The delicate pearls and dainty roses by Ali Newman from The Little Sugar Box give this elegant cake the wow factor!
For the cake:
2 tier cake: 13cm (5in) wide x 10cm (4in) deep and 18cm (7in) wide x 13cm (5in) deep, set on a 25cm (10in) round cake drum, all covered with white sugarpaste and edged with pale pink ribbon
- white florist paste
- food colours: pink, green
- cornflour in a shaker
- small amount of Trex (optional)
- edible green dust
- royal icing
- edible glue
- No.3 polystyrene celbud (small)
- No.4 polystyrene celbud (large)
- cocktail sticks
- rolling pin
- tiny teardrop cutter, for leaves
- 9cm (3½in) five-petal cutter
- 10cm (4in) five-petal cutter
- small blossom cutter
- white softening pad
- ball tool
- small paintbrush
- wires – 26g
- wire cutters
- petal veiner
- 1 sheet of kitchen roll
- brush for dusting
- white florist tape
- pearl mould
- green non-stick board
- small plastic bag to keep the florist paste in
To make the rose:
- Start by pushing a cocktail stick into the bottom of the large celbud. Colour some of your white florist paste with some pink food colour. Roll the paste quite thinly, then cut one petal using your large five petal cutter. Trim off any excess paste from your petal using a knife. Keep your paste in a small plastic bag to stop it drying out. You can also add a small amount of Trex to the florist paste to stop it drying out.
- Place the petal onto a softening pad and soften the side of the petal using your ball tool.
- Put some glue onto your celbud, then wrap the petal carefully around it to form a little cone.
- Roll out some more pink paste and cut a five-petal shape with the same large cutter. Soften the tips of each petal using the ball tool. Put some glue into the centre of your five-petal shape and also onto petals C and E (each petal on the cutter has a letter stamped onto it). Sprinkle a little cornflour onto your board as this will stop your paste sticking to it when you roll it out.
- Remove the cocktail stick from the bud. Place the bud onto the glue in the centre, then carefully pull the two petals up that have glue on them. Stick the right-hand side of each petal down, then stick the left-hand side so that they are both wrapped around the cone tightly.
- Put some glue onto the remaining three petals A, B and D, on the right-hand side of each petal only. Working around the bud, carefully stick the right-hand side of each petal onto the cone, then when they are all on, stick the left sides down too. Put your rose bud back onto the cocktail stick while you work on the next stage.
- Mix some white paste into the pink paste to make it slightly lighter (50/50). Cut another large petal shape and soften the tips of the petals as before. Put some glue onto the right-hand side of all five petals and in the centre as before. Remove the cocktail stick from your rose and position it on the glue in the centre. Stick each petal onto the bud, working round to the right, then stick the left-hand side of each petal down to finish. Shape the tip of each petal using the top of your finger.
To make the buds, blossoms, berries, leaves, stems and pearls:
- Make the little bud by following steps 1-7. The bud is slightly smaller than the rose, so use the small celbud and the smaller five-petal cutter.
- Take one of your wires and cut it into four equal pieces. Bend the wire over at one end to create a hook shape using the pliers. Next, take a small piece of pink paste and roll it into a tiny ball. Put some glue onto the hooked end of your wire, then push it gently into the pink ball. Allow your blossom centre to dry properly.
- Cut little blossoms using white paste and vein with them using the petal veiner. Put a tiny bit of glue onto the centre of the white blossom, then carefully push one of the pink centres through to create a finished flower. Allow to dry upside down for a while. Always make blossom centres and leaves in advance so that they are dry when you tape them.
- Make your berries exactly the same way as for the blossom centres. Berries need to be the size of petit pois.
- Roll some green paste out quite thickly. Cut little leaf shapes out using the teardrop cutter. Once you’ve cut a few leaves, cut some more wires, put some glue onto one end of the wire, then push it into the bottom of the leaf. Dust the leaves with some leaf green edible dust and set them to one side to dry.
- When the leaves have dried, tape them together using white florist tape. To start the tape off, fold it around the stem, pinch it together tightly, then carefully twist the tape downwards, adding a leaf here and there until there’s a few on each stem. Dust the stems with leaf green.
- Take a few berries and a few blossoms and tape them to a leaf stem.
- To create the pearls, simply roll some florist paste into a long sausage shape, then push the sausage into the pearl mould. Carefully push the pearls out of the mould, then stick them around the base of the cake.
- To attach the blossoms and leaves to the cake, take a small piece of florist paste, put some glue onto it, then push it onto the blossom stems. Hold it for a few minutes until it holds the blossoms in place on the cake. Attach the roses using a blob of royal icing. Put the cake onto a cake stand when you are sticking the pearls on so they will be at eye level.