Talking to people about their birthdays is always quite interesting – some people (like myself) completely embrace idea and go overboard – I have a weekend of birthday celebrations – some prefer to ignore their birthday altogether, and of course there is a whole range of behaviours in between. To be honest, I don’t really understand those who refuse to share their birth dates, etc. Surely, even if you don’t want a big deal made, it is nice to have someone acknowledge the day? I would be incredibly dissapointed if no-one acknowledged mine! Each to their own I guess… I see birthday’s as having multiple purposes. Obviously, the main purpose is to celebrate that you have made it to another year, but I use them as an excuse to get together with friends, especially in the context of a life where we may find it difficult to make time for each other. I have friends in which we don’t do presents, but rather, take each other out to dinner to celebrate – it means that I get to spend a night with great company at least twice a year with each person! But I digress, what I am trying to get at is that I make a big deal out of birthdays, and turning 30, thus, was a great excuse to have a big party – and a very important part of that was the cake in which I will never cease to rave about.
So, to follow on from my last post, I will continue with describing the art of making the flowers on the cake pictured below. Part of the reason the arrangement looks so good is that the flowers are tightly packed together. I will, at this point add that I am not particularly skilled at arranging the flowers – that is entirely my mum’s talent. Since iced flowers are quite fragile, making it quite difficult to get them very close together, you need some smaller flowers and/or leaves to fill the spaces. We opted for orchids and daisies, along with rose leaves, to do the task.
1. To make the orchid, start by making the centers by rolling tube that is about 1cm long. Take some cake-decorating wire and curl the top into a small loop, wet it, and push into the base of the ‘tube’. Allow to dry.
2. Roll out icing and cut out a small rose petal (this is to be the tongue of the orchid). Using a ball tool, roll the tool around the edge of the petal. Dab some water onto the pointy-end of the petal and wrap it arounf the centre. Allow to dry.
3. Roll icing into a cone. Get a small stick (something like a skewer) and poke it into the centre of the wide end of the cone and roll around so that you create a hollow (you are sort of creating a cone shell). Cut the ‘open’ side of the cone into five petals – at this point you will have square edged petals (see image below). Each of these petals will then need to be trimmed into points (as per the left petal in the image). Lastly, place the ‘skewer’ along the length of the petal and roll left to right to shape the individual petal into a curve and to thin.
4. Wet the centre of the petals. Pull the wire of the centre that you prepared earlier through the centre of the petals (position it so that the tongue lies between two petals). That’s it – you have an orchid!