Rose Explosion!

Its June now, nearly four months until the wedding and time to learn some new skills.  The perfect occasion is two family birthdays on the same day! Mum and Sarah, and seeing how June is the month of roses I thought they would be a lovely top to a cake.

I have started by making a vanilla madeira cake, with a strawberry jam and butter cream filling:

Spongey goodness

The cake is placed on a 12mm cake drum to give it some height, then it is covered with marzipan and white sugarpaste icing.  With a nice white smooth base to work from I hatched a plan.  Using a computer I measured out the diameter of the cake and made a template for where I would ice lines from the top of the cake down the sides.

Using a trusy tooth pick i gently scored the template so the lines were transferred on to the cake top.

I decided that as I am going to be using lots of icing bags that i would make some out of silicone paper.  It looked pretty scary but actually is fairly easy and weirdly fun.  You square the paper and then fold diagonally in half to make a triangle.

The triangle points towards you.  Taking the left corner fold it up and over into the middle, on top of the triangle point.

The right corner then folds over in the same way and goes underneath the point.  Roll the loose points down in a tight scroll to hold it all together, hey presto!  Nozzle in and off we go!

I mixed up some royal icing and took put a third to colour green with some food colouring gel.  They are good these pots of gel, really strong colours if you keep adding it.

Grot bags would love it

I won’t lie to you, piping lines is not the easiest.  I made a couple of mistakes but you can carefully scrape it off with a knife. The trick is practise i think and getting a smooth action going.  In theory you hold the bag at 45 degrees to the cake, touch the icing down as it comes out of the nozzle and then lift it as you squeeze so that it almost falls.  You can’t pull it too much as it breaks, and getting the speed right is also key.  Here is the green.

It is a satisfying technique, i used a size 2 nozzle and i think i would go down to 1.5 for future projects as 2 was a bit chunky.  I added some green dots between the lines and then moved onto the white stripes.  Using another bag i piped a white line either side of the central green one.

I added a few dots for some more texture between the lines.  Right the next step is the top!

The plan is to make a bouquet of roses with green leaves tucked in between.  For the roses I used all sugarpaste icing (not adding a modelling paste to it) dividing it up into three balls and colouring pink, orange and a mix of pink and orange.

So taking a ball of coloured paste i rolled it into a sausage about and inch in diameter, and cut off 5mm sections.

I started doing the petals according to a book, in between a plastic sheet and then squashing gently with my thumb.  Leaving the base thick I worked the edges a bit thinner, also with my thumb.

The technique was fine, but quite fiddly and so I ended up doing it straight from the cut ‘sausage’ of icing.  I kept the same principle that you squash it slightly, and then keeping the base thicker you work the edges thinner, but i just held in in my fingers.  It felt a bit more natural to do this, but maybe i got the general idea from doing it properly to begin with!

With the flat petal balanced on your index finger roll it up into the little rose centre

Take the next petal (about 6 per rose, prepared and kept under plastic so that they don’t dry out) and place the join of the rose centre in the middle of the new petal.  Keep going!  As there isn’t any modelling paste mixed into the icing it doesn’t dry out too fast, so no need to panic!

With some of the roses, i took a blob of the coloured paste and added a bit more food colouring to make the central petal a little darker.  Wrapping the lighter petals around as before.  You speed up after a while, the first is the trickiest!

I left the roses for 24hrs to go hard and then rolled up my sleeves for the fun bit!

I placed the roses roughly on top of the cake to decide which colour went where and then carefully moved them aside.   Next I got a big blob of left over green sugarpaste (from cutting out leaves) brushed on a little water with a brush and stuck the blob on the middle of the cake top.

Next was laying out some leaves, with a little brush of water underneath to stick.  Then rose-by-rose was added, brushing a little water on the end before gently pushing them into place.  I built up, using leaves here and there to fill the gaps.  The end of the paint brush was useful for shaping the leaves a little.  Be careful how much water you brush on as in one place the colour ran a little.

Here is the finished article!

And then added a ribbon to the bottom!

4 Responses to “Rose Explosion!”
  1. Andrea says:

    Oh my word Jen, this looks AMAZEBALLS! Well done x

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the birthday cake! Its was so yummy and is now all gone 😦

    Jenny you are going to do an amazing job on your wedding cake! So artistic. Lots of love x

  3. Jo says:

    wow jen! I love the colours on this one, it’s too beautiful to eat! you’ll have to be careful about that, no-one will want to cut them if you carry on making them so pretty. ooo look have you noticed the blog has given me a purple icon! yay it knows my favourite colour – how do I it make it sparkle too?!

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