Wednesday, June 15, 2011

flower & sugar

i just finished sugaring all of these pansies. needless to say, it took awhile.
on saturday i'm creating a cupcake wedding cake. each cupcake will be adorned with one sugared pansy. i was pretty stressed about the whole undertaking but once i had the flowers* it turned out to be easier than expected - relaxing even. normally i'm on my feet all day, but instead i just sat down, listened to some tunes, hand painted each petal of each flower and sprinkled them with sugar.

*i need to give a major shout-out to cathy (aka my saviour) from the market. she won't be back until christmas - at which time i will lavish her with brownies & cupcakes. she GAVE me all the flowers, all i had to do was drive to stewiacke to pick them up...

ok, back to the wedding, the colour scheme is shades of lavender & purple. during our initial consultation, i showed the bride this picture:

she immediately loved it & i immediately knew i had a project on my hands. it may be painstaking, but it can be done in advance. the sugaring acts as a preservation method for the delicate flowers. once done they can be kept in airtight containers for up to three months. i am a little worried though because of all this rain & humidity, so i cranked the heat and lit a fire in the wood stove to thoroughly dry them out - fingers crossed. humidity is the nemesis of sugar, it makes it melt & go all sticky (also the reason you won't see sponge toffee or homemade skor bars on my table again until the fall).

to make the flowers you need a soft-bristled paintbrush (michael's), superfine sugar (bulk barn), 1 egg white & 1 tsp water - oh and some edible flowers i guess that would help (pansies, violets, nasturtiums...). whisk up the egg white & water, brush over the entire surface of each flower & then sprinkle it with the sugar. 

these were the first two - not so great...

but after a bit of practice, i got the hang of it...

these were the last ones and i quite like them.
i also found that some of the larger flowers didn't want to hold their shape too well.

by moulding them in egg cartons, they had a bit more character.
one of the main things i was worried about, was having the bristles of the paintbrush tear each delicate petal. lately i've been avoiding michael's, but sucked it up on this occasion. i think the saleslady thought i was crazy, but i felt the bristles of each brush in the paintbrush aisle and finally settled on this one:

it was super soft and the shape of the bristles provided great surface area so it didn't take a million years to paint each petal (back & front mind you).

i often watch daina paint at the market on sundays and she holds her paintbrush at the very end away from the bristles. i always thought it was funny and seemed like it would make it so much harder. she explained that by holding it at the end, you paint with your arm instead of just your hand and it provides much better control. by the end of this project i was holding my paintbrush at the very end & feeling like quite the artiste!

pictures of the finished product to come...


  1. Wonderful! Those flowers look like fairy food. I can't paint with my arm out like that. o control at all!