I made this Red Cardinal Christmas cake last year for our family dinner party. It has proven to be quite popular for not only it’s non-traditional colour scheme but also for it’s unique elements like the stylized poinsettias and the wafer paper adorned cardinal.
I started this little tutorial for the stylized poinsettia shortly after sharing the cake on my Facebook page (see original post here for more details about the making of this cake), but unfortunately not in time for anyone to use it for their Christmas cake that year, so decided to save it for this year. I ended up giving it to Pretty Witty Cakes to feature in Issue 8 of their on-line magazine in the summer because Suzi wanted to highlight some of the work of her Guest Tutors. But that was in the middle of summer so not great timing if you were looking to use it as a seasonal touch for a festive or holiday cake lol!
But it is time now to share it for those who may want to use it on their Christmas cakes this year. I hope it comes in handy for some of you!!
Modern Deco or Stylized Poinsettia Flower Tutorial:
In this tutorial, you will learn how to use simple tools to create a unique, modern flower that can be used to decorate a cake in a winter seasonal style. It can be made as a double layer flower for a more interesting effect, but can also be made as a single layer. You can also adapt the colours and use these techniques to create your own floral variations to decorate any kind of cake you can imagine.
3” oval cutter
2.5” oval cutter
1.75” circle cutter
Brush for applying edible glue or water
Edible glue or water
50/50 gumpaste/fondant mix (you can also use fondant with Tylose/CMC added, or straight marshmallow fondant if it is not too soft)
Step 1 – roll out your paste and cut out your ovals to prepare the petals (you will need 12 for each poinsettia) and each set of ovals will make two petals so you will need to do this step 6 times – I recommend you cut out no more than three sets of ovals at a time and store them in Ziploc bags until you need them as they can dry out if cut too far in advance
Step 2 – add water or edible glue down the centre of each oval
Step 3 – place the smaller oval on top of the larger oval; fold over the ovals and press together where the two ends meet
Step 4 – using a cutting wheel, cut as pictured to create two petals; alternatively, you can just cut down the centre of the ovals but you may have to trim them down a bit so the resulting petals are not too tall (this is based on personal preference)
Step 5 – add some water at the tips if needed to ensure the points stick together; pinch if necessary; then use your finger to press down gently in the centre, to flare out and create a nice rounded shaped petal
Step 6 – using the circle cutter, cut out two circles (you will need one for each layer of the two-layered poinsettia); take one of the petals and add water or edible glue to the bottom and attach to your circle as shown
Step 7 – attach the rest of your petals evenly so that they touch each other on the sides but not on the ends; this way, there will be a gap in the centre; dab some water or edible glue to the areas where the petals touch – this will ensure better stability of the piece once dried
Step 8 – make two small balls about the size of a small marble (or what will fit in the gap you’ve left); apply water or edible glue all around the inside of the gap and insert the ball and flatten the top gently; you will do this again so that you’ve created two sets of petals; let these set minimum half an hour
Step 9 – once they have set enough that you can lift them and maintain the shape, flip one layer over and add some water or edible glue to the entire back surface of the circle backing; place that one on top of the other layer, off-setting the petals so that those on the bottom layer are showing through those on the top layer; add some scrunched up pieces of paper towel under the tips of the top layer petals to help keep them from drooping; you can use the end of your brush to push up the circle backing where it might show through between the petals, just for a cleaner look
Step 10 – make 7 small balls from white paste and apply one first to the centre and then the rest, around it; let dry overnight before attaching to your cake; to attach, use a thin piece of fresh fondant on the back with water and hold in place against your cake until it is adhered securely (minimum 5-10 minutes, depending on weight)
This flower can be made in whatever colour you want for any type of cake. You can change out the centre and add your own touches to create completely unique and modern flowers for any cake or season. Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. I look forward to seeing it used on your festive cake this year!
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