Monday, November 29, 2010

Petalsweet peonies!

As an early birthday/christmas present to myself I booked myself some more lessons with Jaqueline at Petalsweet Cakes. We tackled the peony, and since it was over two days, we were able to try the open and closed peonies.
The open peony is constructed around a set of stamens and the closed is built around a polystyrene ball.

The first task was constructing the petals, you can see how many were needed for this flower, so I got lots of practice in wiring petals. The most important thing to remember is to pinch the petal at the wire to make sure it is fixed. The petals are then laid in an apple tray to dry, and as you can see, there is a right and wrong way!

I also took a picture of the stamens, which were attached to a wire with florists tape in 3 bunches.

For the open peony we used a peach colored sugarpaste, then we used petaldust to color them. I was a little timid at the beginning, it is a bit of a skill to get the color on just so. I may experiment with
airbrushing, but for the moment, these powdered colors looked wonderful, especially once they have been steamed.

For the closed peony we got started on the middle of the flower first, I chose to fold 3 petals together in the center, but jacqueline usually uses 2 and 2, so it looked quite different in the center! We allowed the center to dry overnight, then added layer upon layer of wired petals. It ended up being a huge flower, you'd only need one for a cake, so whilst it is a little time consuming it is all the decoration a cake needs!

I took another picture of the flower from the side, I cant wait for an opportunity to add these to a cake, although they will have to wait a couple of weeks, I have a date to keep with my family in Melbourne, Australia!

Jacqueline is a fantastic teacher based in San Diego, she does private lessons, or if you would like to take a group class with her, bug your local cake decorating shop to ask her to teach there!