Flower Making...for Not-So-Beginner

Sugar Work By wowcake Updated 29 Oct 2015 , 7:23pm by wowcake

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 5:18am
post #1 of 11

Dear Forum Members!

Just a while ago I became interested in baking and decorating cakes.

I have a background of making flowers from Thai clay and those flowers are used in jewelry and design.They air-dry and not cracking.

So I decided to expanded my skills and try to make gum paste/fondant flowers for cake. And my problem is that my edible flowers are very fragile and crunchy. I used homemade gum paste and store-bought Satin Ice gum paste/fondant.

Please tell me what am I making wrong?How to give sugar flowers more strength and at the same time keep leaves and petals realistic thin?

Thank you for responds!

10 replies
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Snowflakebunny23 Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 8:04am
post #2 of 11

Erm, short answer is that you can't.  Realistic gum paste flowers are very very delicate which is why they are so expensive (a decorator will have to make spares in case they break).  They aren't designed to be touched at all when they are on the cake.  I don't know if there is a way of changing the flower paste to make it more durable but I have never done that...you just have to be careful! lol.  Depending on the flower, you could possibly wire the petals which means they can move individually but then you have to watch that they don't bash eachother and break that way.  I use store bought satin ice gumpaste as well and actually find that to be one of the more durable products on the market because there always seems to be a tiny bit of give, even when the flowers are dry.  They are usually like .3mm pieces of porcelain.

I once made a stick of wired delphinium flowers for a wedding cake.  Went to trim the wires down using wire cutters and the virbation of the snip broke of virtually every petal from every flower...but I had spares!  Welcome to the wonderful world of sugar flowers!  

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Apti Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 8:34am
post #3 of 11

Welcome to the forum.  Your first mis-conception about "edible" flowers is that the term "edible" is a misnomer.  These flowers are NOT edible, they are just made primarily of food stuff products like fondant or gum paste which can be eaten.  Wired flowers automatically fall right off the "edible" wagon because, well..... they have WIRES!   Doh.

The only reason I respond with such a basic statement is that you mentioned the word "crunchy" in your post.  If you have ever put a fondant/gum paste mixture flower in your mouth (not wired, of course) and bit down, the words "crunchy" and "tasteless" and "why the heck am I trying to eat this!" would come to mind.

Yes, you can make them so they look exactly like a real flower.  I took a class with Diane Gruenfeld who uses an imported platinum gum paste.  Diane can make flowers so real that you cannot tell the difference between a real and faux flower.  They are amazing!  The reason she advocates this specific brand of gum paste is that you can make the petals/leaves super-thin, yet retain some strength.   Her website is:  http://www.avenueschoices.com/  

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CatherineGeorge Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 12:10pm
post #4 of 11

Nicholas Lodge gum paste recipe for life!!!

They still break though. flushed.png

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 5:42pm
post #5 of 11

Thank you Snowflakebunny23 for respond! The reason I was surprised comparing gum paste flowers and cold porcelain flowers is that professional cold porcelain's flower can be dropped and its still keep the shape. Now I know that I should be careful with gum paste flowers. 

I have a questions:

1)After petals with wires inside is completed and put together in flower should I cover a stem with floral green/brown tape? (In cold porcelain flower stem usually covered with porcelain also) 

2)Do I have to stick flower's stem directly into the cake or have to glue into the fondant somehow?

Thank you again!

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 5:53pm
post #6 of 11

Thank you Apti for your post!

Its really amazing world of flowers! And thank you for sharing web site!

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 5:54pm
post #7 of 11

I will take a look at it...thank you:)

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Snowflakebunny23 Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 5:58pm
post #8 of 11

*day dreaming of the day someone comes up with a gum paste which you can drop on the floor!! * hehe :-)

As for your questions, it's kind up to you.  Most people use floral tape to tie the individual petals together and then will cover the stem in floral tape also.  If you want to cover the stem in gum paste, you could I guess...in fact that would be pretty cool.

When inserting onto the cake, you must NOT insert floral wire directly into a cake without some form of protection.  Usually that means using a posy pick, but some people use a straw with the end blocked off, or silver foil.  If you were covering the whole stem in gum paste then I guess you could but ultimately you need something which is food-safe between the wire and the edible cake. 

For attaching them, it depends on what the flowers are and what the cake is.  In some cases, you can just use wires but I usually use royal icing as glue.  Others will use buttercream (especially if the cake is covered in buttercream).  I think it takes some practice to know what medium will hold what weight of flower but I'd always say, when in doubt...use more glue than you need!

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 6:00pm
post #9 of 11

What about Pastillage? Any opinions for making flowers out of it?

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costumeczar Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 6:12pm
post #10 of 11

Pastillage is even worse than gumpaste for breakage, it's more chalky.

Cold porcelain isn't really porcelain, it's glue, isn't it? It would be more like a resin in terms of breakage, but it's nowhere the same as gumpaste or any of the sugar clays in terms of breakage.

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wowcake Posted 29 Oct 2015 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 11

thank you costumeczar for respond!

Cold porcelain can be commercial or home made (using body lotion, corn starch etc.) and is used for making flowers also. For jewelry and design .Like this ones563272128663e.jpegNot for the cake of course

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