Today is all about the pictures. This fall, I took a 4-part fondant class at NY Cake West, a newish baking supply store on the Westside. Each week, we learned new bits and pieces of techniques for making flowers: daisies, roses, mums, carnations, and lilies. We practiced rolling fondant as thin as humanly possible - 1/16 of an inch - so thin we could literally read through it - then used a balling tool to thin the edges even further and ruffle them to form realistic-looking, imperfect flowers. Our teacher, Sophia, provided great tips that have informed and bettered my fondant skills: instead of powdered sugar, use a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch to prevent sticking. Use it sparingly. Roll excess fondant in a ball and spread a thin film of shortening on it to keep it soft and pliable. Melt a tiny drop of white fondant in a few tablespoons of water to form a "glue" for sticking fondant elements to each other or to the cake. And so on, and so on. For a baking geek like me, so much fun!
On the last class, we each brought a frosted cake to class, covered it with fondant (another good lesson! and one I want to practice more), and then used our flowers to decorate our cakes. I'll be the first to admit this cake isn't really my style (it's pretty froufy), but I think it came out so beautifully. Here it is!
That's a lotta flowers!
See the marbled look of the fondant? I kneaded pink and white together, but not all the way. (Originally, I meant it to be more distinctly marbled, but I screwed up and had to roll it out a second time; the rerolling process incorporated the colors more, but there's still a subtle effect.) I also love the border. It gives it a more finished, polished look. I actually borrowed this method for the cake I made recently even though it wasn't covered with fondant. The fondant-covered board is too much for me, not to mention kind of a waste of fondant. I prefer a plain cake board.
Carnations are one of my dad's favorite flowers. As flowers, they're not so highly prized, but I think the fondant version are so pretty!
You can make roses in any state of bloom, more open or more like a bud.
I really like the mums, too, and they're fun to make but they require planning ahead: you have to make the centers of the mums (and the roses) first and give them a few days to dry and firm up.
The lilies aren't my favorite. (Sorry, lilies.)
I could also live without daisies, but they are very sweet on a baby shower cake.
The whole garden.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting along with me! I enjoy all the feedback and I love getting to share all my baked stuff with my (real-life and interweb) friends!