Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tales of a Tiered Cake #9 – The Flowers Part 2

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Spoiler Alert!! Beth and Eric if you are reading my blog, the first flowers for your engagement cake are going to be shown. Do not read any farther if you want this to be a surprise.
Continuing on from the last post, I’ve made the center bud (above photo) and dabbed on some petal dust. I’m ready to put some petals on my bud. I'm going to do 5 or 6 rows, using two petal cutters that are close in size to each other. Each row will have the number of petals of the row number - i.e. row 1 has 1 petal, row 2 has 2 petals, etc. On one side of my placemat, I’ll smear some crisco, and I’ll dab some cornstarch on the other half. On the side with the crisco, I’ll roll a little bit of sugarpaste out so thin that I can see the pattern of the place mat underneath. Then I lift up the sugarpaste and run it over the cornstarch on the other side. Leaving the sugarpaste on the cornstarch side, I can now cut out a petal with the the smaller of the two petal cutters.

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The excess sugarpaste gets removed immediately and placed in plastic wrap or a baggy. When you have cut more than 1 petal, the petals you aren't working on need to be covered with plastic wrap so they don't dry out.

Flowers will look most realistic if the edges are super thin. To this, I’ll run around the outside edge of the petal with the ball tool.
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It will be too hard to color the dough after it is shaped, so I’m going to color each petal before it is placed.
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Now I’ll put a stripe of egg white on the left side, middle and right side of the petal, and secure it to the bud.
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(You can see that one side of the petal hasn't been pasted down yet).

For the 2nd row, you'll want to brush 1 side and the middle (not both sides)with egg white, because the second petal will get tucked under the first. The last petal of each row gets pasted on both sides. All other petals get pasted in the middle and one side only, so that the petals are overlapping.
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The third row will have 3 petals and the 4th row will have 4 petals. Once you get to the 4th row you can ruffle the dough a little by pressing down harder with the ball tool, and you can add some veining if you like (press the dough into the veiner before cutting the petal). To make the 4th row less upright, you'll turn the petal over after it is ruffled, and then brush egg white only halfway up one side and the middle.
The 5th row will be made just like the fourth row. It needs to be much “looser” still, and the easiest way to have the petals arch backward is to put them on the flower upside down. Then you can hang it while you are preparing more petals, or if you are done, you can hang it until it is dry. Use cotton balls or batting to prevent the petals from sticking to each other, and to give the flower more shape.

Let the flower dry overnight and then you can turn it right side up.
To make the calyx, color some dough with greenish brown food coloring. Roll the dough, as above and use a calyx cutter to cut out the dough.
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Thin the edges of the dough with the ball tool, and then drag a needle tool from the tips to the center, to sharpen the point and to force the calyx tips to turn upward. Poke the rose wire through the center of the calyx, brush on a dab of egg white in the center of the calyx and push it up onto the bottom of the rose.

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Use the needle tool to redefine the hip.

Tomorrow I will work on making a rose bud and some rose leaves.

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