Stencils !!

I have a darling collection of stencils, I really do ! Christmas trees, prancing reindeer, spiderwebs, Art Deco designs, I do love the idea of a stencil . However, no matter how pretty the are , they scare me silly ! In reality they may only be a piece of acetate with an attractive design cut out but they fill me with fear. They seem so delicate that my usually average sized hand seems clumsy and gargantuan in comparison. And so ,as if I am attempting some form of icing therapy , I am going to conquer my fear ! I will take the acetate bull by its invisible horns and I will be victorious ! (Maybe a touch dramatic ?)   

 

 A Squires kitchen stencil, great quality - delicate design but strong plastic ! 

A Squires kitchen stencil, great quality - delicate design but strong plastic ! 

I start by cutting out six circles of white fondant to practise my different techniques on, letting four dry but keeping two fresh.  

1. My first technique is by far the least scary. Place the stencil onto the centre of the icing circle and using a small rolling pin slowly but firmly roll across the design. Don't go over it more than once , as I discovered that it distorts the design. You get a lovely crisp, clean design. The white on white would be lovely for wedding cupcakes ! 

 Rolled design. 

Rolled design. 

2. I used the same technique but left it to dry for a few minutes after I had rolled the design. I then brushed it with dry petal dust. You could paint the raised design in another colour or a gold paint to highlight it. Again, this is such a safe , easy technique. Hey , maybe these little stencils aren't so scary ,,,, 

 Rolled then dusted. 

Rolled then dusted. 

3. Next ,I used the stencil to "draw" the outline of the design onto the icing using a fine paint brush and some watered down food colouring . You could use edible pens if you like. I carefully removed the stencil so as not to smudge the lines. Then using the same colour I shaded in the design to give a monotone effect .  

 Just the outline

Just the outline

 The added shading

The added shading

4. Progressing from the previous technique , I used separate colours for the different areas of the design and again shaded it in.  

 Separate colours .  

Separate colours .  

5. Here I used petal dusts and my brush at a 90 degree angle to apply the colour directly onto the icing through the stencil. 

 Dry petal dusts  

Dry petal dusts  

6. Finally I faced my demons and used the traditional technique of using a small spatular , carefully smearing  royal icing across the design. The icing should not be too runny or you will get messy, people !! Again , don't go back and forth or you will work the icing under the stencil and end up blurring the design . 

So, demons faced, I will definitely use the first technique again - super easy ! And I am going to persevere with the last as it really does give a lovely graphic result.  

Go on dust off your stencils, live life dangerously , and practise ! 

 Ta da !!!!  

Ta da !!!!  

Zoe xx