From Ask Kit:
Q: Do you know anything about edible flowers for use on wedding cakes? I have weddings booked and plan to do the cakes—I have done them before but I am looking for something more elaborate.
A: There are lots of great edible flowers to use for decorating cakes. Let me share the ones I have found.
* rose petals
* English cowslips
* violets — if they are very freshly opened
And of course you can make crystallized flowers to use too.
Enjoy, and let us know how it came out!
2 thoughts on “Cake Decorating”
There are edible flowers and there are tasty flowers. Not all edible flowers are tasty. Rose petals, for example, are edible but eating a rose petal is like eating perfume. Ychk! The whitish bases are also bitter and should be discarded.
In contrast, violas have a sweet, wintergreen, somewhat perfumish flavor. The viola family includes Violets, Johnny-jump-ups, and Pansies.
Although fresh flowers are pretty, the biggest problem with edible flowers is that most of them don’t dry very well. A flower’s flavor can also change after it dries. Instead of fresh flowers, I’d recommend that you candy the flowers.
Here’s a link to a candied flower recipe.
In terms of cake decorating, I like working with marzipan. Marzipan is a thick almond paste mixed with corn syrup and sugar. It mixes well with food coloring and can be sculpted into all sorts of interesting shapes.
I’ve used marzipan to make squirrels with bushy tails as well as various fruits including strawberry, watermelon, banana, pears, and blackberries.
Marzipan fruits, flowers, and little critters can either be made in your kitchen or purchased on-line. If you make marzipan at home, I would strongly advise that you wear disposable food handler’s gloves so as not to get your fingerprints on your product.
Before removing the marzipan from its packaging, gently knead the marzipan or roll it on your kitchen counter a few times to help soften it. Dust your work surface lightly with confectionary sugar. Open the package and only remove the amount of marzipan you actually need.
Cover the marzipan that is not being used with a lightly moist towel to keep it from drying out.
Squeeze some food coloring onto the marzipan you’ll be working with. Knead it by hand, (wearing disposable gloves) to distribute the color. Roll it or mold it into shapes.
If you need to connect different pieces of marzipan together such as adding a stem to a cherry, use a toothpick to make a small depression at the point of connection. Lightly moisten the base of the piece you’re attaching with the tip of a damp paper towel and gently bring the items together. The use of flat armed tweezers may help connect the pieces. You may also use a bit of egg white mixture as a glue.
Marzipan sculptures will be edible for a few days but they soon harden and will be much too tough to eat.
Store marzipan sculptures in a plastic bag in a cool place if you are not immediately placing them on a cake.
For additional information on sculpting marzipan, visit this site:
Other cake decorating materials include pastillage, fondant, gumpaste, pulled sugar, and blown sugar.
Fondant is an icing made of sugar syrup and glucose, which is cooked to a specific temperature and then kneaded to a smooth, soft paste.
Pastillage is rolled Fondant without the addition of softening ingredients.
Gumpaste is a mixture of sugar, starch and gelatin. It’s what many of those realistic looking flowers, fruits and ribbons are made of on a wedding cake.
Since I am a culinary chef and not a pastry chef, I won’t go iinto depth about these items unless someone has a specific question. Here is a link to a site with general information about pastillage, fondant, and gum paste.
Here is another link to a wonderful site about pulled and blown sugar. The artistry of the pulled sugar rose is breathtaking.
Inn at Elizabethville
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