Daisy Chain Cake

Create a bright and beautiful Daisy Chain Cake with Pamela McCaffrey from Made With Love.

 

You will need: 

  • one 10cm (4in) square cake, 7½cm (3in) high – top tier •
  • one 12½cm (5in) square cake, 12½cm (5in) high – middle tier
  • one 15cm (6in) square cake, 7½cm (3in) high – bottom tier

All buttercreamed/ganached with a smooth finish and sharp corners To decorate:

  • 1.25kg (2lb 12oz) Renshaw Pastel Green sugarpaste
  • 600g (1lb 3oz) white sugarpaste
  • flower paste
  • Sugarflair Gooseberry paste colour
  • Sugarflair Melon Yellow paste colour
  • Nile green 24-gauge florist wire
  • vegetable shortening

Equipment

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  • spacers, ideally 3mm (1/8in) thick 
  • cake smoother  
  • 22.5mm (9in) circle cutter (Fine Cut Circles set – 1846)  
  • PME daisy/marguerite plunger cutters set (4 pieces – 10mm, 19mm, 27mm and 35mm) 
  • dresden tool
  • daisy leaf cutter
  • leaf veiner
  • foam pad
  • edible glue
  • scriber,
  • pin or cocktail stick
  • 2.5m (8ft 3in) white 4mm (1/8in) ribbon

Top and bottom tier:

  1. The easiest way to get the sharp corners required for this cake is to cover the cake using the panelling method. Use spacers when rolling out the panels to get a consistent thickness – I used acrylic rulers that are just over 3mm (1/8in) thick.
  2. For the top of the tier, cut a square of green sugarpaste that is 1cm (½in) bigger than the tier.
  3. For the sides, cut four panels of green that are 2cm (¾in) wider than the tier (1cm (½in) each side) and 1cm (½in) higher. Make sure the bottom of each panel has a straight clean cut. Leave the panels to dry for at least an hour, so that they are easier to handle and to trim. They can be left overnight.
  4. Brush the cake lightly with cooled boiled water. (If the cake is ganached, you can either use water or vegetable shortening).
  5. Take the square panel for the top and place it on the top of the cake. Use a cake smoother to gently press it to the cake – be careful not to round the edges by pressing too hard on them. 5
  6. Use a sharp knife or a razor blade to carefully trim off the excess paste. Concentrate on keeping the blade flush against the cake to achieve a neat finish.
  7. Take one of the side panels and attach it to the cake so that it overlaps both sides – this will be the back of the cake. Use a smoother to make sure that the panel is well attached, then carefully trim across the top and down the sides.
  8. Take a second panel and attach it to the left side of the cake, again overlapping both sides. Press it on with a smoother and then trim off the excess. Repeat the process for the right side.
  9. Finally, attach the remaining panel to the front of the cake and trim.

Cover and middle tier: The sides of the middle tier are covered twice, with green in this step and later with white. Unlike the previous tiers we do the sides first, not the top – this is to make the tier look neater from above when the white panels are added later.

