This was another cake from the Wilton’s fondant and gum paste classes-the third set of classes. It was also part of a failed experiment making chocolate fondant. I couldn’t get the cracks out, no matter how hard I worked or how many four letter words I used. One of these days I’ll get brave and try again but not yet! I’m still traumatized.
I started by making the roses 4 days in advanced. That gave me lots of time for them to dry and harden. I like working with fondant and adding gum tex to it rather than working with gum paste. I think plain gum paste is just too sticky. I colored the fondant, then added a light dusting of gum tex. I worked all that in until everything was smooth and then added another light dusting of gum tex. I worked it all in until it was smooth and soft. I wrapped it up with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. It seems easier to work with after a day.
Rather than going through all the things I did, Wilton has a great tutorial on their site so I’ll just put my two cents in after you go check it out. Wilton full bloom roses
Once I had my rosebuds formed on the toothpicks, I stuck the toothpicks into a at piece of styrofoam so they’d have room to dry.
When I had added all the petals and the roses were ready to sit and dry, I stuck the toothpick through a small cupcake wrapper to help hold the petals up.Then they went back on the styrofoam to dry. Some of the roses only have two layers of petals while others have three. They were more rosebuds than full-grown roses. I didn’t make a calyx because no one would see the bottom of the roses.
The leaves were made with fondant that had been colored and had gum tex added. I rolled it out and cut it with the cutter in the rose set from Wilton. I used the pointy end of the ball tool to add the veins, folded them in a bit and set them in the flower forms to dry.
So now it was time for the actual cake baking and stacking. I baked the cakes the day before to give the layers time to cool completely. The smaller layers were put on a cardboard cake round to be iced. The large layers were iced directly on the silver cake board. I used strips of parchment under the edges of the cake to keep the silver board clean. Once the icing was smooth and set, I took the strips out then covered that tier with fondant. The smaller tier got iced and covered with fondant.
I don’t use dowels to stack layers; the idea of putting wooden items into a cake gives me the creeps. I use drinking straws instead, cut down to the height of the covered layer. I added a bit of icing between the tiers to act like glue then stacked them. I used buttercream icing to make the ruffled border and stuck the roses and leaves around. Then off to class I went!
This was a cake for the Wilton fondant and gum paste class series at my local crafts store. These fantasy flowers remind me of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of poppies, hence the cake name. This cake was also an experiment in making chocolate fondant. If you look closely at the fondant you can see all the cracks and can tell that the experiment did not go well. Actually you don’t have to look closely, it was that bad! It was so bad that I haven’t had the heart to try it again. One day I will but not yet! Maybe I will. Possibly I will. I don’t know if I will.
To make the flowers, I used heart-shaped cutters; a large and a medium. I also needed some cupcake holders; the regular size and the small ones. These held the flower layers while they dried. I used the foil cupcake liners so I wouldn’t have to worry about the petals sticking to anything.
These flowers are made out of gum paste but I worked it just like fondant. I colored it and rolled it out just the same as I always do. I set a bit aside to make the centers of flowers later. I rolled it out very thin and cut out 4 large heart shapes. I put one heart on a thin foam mat and used the ball tool to ruffle and thin the edges, leaving just the bottom third untouched. (The bottom third meaning the pointy bit of the heart.) I repeated this three more times until all the hearts had ruffled tops. Then I attached the 4 petals together, using vanilla extract as my adhesive. I overlapped the petals for added depth. I also stuck small bits of paper towels in and around some of the layers so they would stick out and up once they dried. I did this same process two more times for a total of three large flowers. Then I used the medium heart cutter and did the same thing again six times. Three of these flowers will be small flowers on their own and the other three will be the center petals of the big flowers. I set these aside to dry but came back a few times to check that the paper towels weren’t sticking to anything. Then the flowers sat and dried for a few more days.
The leaves were easy to make. I colored some gum paste and rolled it out. I cut out some leaf shapes and used the veining tool to put the lines on them. I folded them in half lengthwise then opened them back up a little bit and set them on paper towels to dry for a few days.
The day before the cake was due for class it was time to finish the flowers. I got the gum paste I had saved earlier and made the centers of all the flowers by rolling out a small ball of the colored gum paste and flattening it into a disk. I cut some stamens and stuck them into the disk while the disk was still soft. I put a small flower inside of each of the large flowers and held it in place with a bit of vanilla extract. All six flowers got a center disk which was held in place with a dot of extract. I also baked the cake layers this day so they’d have time to cool completely.
The day of class, I torted and iced the cake layers, and covered them with the chocolate fondant. I tinted some fondant to almost match the color of the flowers. I wanted a paler shade so the ribbon decorations didn’t take away from the flowers. I rolled out the colored fondant and used the fondant punch tool from Wilton to make the fancy cut outs. I attached the pieces with vanilla extract. I didn’t put any ribbon bits in the center of the cake so I’d have a clear, flat area for the flowers. I attached the flowers with vanilla and tucked the leaves in and around them. And then off to class I went!