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I couldn’t be more excited about the news I am going to share. Today is the launch day of the long-awaited book The Art of Sugarcraft (Amazon UK – Amazon US), published by B.Dutton Publishing Ltd, which I had the great pleasure to contribute to.
Joining several first-class names of the industry to create this huge sugarcraft “bible” was an honour, and I was very flattered that my tuberose flowers were among the few images chosen for the press release as well as for other advertising of the book.
When B. Dutton Publishing contacted me for this project I was over the moon, they asked me to create sugar flowers that could pair well with a wedding cake.
My credo – when it comes to sugar flowers and sugarcraft – is all about neat style; I like to believe that if my cakes were poems they’d be haiku rather than baroque.
I immediately decided that I wanted something a bit different from typical wedding cakes, too often congested with a miscellany of different flowers.
I’d rather stick to a single variety and make it the leading character.
So I turned to Tuberoses.
Undoubtedly romantic in appearance, their luscious white petals, so pleasingly rich, would be ideal for my purpose. The only thing I regretted about the sugar version was the lack of a real flower’s scent. The two-tiered cake on which the flowers are displayed is covered in two different shades of the tenderest green to provide a soft counterpoint.
As usual, I took care of the photography as well. Photographing my sugar flowers provides the perfect finale to all my projects, big and small. It closes my creative circle.
Developing this project has been an utter joy and I hope it will inspire readers to have fun making sugar flowers and beautiful cakes and to unleash their creative potential.
I wish to thank Jennifer Kelly and Frankie New at B.Dutton Publishing. Thank you so much for your support.
Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to be present for the book launch at Squires Kitchen’s annual exhibition today. But I do hope you’ll be able to have a look at the book which is packed with information and ideas and is the ultimate text for both beginners and experienced cake decorators who wish to hone their skills and dive in 520 pages of pure sugarcraft fun!
My best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to everybody!
December is a busy yet lovely time of the year here at Sugargarden. This year, among sugar flower projects and new cake designs I managed to create this easy tutorial for one of the most classic of Christmas decorations: the Holly.
You can make a few now and store them in a cardboard box until needed.
Use the lovely little sprays to decorate mini-cakes or cupcakes (please be advised that wired floral decorations are not designed to be eaten, due to the presence of inedible elements like wire and floristry tape) or add a tag and use them as place holders or Christmas table decorations.
Elegant and understated, holly is so easy and fun to make in gumpaste, I never get tired of it. I hope you will enjoy making holly berries and leaves as much as I do. So, if you are in the mood for an easy but rewarding DIY project this Christmas just check out this tutorial and have fun!
I wish you all my best and a really Merry & sweet Christmas time.
[Click on the picture for a larger view]
• Non-stick board
• Foam pad
• Rolling pin
• Ball tool
• Edible glue
• White vegetable fat
• Wire cutters
• Green floral tape
• Half strength Confectioner’s Glaze / Edible varnish
• Clear alcohol
• Flat brushes for dusting
• White gumpaste
• 33 gauge green wire • Dust food colours – poinsettia, ruby red, blackberry
• Pale green gumpaste
• 28 gauge green wire • Leaf veiner or dresden tool to mark veins onto the leaves
• Holly leaf cutters
• Dust food colours – holly and foliage green
For the leaves:
Work some Pale green gumpaste and roll out on a lightly greased board, leaving a ridge for the wire.
Cut a leaf with the holly leaf cutter. Moisten a 28-gauge green floristry wire with edible glue and insert into the leaf. Soften the edges with a ball tool and shape. Let firm and colour with holly and foliage green.
For the berries:
Cut short lengths of 33-gauge wire, make a tiny hook at one end of each. Roll a tiny ball of Poinsettia SFP, about the size of a small pea. Lightly moisten the end of one wire with edible glue and insert in the middle of the ball, leaving the tip of the hook barely visible. Tinge the top of the hook with blackberry edible dust diluted with a drop of clear alcohol. Dust the berry with poinsettia and ruby dust food colours.
Dip leaves and berries in half-strength confectioners’ glaze, or spay with edible varnish. Let dry.
Assemble the leaves first and then the berries with mid-green floristry tape. Add a tiny ribbon at the base of the leaves if you wish.
A few months ago I worked on a new kind of peony. It was something I’d been wanting to do for a long time but it seemed thetime was never right for this project. There was always something else, more important or urgent to do. Then, one day I found the time and inspiration to sit at my working table and began to give substance to what was in my mind.
My aim was to achieve something visually impressive but easy to make. Most of all, I wanted to shape it using my hands instead of cutters.
I’ve been making sugar flowers for quite a while now, and one of the things I favour is shaping blooms using as little equipment as possible, to make them really personal and unique.
I was extremely satisfied with the result. I knew from the moment I assembled the centre of the bloom that it matched exactly the picture i had in my mind. I was so happy that I grabbed my camera, shot a picture with the idea of sharing it on my blog.
Oddly enough, publishing the pictures of that flower after the photoshoot took almost as long as letting it out of my mind and into reality.
But in the end here it is, diligently photographed for you to enjoy and hopefully to provide inspiration. I hope you like it as much as I do!