  1. Cut out four panels of green sugarpaste 2cm (¾in) wider and 1cm (½in) higher than the tier. As before, start with the back, then the sides and finish with the front. 10 For the top, cut a square of white sugarpaste, which this time is 2cm (¾in) wider than the cake (1cm (½in) on each side) – this is to account for the side panels already being attached.
  2. Stick the white paste square to the cake and trim carefully as before. Create the circles template:
  3. You can use the template on page 114 of Baking Heaven or to create your own, cut out a 12½cm (5in) square of paper. Divide it in half with lines horizontally and vertically, and then draw diagonal lines between the corners.
  4. Now draw an 8½cm (3½in) square in the centre of the paper.
  5. Next, draw the ‘missing’ diagonal lines in the four boxes that have been created by the 8½cm (3½in) square.
  6. Finally, each point the lines cross marks the middle of a hole, so centre your circle cutter over each cross point and trace around it. TemplatesCut out the white panels:
  7. The white sugarpaste with the holes is also applied using the panelling method. If you feel the sugarpaste you use is fairly soft, use a 50-50 mix of sugarpaste and flower paste to give it a bit more strength.
  8. Use spacers again to roll out the paste – 3mm (1/8in) is ideal. Cut four panels, each 2cm (¾in) wider (1cm (½in) each side) and 1cm (½in) higher than the covered middle tier. Make sure each panel bottom is a straight cut.
  9. As with the green panels, let them dry for an hour for ease of handling.Cut out the holes:
  10. Place your template on a white sugarpaste panel, centred left to right and about 3mm (1/8in) up from the bottom.
  11. Use a scriber tool or a pin to prick through the template into the sugarpaste at the 13 points where the holes are to go. Remove the template.
  12. Take a 22.5mm (9in) circle cutter, centre it over each of the points marked and cut out a circle – be sure to press firmly and twist the cutter a little to ensure a clean cut before lifting it away. Attach the white panels:
  13. Take one of the white panels with the holes and very gently turn it over. Lightly brush the back with vegetable shortening – this makes it easier to adjust the panel's position if necessary.
  14. Carefully lift the panel and position the ‘damp’ side against the cake, making sure that the holes are centred left to right and that the bottom of the panel is at the base of the cake. Press the panel into place with a cake smoother.
  15. Trim the top and sides as before.
  16. Continue adding and trimming the panels in the same way as on the other tiers, sides next and then finish with the front. Make and attach the side daisies:
  17. Roll out some white flower paste to about 1mm thick.
  18. You do not need to do all the daisies at once, do one side at a time. Cut out 13 daisies using the smallest daisy cutter (10mm) – press down firmly to get a clean cut.
  19. Slightly flatten the petals as you go using a dresden tool on a foam pad.
  20. Cut yellow flower paste centres with a 3-4mm (1/8in) cutter, such as a piping nozzle or a straw. If you don’t have anything of the right size, just roll small balls of yellow flower paste and flatten them with your finger.
  21. Put a dot of edible glue in the centre of each daisy and stick on a yellow centre. Attach the daisies to the middle tier with a spot of edible glue in the centre of each of the holes. Attach the ribbons:
  22. Cut two lengths of 4mm (1/8in) white ribbon long enough to go round the bottom tier. Wrap the first piece of ribbon around the cake 3cm (1¼in) up from the bottom and stick it at the back with a spot of royal icing. Make sure that the join at the back is in the middle. Once the ribbon is attached, use a ruler to check that it is level on all sides.
  23. Attach the second piece of ribbon to the bottom tier, this time 3cm (1¼in) down from the top of the cake.
  24. Next, fix two lengths of ribbon to the top tier, again 3cm (1¼in) up from the bottom and 3cm (1¼in) down from the top.
  25. Trim the loose end of each ribbon so that it is no more than 5mm (¼in) long.
  26. Make four daisies like ones on the side of the cake, however this time do not flatten them with the dresden tool.
  27. Use royal icing to fix a daisy over the join of each ribbon. Make the posy daisies
  28. For the daisies in the posy, make 7-8 of them with the 27mm cutter and 4-5 with the 19mm cutter.
  29. Roll out some white flower paste about 1mm thick. Cut out the daisies and slightly flatten the petals with a Dresden tool.
  30. Take small balls of white flower paste, make them gently pointed on one side and flattened on the other. Stick the flattened side to the underside of the daisies.
  31. Cut several pieces of 24-gauge Nile green florist wire into three equal pieces. Make a small hook in one end of each piece using a pair of pliers.
  32. For the centres of the daisies, shape balls of yellow flower paste as you did for the underside of the daisy. Gently push the hooked end of the wire into the pointed end of the paste but not right through.
  33. Thread a wire through the middle of each daisy, slide it up to the yellow centre and press them together. Make the posy leaves:
  34. Roll out some green flower paste. Use a daisy leaf cutter to cut three leaves.
  35. Take a small piece of the green flower paste, soften it well and slide it onto the end of a piece of wire. Work it down the wire between your fingers until it has stretched to the length of the leaf. Pull away any excess.
  36. Place the covered piece of the wire on the back of the leaf.
  37. Put the wired leaf in a veiner, press the two halves firmly together and then carefully remove the veined leaf. Bind and attach the daisy posy:
  38. Gather together the wired daisies and leaves. Tie them with a bow using another piece of the ribbon used on the cake. Cut the tails of the bow at an angle and to about 10cm (4in) long.
  39. Take a 1½cm (½in) ball of the green sugarpaste used to cover the cakes and gently press it to the underside of your bow. Position the posy on the top of the cake, so that the flowers and the bow tails come over the edge and use the green sugarpaste to fix the posy to the cake.
  40. Finally, dowel and stack the tiers with a bit of royal icing between them.

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