How to Make Sugar Flower Anemones

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Sugar flower anemones are pretty easy to make right in the comfort of your own home. Make sugar flower anemones with help from a graduate of the Classic Pastry Arts Program at the French Culinary Institute in New York City in this free video clip.

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Hi, I'm Andrea with Andrea Nicholas Cakes here in Portland, Oregon, and I'm going to teach you how to make a sugar flour anemone. All right, we're making a sugar flour anemone so what we need to do is start with the various parts of the flower. We're going to make the petals separately, we're going to make the center, and then we're going to add these stamens around the outside. So we're going to start making that center and all these things are going to need to dry over night before you assemble the entire the flour at the end. So, we're going to start with that center and you're going to need some black gum paste. You can just buy regular gum paste and dye it black with some gel paste or you should be able to buy a black gel paste I believe in the store and you're just going to take a tiny, tiny amount, kind of a large, I guess, I would say a large gumball size and that's going to depend on your cutters. And what I'm going to do, that's kind of the size that I want right there and we're going to take this ball, put it in our hands right in our palms, and really really kind of tightly put some pressure on there. Roll it around, you're going to get a nice round ball and then just kind of slowly release some pressure. It looks like I got a nice, perfect, clean, smooth ball of paste there. You don't want to have any imperfections in it. I'm going to set that aside. This is a Japanese wire, you can buy this at cake supply stores or online for cake decorating and flower making. The Japanese wire is thicker, it's stronger. I'm going to use that for the wire for the center of the flower. So that's also cut into a five inch and I'm going to take my pliers and just make, grab that right there on the edge and just make a little hook and that's going to keep that paste from falling off of there. So just do a little tiny hook with it. That's what you want in the end. I'm going to dip this hook just a little bit in there, you don't want too much glue so it gets messy. I wipe off the excess on my wrist and I'm going to very very carefully hook that ball right there and now I'm going to shape it, kind of give it a flat base and just make sure it's nice and secure on there. Now I've got this little hooked ball on the wire. Now the way that you get that texture on the center is using a very very fine scissor, I've got this tiny little scissor that I use for sewing and what I'm going to do is hold this in my hand and slowly spin it around and what you want to do is just kind of give cuts, tiny little cuts. Just be very very careful. I go on the outside and now I'm going to go continue on the inside, I want to get all covered, get a nice little slice. Shape it so it look so it's nice, that hook isn't sticking out anywhere and there we go. That's our center, right there. You can see how it's got that texture on there but it's still nice and secure on the hook. So that's part one, you're going to stick that into the Styrofoam so that it can dry overnight. Next step is creating the stamens. So, you can purchase these lily stamens, again, online from any, any flower making store. Usually you'll get them in white or yellow, it's not often that you'll find them with a white base and the black stamen. So I end up painting these, hand painting these myself. If you can find them like this, go ahead and buy them like that. It will save you a lot of work. So these were prepared ahead of time. So I've got I'd say about twenty to thirty and what I like to color with because it dries nicely and adheres is actually air brush colors. I'm not going not paint all of these but I'll show you what I do. I'll grab these and I'll grab a paint brush, put it on your brush. I'm just going to paint that, just that little edge. Don't gob it on or it's going to get clumpy and that's it, you've got your black stamens, okay? Lay them out to dry on a nice piece of foam and that's going to take some time to dry as well. You're going to want to do all of these. Okay, set that aside. So once those are drying, you've got your center drying, we're working on the center. Let's start working on the petals of the flower. All rights, so we're only making one flower here and just kind of work it and then we're going to use our Lucite rolling pin, roll that out. Now this is something you can do by hand with your pin and cut it but, once again, I recommend if you're into working with flowers, sugar flowers, I would recommend getting yourself a motor for your pasta machine. So, I'll move my pasta machine over here and roll out that paste so we get a nice even, even thickness. Now this is to about four or so on my pasta machine, every pasta machine is different. What you want is, I would like to call it petal thickness. Basically, you want it to be, the paste to be rolled out thin enough that it's delicate but not so thin that you can't insert a wire and work with it. So, find what's comfortable for you. So we've got a nice, thin layer here. We're