ADVICE - How To Incorporate Edible Flowers Into Your Wedding Cake Design, By Dainty Bakes
6th July 2020
Today's guest post comes courtesy by Megan of Dainty Bakes, who specialises in creating beautiful wedding and celebration cakes, handmade in the Somerset countryside. I came across her work on Instagram and loved how many of her creations included edible flowers and herbs; looking deeper, she's also passionate about reducing waste and the carbon footprint of the ingredients she uses and is committed to shopping locally and seasonally. I was therefore delighted when she offered to write this feature on the various ways to incorporate real flowers into your wedding cake design - enjoy!
Having been used in cooking for centuries, edible flowers have made a huge comeback in recent times; being used to embellish and add flavour to a variety of sweet and savoury dishes in modern cooking. Many cake makers are now bringing them into their cake designs, as both a simple and beautiful way of adding colour and texture to their bakes, without the need for any artificial ingredients. With so many varieties available and colours to choose from, the design possibilities are endless and, with a bit of knowledge on how to use them, they can transform an otherwise simple sponge cake into something truly stunning.
Here I’m going to show you four different techniques for using edible flowers to decorate your wedding cake. Whether you choose to make it yourself or have it made professionally, I hope that these tips will inspire you to incorporate edible flowers into your wedding cake design.
Life's Little Adventures
For a summer wedding, make the most of the abundance of fresh, seasonal flowers. When using fresh flowers to decorate your cake, opt for the slightly more robust varieties, such as roses, dahlias, carnations and calendula, as these will last longer once picked and also make great statement pieces.
Simply place flowers onto your cake in your chosen design, using a cocktail stick to keep larger blooms in place. For best results, use flowers on the same day that you pick them and be sure to add them to your cake at the latest opportunity. If you need to pick them ahead of time, then store them in the fridge in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
If you’re planning your wedding during the winter season, don’t be discouraged by the lack of availability of fresh flowers. There are a few ways to preserve flowers, such as drying, pressing or crystallising, so that they can be enjoyed all year round…
This method works well with individual petals; particularly rose, cornflower and calendula.
1. Break off individual petals from your flowers.
2. Spread the petals out onto a piece of paper towel placed on a tray.
3. Move the tray to somewhere warm and dry and away from direct sunlight.
4. Leave for a few days until petals are crisp and dry.
5. Dried petals can be stored in an airtight container for a few months.
6. Sprinkle petals over the top of your cake or lightly press into soft buttercream around the sides.
Jennifer Jane Photography
This method is well suited to the more delicate varieties, such as primroses, violas and forget-me-nots, as these contain less moisture and so press much more easily.
1. Place a piece of absorbent blotting paper onto the back page of a large book and arrange the flowers out flat onto the paper.
2. Carefully place another piece of blotting paper on top of the flowers and gently press down.
3. Close the book and leave under something heavy for at least 7 days until the flowers have completely dried out and are wafer-thin.
4. Delicately place the pressed flowers onto the sides of your cake and lightly flatten onto the buttercream with your finger. Mix and match different varieties to create a stunning design.
This method works particularly well with varieties such as primroses, violas, cornflowers and rose petals.
1. Holding the flower at its base, use a small, clean paintbrush to carefully coat the flower with beaten egg white.
2. Lightly sprinkle caster sugar over the flower so that it is completely covered on both sides.
3. Shake off the excess sugar and leave to dry on a piece of baking parchment for a few hours until stiff.
4. Flowers can be stored in an airtight container for up to a few weeks until you are ready to use them.
5. Simply place flowers onto your cake and lightly press into soft buttercream to keep them in place.
James & Kerrie Photography
Here are my top tips for using edible flowers:
• Avoid using commercially grown flowers from the supermarket, garden centre or florist. These are likely to have been treated with pesticides which are not fit for consumption.
• If harvesting your own flowers, avoid picking them from the roadside or anywhere where an animal might have been. Be sure to give them a rinse before use to remove any small bugs or debris.
• A lot of flowers can look quite similar, so be sure to use only the edible varieties. If you can’t be certain, then it’s safer to leave them off.
• People with pollen allergies should be cautious when trying edible flowers for the first time.
• If buying edible flowers online, then be sure to use a reputable grower. I can personally recommend Incredible Edible Flowers in Somerset.
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