My flowers were a little harder to make as their shape continued to move and relax as I piped them.  I am still really happy with the result, but next time I will try out a different recipe.