Wired sugar flowers look very realistic and are a beautiful way to top off a cake. I'd tried to make one at home before but didn't really understand what I was supposed to be doing - and realise now that I didn't have the right equipment! But as regular readers will know I recently took a 10-week evening course in wedding cake decorating at South Thames College and our second cake project involved a wired sugar flower. Isn't it beautiful?
I will explain how we made the whole cake later, but for now I'm going to concentrate on how to make the wired flower.
Here's what you will need; click on the links to buy the products from Amazon.
1 KG Sugar Florist Paste (you don't need 1kg, but this is good value. You can also get smaller packets like this Renshaw Flower and Moulding Paste
Food colouring - I prefer to use the paste kind. For this flower I used two parts
Sugarflair KIWI Green Pastel Paste Gel Edible Food Icing Colouring 25G to one part
Sugarflair Spectral Concentrated Paste Colour - Gooseberry
Culpitt 26 Gauge White Florist Wires - Sugar Flowers/Floristy
5 Star Scissors with Rubber Handles 160mm Ref 909280 or similar to cut the wire
A rose petal cutter - you only need the large petal for this project: Sugarcraft & Cake Decorating Cutters -Rose Petals Extra Large For Celebration Cakes- Perfect for Wedding Cakes And Sugarcraft
8pc Sugarcraft Cake Modelling Tool Set
PME sugarcraft Foam pad
PME 6in Non Stick Rolling Pin
Non-Stick Groved Board (6" x 5.75") with non-slip mat - this is crucial and the reason why my first attempt at home went wrong!
JEM No 12 Petal Veiner / Friller Tool
Approx. 170Pcs Pearl Double-Tipped Floral Flower Stamens for Flower Making - White though you won't need that many for one flower
Moss Green Stem Tape 90 feet x 13mm. Stem - Tex. For Corsages, Bouquets, Flowers, Arrangements and Crafts.
PME White Flower Picks (Small (12))
.... that is quite a long list, but believe me it's worth it, and most of it you can use again and again! And it really is crucial to have the right equipment - and now I'm going to tell you what to do with it!
Start off with your stamens. We cut them in half as they were quite long; start to bunch about 15-20 together.
Bind tightly to a wire with the florist tape; this will be the centre of your flower.
If you want to colour your flowerpaste do that first, then take a small piece and knead it. Roll a small ball and flatten onto your grooved board, so one of the grooves - the largest one is easiest - is in the middle.
When you roll out the sugarpaste over the groove and then turn the sugarpaste over, you will have a raised part - this is the channel for the wire.
Use your petal cutter to cut out the shape of the petal making sure the 'channel' is in the middle
Cut a piece of wire to about a 4-5 inch length and carefully slide it into the channel in the middle fo the petal, being careful not to poke the wire through the icing.
Take the veining tool and roll from side to side on the petal. I actually did this on the wrong side - you need to turn it over as the channel for the wire will be on the bottom of the flower.
Take a balling tool and rub around the edge of the petal to make it lift up and curl a little. The trick to do this is to have the balling tool half on the petal, half on your foam pad.
Bend your wire and petal slightly - the best way I can think of to describe it is to think of a spoon after Uri Gellar has finished with it! Again mine is the wrong way up; the channel should be on the underneath. I don't know why the petal looks yellow in this picture - something to do with the lighting.
Repeat several times, making three petals in each size - the flower cutter comes in three sizes. Leave them to dry in something like this paint palette as this will help the petals hold their curve as they harden. You want them to be hard and not floppy when you assemble the flower so you will need to leave these for a while.
Starting with the smallest petals, place them around the stamen, binding the wires together with florist tape as you go.
You can see two layers of petals here with the last ones - the largest, which I made a slightly paler colour - waiting to be added.
Here is the finished flower. To insert it into a cake, put the flower pick - a hollow plastic tube with a point at the end - into the cake. This is because you can't insert wires directly into the cake. Then place the wires into the plastic holder, and if necessary stop them from moving around inside the pick with a blob of icing.
Do you want a sneak peak of the cake that I used this flower on? Here it is - with its own blog post to follow! Making this flower took quite a long time so I'm very impressed by people who make several of them to go on a wedding cake!