A bow is a great way to finish off a cake, whether it’s for a birthday, Christening or anything else, and it is very easy to make. It helps to have a couple of specific pieces of equipment but you don’t need to buy them if you don’t want to.
A while ago I took a Saturday course at the Sutton College of Learning for Adults, which was described as a class in making sugarpaste figures. First we made this teddy bear which was good, though the skills involved were quite basic and I had done this sort of thing before. Then we moved onto making a bow – not a figure, in my book, but it was something I hadn’t done before – and then finally, very simple and easy roses, which I have done at least three times before. I was quite disappointed because several people who I asked agreed that sugarpaste figures should mean people, or possibly animals – but certainly not bows and roses!
Still, so that I got something out of the day I thought I would share with you the technique to make this pretty bow. We made it purely from sugarpaste (also called fondant, or roll-out icing) but you could also use flowerpaste for a thinner, stiffer bow.
I coloured my sugarpaste with a little lilac colouring, and kneaded it in. You can also buy ready made colours.
Knead until pliable, break off a large ball and roll out into a long rectangle. Using either a knife and something with a straight edge to follow, or a cutting wheel, cut out two long strips.
We used a stitching tool to mark a stitch pattern along both edges of each strip; you could also prick the fondant with a cocktail stick but this would take quite a while (or leave it plain).
Roll up two pieces of baking paper so you have tubes. Take one of your strips of fondant and lay it out in front of you horizontally. Take one end and bring it to the middle, leaving a large loop. Insert the rolled up paper so it keeps the shape of the loop supported. Do the same with the other side, and use a little edible glue to stick both pieces of ribbon in the middle.
Take the other fondant strip and cut in half, then cut a small triangle out of each end so you have two points. When the other part of the bow is dry, place it on top of the two tails and arrange at whatever angle you wish. When you are happy with it, stick together with edible glue.