Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Fondant flowers at Stiletto Studio

Last year, we met the lovely Becs from Stiletto Studio when she was teaching an introductory cake basics decorating class. Becs got us excited enough to feed our baking addictions and set us on a path of more adventurous cake decorating - one with a steadily increasing incline in skill level. We get together every so often to have fondant flower making sessions and practise however much we can remember from her classes, all the while accumulating far too much baking and decorating equipment. Well, everybody needs one vice, right? ;-)

We have just finished a four week course in advanced flower making, which followed on from where our introduction to fondant flower making left off. The great thing about fondant flower making is that most of the flowers we make come in a huge range of variations, so there is no 'one' way of doing things. (Well, that's what Becs tells us and it makes us feel better about the creations that don't quite look right.) And so we took a big breath and started experimenting with making bigger flowers this year.

We began with a dahlia built up around a little polystyrene ball in the centre. Several layers were cut out and glued around the ball, then the outer detail was added with individually attached rolled up horn shapes, gradually building out into a wide, flatter flower. I'll be honest in saying that I found this one quite fiddly; we didn't bond. The dahlia is probably not one I'd make again but it was good to practise adding layers to make a bigger flower.
(We haven't bonded.)
Next up was the ranunculus. Again, this flower comes in many variations and I like the warm, bright colours. The technique was similar to that of the dahlia, building layers around a small, fondant centre and gradually opening the flower up and out. I'd definitely make the ranunculus again. This one actually made it onto a cake!

Extreme chocolate raspberry cake with fondant ranunculus decoration
The next two flowers were made progressively over two sessions to allow time for drying and hardening during the process. The peony is another flower layered around a polystyrene centre. I made mine progressively get lighter by adding more white fondant to the fondant I'd already coloured and I like the way it adds some texture to the final product. Like the dahlia, the peony is a little bit too fussy looking for me but others have made all the right oohs and ahhs when they've seen the photos ... or they're probably just humouring me. Oh well! ;-)

Delicate pink peony
Finally, it was a starburst lily. These are deceptively simple, with each petal threaded with flower wire and left to set over a glass before painting on the detail. Then, the lily was tied together with floral tape, something that is surprisingly a lot easier than it looked.

Stunning starburst lily
Check out the Stiletto Studio class timetable and information as well as some of Becs's amazing cake creations. The classes are highly social, practical and lots of fun for wannabe cake decorators of all skill levels.

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