Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I've been Up To-- My Sugar Flower Garden

So if you're wondering why I haven't blogged in a little bit...

I've grown quite the sugar garden in my living/ dining room.  All of these little children (and more) will be used on a competition cake on September 12.  My sampling includes something like 30 huge roses, 5 rose buds, 60 stephanotis, 40 hydrangea, and 20 dendrobium orchids.  I still need to make more hydrangea, plus add some calyxes and leaves, hydrangea buds, and dusting.  :)  Plus, you know, ultimately make the cake and stuff.

And the fall semester started this week-- it's shaping up to be a little busy. But hopefully I'll share a thing or two with you before my cake monstrosity on September 12.  

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who 'Like'-ed my Threadcakes entry.  Even though I don't feel like I will place, I am so pleased with how it came out and at how much everyone supported it.  Results should be up in the next few days.  

Is there anything in particular you (my wonderful readers) would like me to write about before September 12?  Edible pearls?  Cake pricing?  My personal views on the correlations between cake and engineering?  :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gum Paste Flowers Galore!

I was really fortunate to be able to take the Ultimate Gum Paste Flower Class from Nicholas Lodge for the past 5 days.  The class was AWESOME.

First of all, I'm really lucky because I happen to live about 12 mins away from the International Sugar Art Collection (ISAC) where Nicholas has a beautiful gallery of supplies and equipment and a state of the art classroom.  The wonderful thing is you don't have to bring anything to class with you-- they have all the equipment you need in the classroom.   They even supply lunch and hot cookies in the afternoon.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  :)

Anyway, the classes are really well organized and over the 5 days we made: the rose, stargazer lily, lisianthus, stephanotis, hydrangea, sweet pea, daisy, gerbera daisy, calla lily, cymbidium orchid, cattelya orchid, dendrobium orchid, gardenia, as well as buds and leaves, variegated ivy, bird's foot ivy, eucalyptus, and ferns.

The top picture is obviously the gum paste stargazer lily, with a bud and a few lily leaves.  Here it is again:

Just to clarify, the petals, bud, and leaves, as well as the anther in the center are all gum paste.  Everything in this little arrangement is wired and taped together with floral tape.  The stamens for this flower are paper.  The color is all done with petal dust and then the flower is steamed to set the color.  The leaves are also dusted and then sprayed with an edible lacquer for some sheen.  So while this flower is 'edible', it's really intended for decorative use. 

Here's the other stuff I made.

Gum Paste Rose and rose bud with leaves:

I freaking love this rose.  And I think the leaves are super realistic.  See the little thorn peeking out from behind the rose?  Also gum paste.

Gum Paste Lily of the Valley

Bird's Foot Ivy:

The ivy was painted with diluted gel and then the vein accents were painted on, and the whole thing was lacquered.

Variegated Ivy:

My calla lily, from the top:

Side view:

My Gardenia Spray:

Pearled Stephanotis:  (Yes, the pearls are edible.)

My daisy spray:

Gum Paste Cymbidium Orchid:

My Cattelya Orchid:

Eucalyptus and 2 fern fronds:

My Lisianthus Spray-- I love this color.  I had never heard of this flower before.

My carnation/ bud:

My dendrobium orchid spray:

Hydrangea:  I fell in love with these little guys.

Sweet Pea Spray:

And finally, the Gerbera Daisy:

Aren't gum paste flowers amazing?

Me and Chef Nicholas Lodge:

I learned so much in class and had such an amazing time.  Sad to go back to grad student life tomorrow and that proposal I haven't written yet... 

Hope you enjoy the flowers! :)

You'll probably see some of these again when I do my show cake for the September 12 Pattycakes Competition...