White spring posies
Skill level: Bit of effort
This is a unique idea for little miniature wedding cakes or bridesmaids’ gifts. You can use flowers to match your bridal bouquet and recreate an edible version.
- about 1 packet (250g) of white sugar flower paste (Squire’s Kitchen)
- small amount of white vegetable fat
- icing sugar or cornflour, for dusting
- about 1kg white sugar paste
- green food colour
- 16 miniature cakes (5cm/2-inch diameter), made from a 25cm (10 inch) square of basic Victoria sponge mixture, flavoured and soaked to your choice, covered with marzipan and a thin layer of white sugar paste
- edible glue
- small amount of royal icing
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 100ml sugar syrup, flavoured to your choice
Peggy Porschen says: 'These are very time consuming, so they are best off being used for smaller weddings or events'
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas 4.
- Place the butter, the sugar and any flavouring in the bowl of an electric mixer and, using the paddle attachment, cream together until pale and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the mix, while paddling on medium speed. If the mixture starts curdling, add a little bit of flour.
- Once the eggs and butter mixture are combined, sieve in the flour at low speed.
- Line the required baking tin/tins. For cup cakes, place the paper cases into the muffin trays.
- Spread the batter evenly into the tin using a palette knife. Tip: As sponge always rises more in the centre, spread it slightly higher around the sides. For cup cakes, fill the paper cases about two-thirds full, using a small spoon or a plastic piping bag.
- Bake for 12–15 minutes for cup cakes and 25–45 minutes for large cakes, depending on size. The sponge is cooked when it springs back to the touch and the sides are coming away from the tin. Alternatively, you can check it by inserting a clean thin knife into the centre; it should come out clean.
- While the sponge is baking, make your sugar syrup.
- Once the sponge is baked, let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Prick the top of the sponge with a wooden skewer and, using a pastry brush, soak it with the syrup while the sponge is still warm. For cup cakes, wait about 10 minutes after baking before soaking the cup cakes with the sugar syrup. This way they will not absorb the syrup immediately and seem dry.
- Once cool, remove the cake from the tin and cool on wire rack.
To make the flowers (you will need about 30 per cake):
- Knead the flower paste with a little white vegetable fat until smooth and pliable.
- On a plastic board lightly dusted with icing sugar or cornflour, roll a small piece of flower paste out very thinly. Cut out the little flowers using the stephanotis cutter. Keep the remaining paste covered in cling film to prevent it drying out.
- Keeping the flowers not being used covered with the stay-fresh mat, place a few at a time on the foam pad and push a line from the middle down each petal using the shaper tool. This way the petals will slightly curve inwards. Let dry.
- Pipe little dots of royal icing into the centres of each flower. Let dry.
To make the flower stems:
- Divide the sugar paste into 4 even pieces and mix three of them with various amounts of green food colour to give 3 different shades of green. Leave the rest white.
- To make the stems, roll a small piece of each colour green out to a thin sausage using the cake smoother, and cut into pieces long enough to cover the sides of the cakes.
- Brush the sides of each cake with edible glue and stick the stems around in
- alternating shades of green. Push them flat on to the side of the cake using a cake smoother. Trim off excess at the top with a sharp knife.
To finish the top of the cakes with flowers:
- Roll a small piece of white sugar paste to a ball, and push it down to a dome shape. It should be large enough to cover the top of a cake. Stick it on top using a dab of royal icing. Do the same for the other cakes.
- Using little dabs of royal icing, stick one layer of flowers all over each dome. Stick a second layer of flowers in between the gaps of the first. Let dry.