These roses are a beautiful addition to any Christmas cake, but you can use the same method all year round with various colours.
Create deep red roses and stunning festive foliage with this guide by Natalie Porter from Immaculate Confections.
You will need:
For the cake:
- 20cm (8in) round cake, iced in white
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- 100g (3½oz) deep red flower paste
- 50g (1¾oz) bright red flower paste
- 60g (2oz) brown flower paste
- 30g (1oz) dark green flower paste
- petal dusts: deep red/ruby, bright red, orange, brown, deep green
- confectioner's glaze
- 3 x 20mm poly-balls
- Rapid Rose support pad
- 9cm (3½in) five-petal rose cutter
- firm foam flower pad
- ball tool or rolling pin
- 28g and 24g green wire
- brown floral tape
- large blossom cutter
- small posy picks
- set of FMM rose leaves and veiner
- Use a small ball of the deep red flowerpaste to form a cone on top of the poly-bud, making the polystyrene ball into a bud shape. You can make your own poly-bud with polystyrene balls, cocktail sticks and a glue gun. Alternatively, make a bud from flower paste, but be sure to let it dry at least overnight.
- Roll out the flowerpaste to 1-2mm thickness. Use the 9cm (3½in) cutter to cut a five-petal shape and a knife to separate one petal. You can squash the remainder of the shape and store it with the rest of the flower paste.
- Place the petal onto the firm foam pad and use a ball tool to soften the edge and stretch the paste to make the petal bigger. If your rolling pin has a rounded end you can use that too.
- The first petal goes on sideways so you have the longest edge to curl around the bud. Flip the petal over and wet the bottom half with water or edible glue. Place your bud on the petal and first fold in the pointed bit.
- Carefully stretch and fold over the other side of the petal. If the paste tears at the bottom it doesn't matter as only the top part will be on view.
- Cut another five-petal shapes and use a ball tool to frill and soften the edges.
- Flip the shape upside-down onto the Rapid Rose pad. Wet the centre and paint a 'V' onto each petal. Insert your rose bud through the centre of the paste and pad – the pad supports the petals, leaving one hand free to arrange and attach them.
- Begin by attaching one side of two opposing petals, as shown.
- Attach the remaining side of the petals so that the edges overlap the first side you stuck down. Pinch and adjust the petals as necessary so they look right.
- Attach one side of the remaining three petals to the rose bud.
- Attach the other side so they overlap, the same as the first two petals. Again, pinch and adjust the petals or curl the edges back to give a natural looking shape.
- Cut a second five-petal shape and once again use a ball tool/rolling pin to frill and soften the edges. Use your fingers to curl the top edges of each petal back a little, and leave to set for a minute or two. Flip the five-petal shape upside down onto the pad. Wet the centre and paint a 'V' onto each petal before inserting the bud through the centre.
- Choose a petal to start with and attach one side of it, then do the same for the next petal. Before moving on, attach the second side of the first petal, on top of the first side of the second petal.
- Continue like this until all the petals are attached; the final free side should sit on top of the first edge you attached.
- Adjust the shape and position of the petals as necessary, tweaking and shaping them for a realistic look.
- Cut another five-petal shape and two additional single petals. Use a ball tool/rolling pin to frill and soften the edges, and to make the petals a little bigger. Prepare the two spare petals in the same way, also cutting off the tip of the point with a knife. Curl the edges up and leave to harden for a couple of minutes.
- Flip the five-petal shape onto the pad and wet as before, also painting a 'V' onto the two spare petals. Begin attaching the petals as per Step 13, but this time attach them closer together. Once you have attached three petals, slot in an extra petal, being sure to keep the same overlapping pattern in place. Attach the remaining two petals from the five-petal shape and you should be left with a gap to slot the final extra petal into.
- Adjust the shape and position of the petals as necessary for a realistic look. At this stage you may need to dry the rose upside down for a little while so the paste sets and the petals don't flop backwards.
- This design requires a large, medium and small rose: for the medium rose repeat to Step 15 and for the small rose repeat to Step 11. Once dry, use a large soft brush to dust with some deep ruby petal dust to intensify the colour.
- Cut the 28g wire to lengths of about 5cm (2in) and cover with quarter-width brown tape. Using the bright red flower paste, make small balls about the size of petit pois. Dip the wire in edible glue and insert into the berry. Make approximately 20 berries.
- Cut the 24g wire into lengths approx. 6cm (2½in) and cover with brown floral tape. Using the bright red flower paste, make an elongated bud shape, about the size of a chickpea. Dip the wire into the edible glue and insert into the bud, rolling the paste down the wire at the base to attach it neatly.
- Use tweezers to pinch around the tip of the rosehips and place aside to dry. Make approx. 6 rosehips.
- Roll a ball of brown paste about the size of a large chickpea. Cut 6cm (2½in) lengths of 24g wire, make a small hook in the end, dip into the edible glue and insert into the brown ball. Roll the paste down the wire as shown and use tweezers to randomly pinch around the ball, giving the texture shown. Make approximately 6 seed pods.
- Roll out the remainder of the brown flower paste to about 2mm thickness and cut five of the large blossoms. Make a hook in a piece of 24g wire. Dab a little glue or water into the centre of the blossom and feed it onto the wire, scrunching it up at the end.
- Using edible glue, feed the other blossom shapes onto the wire, scrunching them a little so it looks like a small pine cone. Make 3.
- To make the leaves, roll out the green paste a little thicker at one side. Cut the leaves out, with the base of the leaves where the paste is thickest. Use a little glue to dampen the end of a piece of 26g wire and carefully insert into the leaf to about a third of its length. Pinch the end closed on the wire and press on to the veiner. Make approx. 5 large, 5 medium and 3 small.
- Dusting the rosehips – dust all over with some bright red petal dust. Add a little orange to brighten the rosehip in places and finish with orange and brown on the pinched bits at the top.
- To dust the leaves, begin with deep green, working from the centre of the leaf towards the edges. Use a little deep red and brown on the edges of the leaf to give texture and make them look a little like they're on the turn.
- Use quarter width floral tape to make a couple of small branches and pairs of leaves as shown.
- Dust the berries with bright red and a little brown/orange in places to give depth and texture. Dip the berries into the confectioner's glaze and allow to dry. Repeat two or three times so the berries are very bright and shiny.
- Brush confectioner's glaze onto the rosehips so they take on a slight sheen, but are not so shiny as the berries.
- To decorate the cake, begin by inserting the three roses – don't place them too close together as there needs to be space for the other bits and pieces.
- Insert posy picks into the cake, in between the roses. Place in some of the other bits you have made, using a range of items and colours for an interesting design.
- You can also place a ball of fondant on the cake beside the base of the roses and insert the leaves/berries etc into the ball –that's how the leaves at the bottom of the design have been attached. Continue adding leaves/berries to build up the design, making sure the colours, shapes and textures are well balanced and lifelike.