Monday, February 16, 2009

gumpaste magnolia blossom.

gumpaste magolia 018c

i made this magnolia blossom for a birthday cake for my very special friend, C. but you should know that beyond a very, very special occasion (like once every 5 or 6 years) i don't make sugar flowers anymore because the process of crafting them reaches a level of absurdity that is far beyond my ability to see the humor in it all.

by the time i get around to putting together the cake that the sugar flower will sit on, i don't care anymore. baking suffers so the sugar flower can be & as far as i'm concerned, no sugar flower is worth that.

1) make gumpaste. 20 minutes.

2) trial & error. figure out what cutters are needed to make the centers & petals (petals: rose petal cutter. stamen: daisy cutter + free-formed stamen snipped with scissors). this includes
  • manipulating the gumpaste with shortening/cornstarch on various foam mats to get the paste to the right consistency & thickness for each piece of the flower;
  • which gumpaste tools (pins, ball tools, spatulas, scissors, etc.) are best for the job of shaping each of the pieces; &
  • using whatever you have on hand (cotton balls, crushed &/or folded paper towels, straws for propping, hooks for hanging upside down) to throw together various flower formers to hold the pieces so they maintain their shape while they dry. 2 1/2 hours.
3) complete 1 flower to use as a template. 45 minutes - 1 hour.

(tomorrow is another day)

4) knead gel colors into the paste to tint. 45 minutes.

(what little interest i had left for dealing with this project is completely gone)

5) figure out what gauge of floral wire is best for centers & petals. prepare floral wires with floral tape. i only needed 1 flower for my cake, but you have to make extras of every piece of the flower to allow for the inevitable breakage somewhere down the road. so i made 4 wires for the centers & 12 wires for the petals. i forget the gauges, but i think i used 24 gauge for the centers & 26 or 28 gauge for the petals. 20-30 minutes.

6) make 4 centers (2 pieces each). 1 hour, 15 minutes.

(this is the point where i lost all will to live)

7) make 12 petals. 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

(i cannot believe i'm still dealing with this)

8) it's been raining nonstop here, so i let everything dry overnight in a dehydrator.

(tomorrow is another day)

9) except i forgot to make some leaves.

(****** ******)

10) make leaves. cut & vein. 20-30 minutes.

(unfortunately, tomorrow is here. i consider other faster alternatives to making a cake ie buying a cake, making a pan of brownies, forgetting the whole thing, etc.)

11) trial & error. figure out petal dust colors for each piece of the flower. 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

12) dust the 12 petals & the 4 centers. steam to set. 2-2 1/2 hours.

(baking the cake)
(preparing the filling)
(preparing the frosting)
(putting the cake together, chill)
(preparing the ganache)
(ganaching the cake)

11) floral tape the flower together. 20 minutes.

tomorrow, i am transporting cake + bloom.

wish me luck that it gets there in 1 piece.


Olga said...

what a pretty flower!
you know, I have a kit to make something similar from paper: and the thought of spending that much time totally scares me :)

the 90/10 rule said...

thank you! some people love to do them & i imagine once you get a couple under your belt it's not so bad. but if you're wiring together a whole flower from scratch, all the prep work takes forever. i'd rather be baking! ! ;-)