Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Damask Stenciling




Ok, I will admit it... I have been deadly afraid of this technique for a long time.  Yeah, not just a little afraid... DEADLY afraid.  All those little cavities in a damask stencil and not to mention working with royal icing... or should I say royal icing working with me?  Why does royal icing have to be sooo finicky?  I sure don't know how the cookie makers do it but hey we all have our strengths;-).  Ok so this is my BEGINNERS tutorial on damask stenciling on a fondant cake.  Yes, let's be clear here... this is specifically for fondant and not for buttercream (I told you this was for beginners:)!).  This is specifically for the technique I used on the cake at the left here because, quite frankly I have yet to do it another way (and successfully is another matter:-P).  As an add this is also for use with my marshmallow fondant recipe which you can check out on this link here.  I have not tried this with another fondant type but I assume it should work very similar... however, in all the research I have done about damask stenciling I haven't seen this technique used so alas - here I am again!  Actually from the techniques that I have researched online I have successfully failed at them... sigh.  Ok, so let's get started!!

And for the quick YouTube version of the tutorial below:


Materials

* Damask Stencil (got mine at Stenciland on Etsy *LOVE* their selection and handmade in Canada!:))
* Royal Icing (consistency is tricky here so go for something a little less runny and a little more paste-y)
* Fondant covered Cake (Fondant must be firm to touch - 6 hours or so after the cake is covered to dry at room temp)
Shortening 
* Scrapper 'piece' (rectangular flexible piece - cut from a bowl scrapper if you can)
* Small Tool (to fix the little details after stencil comes off)
* Brush and vodka (to fix any royal messes!!

Step 1

Lay your stencil on a paper towel with the 'wrong' side facing you.  Smear a thin and even layer of shortening on another paper towel and dab the 'wrong' side of the stencil thoroughly.  This shortening will make your stencil adhere to your cake.  Some people use toothpicks at either end but this is exactly what DOESN'T work for me and that might be because fondant is very smooth allowing icing to creep in behind the stencil.  Shortening just does the trick!

Step 2

Position your stencil on your fondant covered cake by pressing by hand or using a fondant smoother

Step 3

Apply your royal icing with your flex 'tool' (I cut mine here into a rectangle from my bowl scrapper).  Apply a medium coat.  If it is real thin it will be slightly opaque (especially with white and I just don't like it like that) and if it is real thick that might compromise the integrity of the finish.  Go with what you like here...

Step 4

After ensuring a good even coat peel off gently.  Fix/adjust any royal icing mishaps with a small tool.  I used a toothpick but you can really use anything small enough to let you work with your pattern.  Let dry to apply next stenciled pattern (approximately 15-30 minutes).  When applying another pattern rinse stencil with warm water and re-apply shortening.

NOTE:  If you don't like what you get after peeling scrap off the royal icing with a spatula or bowl scrapper and clean up the residue using a brush and vodka.  Clean your stencil with warm water only, reapply your shortening and try again!:) (this is why I LOVE marshmallow fondant... sooo forgiving)

Step 5

After pattern has fully dried use a clean brush to brush away the residual shortening.

And that is it!
Have fun with your damask stencil project!!
Send us your questions or comments! 

Happy Caking!
Christie

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