Here, we're continuing our tutorial which will see you finish your 'Orchidelirium' Orchid Cake, designed by Lisa Munro from The Airbrush Company. Not seen part one yet? Don't worry - you'll find the first half of the tutorial, and all the other information you'll need to know over there!
Making the orchids
- Take a small piece of white flower paste, work until soft and pliable and roll out 1-2mm in thickness. Dust the orchid petal veiner (to make the two centre petals) and press the paste onto one side of the mould. Carefully, but firmly, press the other side down so the paste is fully enclosed. Tear off the excess paste. Release the icing and neaten along the edges with a scalpel. You will need to make 10 of these centre petals. Top tip: You'll notice the tops and bottoms of the centre petals are different. One end is narrower than the other. Because there is only one veiner, when leaving the petals to form, place half of them the opposite side down so the two leaves are almost symmetrical when placed together.
Repeat the last step, this time using the oval shaped petal veiner. Although the veiner I have will make the three petals joined together, I've chosen to make these separate and will join them with wires at the end. You will need to make 15 of these oval petals. Top tip: Place all of the petals in a former to set overnight; this will give the petal a natural shape.
- Now it's time to cut out the centre of the orchid. Be sure to use 100% flower paste for this piece, as it will be very delicate and needs to be as sturdy as possible. I also recommend cutting one or two extras just in case it breaks. You will need to make five of these centre pieces (plus any spares).
- Using a scalpel, cut a line down the bottom piece so it splits in two. Place on flower forming foam and use a ball tool to thin out the edges of the round petals and the two pointed ends just below the round petals.
- Using the handle of your scalpel, curl the top piece forward. Also, shape the two bottom string pieces by lightly pinching them until they are a little thinner and come to a point. Curl the two string pieces up and toward the centre of the piece. Leave to dry in a small round former.
- Make a tiny little ball and press a shaping tool in the centre of the ball to create a line. Your little ball should look like a little coffee bean. Leave this to set.
- After the petals and centre pieces have dried overnight, it's time to wire them. To wire the petals, dip one end of the wire into water and shake off excess water. Place a small amount of flower paste onto the damp end of the wire and brush the flower paste with a little water or edible glue. Stick the flower paste onto the backs of each petal and allow them to dry.
Airbrushing the orchids
Top tip: I highly recommend colouring your petals and centre before bringing them together, to keep the colours from accidentally getting onto undesired places.
- Add pink to the airbrush, position close to the orchid petals and start by airbrushing the centre, moving outwards towards the edges of the petal. Do not spray right to the edge of the petals, as we want these to appear lighter – as with the design on top of the cake. Also spray the centre piece.
- Switch colours to purple and now airbrush the centre pieces, front and back. Build the colour up in light layers as you don’t want this to get too wet, which could result in it breaking. You want to achieve a deep purple/red colour, similar to the design airbrushed into the cake.
- Switch colours to yellow, you’ll only need a drop to airbrush the little coffee bean. Hold in place using a scalpel blade, then using a fine paintbrush, paint on dots using the same purple colour. When dry, add the little coffee bean to the centre of the orchid's centre by brushing the back of the coffee bean with a little water or edible glue. Sporadically paint on some yellow dots around the centre piece to blend in.
Assembling the orchids
- Once the wired pieces have dried, it's time to bring all of the petals together to form the flower. First, bring together the two large centre petals and wrap the wires together with florist tape to hold them in place.
- Next, bring together the oval shaped petals beginning with the top petal. Wrap florist tape around the wires to keep them in place.
- Finally, add the orchid centre to the flower. The orchid centre’s wire can be inserted over the wires that connect the two large petals and then bend down in the back. Or it can be set on the front over the wrapped wires. Use florist tape to secure the wire and trim to fit in the flower picks.