19.4.09

A Rose Obsession


The latest book by Alan Dunn, The Wedding Cake Decorator's Bible (2009), a good value for money and definately going to be one of the most refered to in my collection. Twenty three decorating techniques are shown including some rarely heard of like Battenburg lace, using gelatine for cut-outs and flowers as well as cocoa painting.  

There is one section dedicated to sugar flowers which shows 5 types of flowers, 3 types of foliage, and 2 types of "filler" flowers. Dusting methods are also in detail. Above is one of the 3 types of rose shown in the book. This is known as Formal Rose. The other 2 is Open Rose (as shown on book cover) and Modelled Rose.

My attempt at the Formal rose. It is the half rose stage...another step (10 steps altogether as listed in book) before reaching full rose stage.



13.4.09

Frangipani...A Wedding Flower?

Frangipani...a common flower in Malaysia, known to produce a wonderful scent, is also known as Plumeria rubra. It is a tropical flower, native to Mexico, Central America, Southern India, Venezuela and is the national flower of Nicaragua and Laos.

According to Wikipidia, the flowers have no nectar and are most fragrant at night and possesses poisonous, milky sap. Its colour ranges from white with a yellow centre to pink and blood red.

In several Pacific islands, frangipani is used for making leis and indicate relationship status, whereas in Malay folklore, it is associated with ghosts and demons (pontianak) and is known as graveyard flower, as per discussion in forum here.

Elsewhere, it has been a wedding favourite and is also a popular flower used in cake decorations.


I found this rare frangipani in front of a shoplot near my house. This is the second time I've seen this plant in front of shops. Guess it is now a decorative plant with feng shui purposes. 


A close-up of the flower. Compared to the white species, its petals are not as thick.


2.4.09

Gum Paste: Satin Ice vs Wilton

Wah Seng in Ipoh has just stocked up Satin Ice Gum Paste, an alternative for cake decorators to use besides the Wilton brand. Thought I would experiment on both to construct one of the everlasting favourites to have on wedding cakes; the Rose. The price for Wilton is double that of Satin Ice. Both packaging comes with devices to prevent exposure to air which could cause gum paste to harden. 

Let the test begin! On the left is Satin Ice Gum Paste, and on the right in Wilton Gum Paste.

Open up the packaging and pinch them out. Satin Ice is harder and more difficult to pinch. Could be easier using a metal spoon to help. Wilton is rubbery and more pinchable. The big difference is the colour and texture. Satin Ice is whiter and has a clay-like texture. Wilton is skin tone and rubbery and a little sticky. 

It is recommended to mix 50% Wilton Gum Paste with 50% Fondant(Sugar Paste) as shown above.


Here is the result. On the left is the original Satin Ice, and on the right is the kneaded 50:50 of Wilton Gum Paste + Fondant.


These roses are freshly made. There is a translucent effect on the Wilton rose, whereas Satin Ice remains white. Satin Ice petal is also harder to frill as you can see it looks quite stiff compared to the one on the right which is softer (having been mixed with fondant), therefore easier to frill, making the petals slightly bigger. 


These has been left overnight and has harden. One can hardly notice the difference in colour. In term of price, they even out as Wilton will be mixed with fondant, doubling its bulk. 



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