Hi I would like to achieve a graduated colour scheme on a christening cake using white, pale pink and dark pink flowers. I read somewhere that you can use a colour dipping method??! I think it uses petal dust and alcohol? Can you also use gel and alcohol? Also do flowers have to be completely dry before colouring?
Ooohhhh dear = another ? requiring I put on my *OLD* thinking cap
I learned this some 15(?) yrs ago from Earlene Moore.
We used paste color mixed w/vodka(?) as I recall- in a wide-mouth jar deep enough for the entire flower to be covered w/the mixture. Just make sure it is well mixed - no bits/clumps of color floating around in the liquid. When the flowers are well dried you very quickly dip them into the mixture - just a very quick dunk - twirl the flower to knock off any drops that might cling then let them dry. Did we help that drying by using a quick run through a hair dryer? Might have but I'm not sure now.
As for the graduated coloring just add a bit more color to the mixture to darken it as you go.
When you are finished any extra color mixture can be well covered and saved for another time of use. When using left-over you might need/want to add more alcohol to adjust the color as it will have evaporated some (of course depending on how long it has been since it was used)
I'm thinking to darken the color you could also give the flowers a 2nd dunking after they have dried from the 1st.
Just remember, moisture is the emeny of gumpaste so I can't say enough that it's just a quick dunk. Don't let them sit in there thinking you'll darken the color.
Thanks for your advice! Is it better to just have several colours of gumpaste to start with or maybe to paint the flowers individually? I didn't get the impression that you were too keen on this method?!
I've found that when using gel colour mixed with the alcohol it has sort of clumpy floaties in it.
When i use this method i mix liquid colour with the alcohol so i dont have to worry about the floaties, just dunk the flower in the mix, take it out and swirl it upside down to get the excess drips off it, then hang it to dry. For more intense colour you can re-dip once it is completely dry.
I've had no problems with colouring flowers this way, as long as it is only a quick dip (with already dried flowers) you shouldnt have a problem
You can also use petal dusts mixed with alcohol. I would suggest using rose spirits rather than vodka. Rose Spirits is about 95% alcohol and dries fast. Vodka is slow-drying, although it is certainly better than using water.
I would do the darkest ones first. As you dip you'll deplete the quantity of dipping solution...by the time you've done the first batch then the mixture will need topping up with alcohol (so you have enough volume for dipping) diluting the colour in the process. Keep topping up with just alcohol (rose spirits) as the mixture depletes and you'll get lighter and lighter flowers as you go, and won't waste too much colouring powder/gel at the end.
The flowers should be dried well before dipping - the drier the better.
Oh I'm glad to see I was (mostly) right It's not that I didn't like the method, I just usuallywould forget about it. And I didn't do all that many wired flowers - which one must use - as one needs the wire to hold on to when dunking them.
What are rose spirits and where do you purchase it. This technique sounds really interesting.
Rose spirits are available through most specialist cake decorating suppliers.
.......What are rose spirits and where do you purchase it.........
.......available through most specialist cake decorating suppliers........
This is something common in Ausralia.
Here in the US it's probably called 'grain alcohol'. Any clear/non colored liquor with the highest amount of alcohol will work.
Thanks again everyone for your great advice! Ah yes my flowers will not be on wires so may have to think of something else or just dunk them in and try to fish them out very quickly!! I will do a few tests first! Hopefully this cake won't end up in cake disasters!