Monday, April 23, 2012

Fantasy Flowers

"Fantasy Flowers" are mentioned in Wilton's book Tiered Cakes in the "Special Techniques" section. I say "mentioned" because the project is accompanied by a scant 3 photographs and a few sentences of text. I think these fancy flowers are a lot of fun (not to mention relatively easy and totally open to personalization), and could definitely benefit from a more thorough set of photos and directions. You'll need a gum paste storage board, large and small heart-shaped cutters, thin purple shaping foam, a container of gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch, small brushes, the ball tool from Wilton's 10-piece Fondant and Gum Paste Tool Set, a 9" fondant roller, stiff consistency royal icing of any color in a bag fitted with a round #3 tip, edible glitter, and gum paste in any color you like (remember, the point of this flower isn't to be botanically accurate!). 
Dust the work surface…
 …and roll out some gum paste, less than 1/16" thick.
 Cut out 5 shapes with the large cutter…
 …and place the pieces under a flap on the gum paste storage board.
 Repeat with the small cutter; 5 cutouts for a small flower.
 To make the small flower, dust a small flower forming cup (I wasn't sure what I was going to use for formers until I got to work).
 Place one of the small heart-shaped cutouts on the foam. Run the small end of the ball tool around the curved edges (avoid the point at the bottom of the heart). Ruffle the edges by moving the ball back and forth, half on and half off the edge onto the foam.
 Layer and overlap the five petals, dampening the base and the edges with a brush dipped in gum glue adhesive as you go.
 The large flower is made similarly. Use the large end of the ball tool to ruffle the edges…
 …dampen the bottom and the edges with gum glue adhesive…
 …and layer/overlap the cutouts in a larger round bowl (or anything you find that gives your flower the right concave shape).

Eventually, the small flower can be nestled inside the large one (and held in place with a dab of gum glue). Since the large flower is still drying and holding its shape, I'm going to work with the small one first. First I dusted it with some Disco Dust in Baby Violet
 Then I piped pull-up stamens, using the royal icing. Hold the tip just above the flower's surface, squeeze firmly until the icing has formed a sort of anchor with the flower, reduce pressure and move the tip away from the flower at a right angle, then stop pressure and pull the tip away. Repeat until the stamens look right to you.
 Watch for an update; as soon as I can assemble this flower with the larger one, I will!

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