You know, I had no intention of making these, they weren't some long thought out and planned design that I'd had in my head for ages and agonised over getting just right, these just sort of happened on their own, when I was practising making some butterflies and just happened to have a tray of brownies nearby.
After making these butterflies, I decided that they were too small and made some bigger ones and then decided that the bigger ones were too big and reverted to using these ickle bitty ones. The butterflies need to have a day to harden so that their wings can set and it is a good idea to bake the brownies a day before you stamp them out, so that they cut better.
Making and Cutting the Brownies
I always use this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook for making any brownies that I want to stamp out shapes from. It make a deliciously dark, fudge dense brownie that cuts out easily without too many crumbs. It is best if you leave it for about 24 hours before cutting out the shapes and if you the weather is warm, you may want to put it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before cutting.
I find i get better result if I turn the slab of brownies brownies upside down before cutting them out. Remember as well, before cutting, to check that the cutter you are going to use is a good size for whatever mould you are using for the fondant. (see below for the equipment I used)
Making the Butterflies
1. Grease your board with a little vegetable fat to prevent the paste form sticking (Or use cornflour if you prefer)
2. Roll out your petal or gum paste really thin. I use the 9" rolling pin from Wilton with the pink guides attached.
3. Use the patchwork cutter to emboss / cut the sugar paste. This is one of the medium sized butterflies from the kit
4. If the cutter hasn't cut all the way through the sugar paste, use a cutter or cutting wheel to cut out the shape.
5. Gently lift each side of the butterflies wing from the outside inwards to release from board
6. Fold the cardboard into a V shape and line with greaseproof paper.
7. Carefully lift the butterflies and gently lay them onto the V shape. Make a few more that you need, as the chances are, one will break somewhere along the way
Moulding the Fondant
2. Rub a little vegetable fat between your palms
3. Roll the fondant ball between your palms so that it is lightly coated in the vegetable fat to stop it sticking
4. Turn the mould over and flex the mould to pop the moulded fondant out
5. Use the same cookie cutter you used to cut out the brownies to cut the moulded fondant to the shape.
Finally assemble all your bits together. Start with the brownie bottom side up, spread with a little edible glue or piping gel and gently press the moulded fondant on top. Finally attach the butterfly. You kind of need to push his or her little bottom into the fondant to get then to sit at a nice angle.
Happy Baking and Decorating!