going to take our cutters. These are cutters that I shaped into anemone cutters, actually weren't originally for anemone's. There's a cutter for every single flower out there. Try and use one cutter for multiple flowers if you think that you can because they can get expensive over time but what you want to do is cut out your petals and, as you can see from this flower, we've got three larger inner petals and three smaller outer petals. One good tip too is always cut one extra of each petal, you never know if something is going to break and you don't want to find yourself assembling flowers and missing, missing a petal. So, before you work with your cutters, go ahead and put a little bit of that shortening on there. Make sure you get a nice clean cut. Don't leave this sitting out too long, it will dry out. Okay, we've got our large petal. All right, so we've got these nice petals that we've put together. We've got three large and three of these smaller ones for the outer portion. Try not to let that dry out, at this point you need to work pretty quickly. I've got my, I've got my six wires here. They are the twenty four gauge that I cut into five inches. These were not hooked and that's very important. What you want to do, is take your sugar glue, just dip that end in there. I just like to use my wrist for this just because it's there all the time. Clean it off, you don't want a lot of excess glue. Hold this between your thumb and your middle finger at the base of the petal and you're going to very carefully insert that wire right into the center of that petal. And you want it to go up about, I don't know, about a quarter of an inch or so. Pinch that base so it's nice and secure and then lay that out on your cell pad. Okay, this is a nice spongy pad that you're going to be able to work with with your paste. Then, you're using a ball tool. I like to use this kind of medium size ball and you're just going to very carefully thin those edges of the petal. Okay, we need to do that again, sorry, because it is frigging hot and this is melting on me. So hold on one sec. So I'll just do another one and we can go back, wow, really quite different working in this heat. Okay, all right, so we'll try again, see if this one works better. Okay, all right, so we use our ball tool and and we're going to thin this very very gently around the edge. That thinning really makes the flower much more delicate looking and much more realistic. So I've thinned that now, I've got my wire in there. Now I'm going to take my flower press. This press, these presses, you want a two-sided press. So what we want to do is very very gently lay that in there, make sure you're wire's at the base and I'm going to put that top on there and gently press, just so I can get that baining right there and see how it picks up on that beautiful texture. Now I'm going to carefully, carefully lift that out. Make sure you pinch that edge again so that it's nice and tight and then I'm going to take this and I'm going to lay it in my egg mold. This is, these molds are also in cake supply stores. They use them for chocolate eggs at Easter time. They're great for drying flower petals so you can get these in various sizes. This is kind of a medium size egg mold. I'm laying that petal in there with this part hanging up towards the smaller portion of the egg and I'm just going to kind of mend that wire so it's nice and stable and then I'm going to let that dry in there, once again, over night. You want these to be nice and dry. So, we are here the next day, every thing is dry. So we've got our nice dry stamens, our center of the flower, our three outer petals, our three inner petals. We're going to put it all together using floral tape. All right, so this stuff comes in different colors. I like the dark green for this flower. As you pull, it's going to stretch on you and tighten up around the flower. So I'm going to take all of those stamens, again, you don't need to be sitting there counting exactly how many stamens are in each flower. Just do what seems to look pretty to you. I would say I've got probably about thirty or so here and I'm going to gather those together in my fingers and then I'm going to take that center that's nice and dry and stick it right in the middle. Now I'm going to use my fingers to kind of bend these stamens out so they form a nice little right around that center. Okay, see how it's kind of surrounding that and then I'll use my floral tape to secure those to that center. This can be a little bit tricky to keep them from moving around but you'll just practice and you'll get better at it. All right, so now what we're going to do is make sure that we start with those three larger petals and then we're going to add those outer petals. There is importance to the order in which you put the petals on the flower. Don't try and put them around in order, you want to the three center first, then three outer petals. So these were nice and dry off of the egg mold and they're easy to work with now, I know they're not going to break. You want to pinch right there at the base of it, so you get a nice ninety degree angle between the wire and the petal and I'm going to put that right there on the flower and I'm going to start using my floral tape to tie on each of these petals. This is really the fun part because you get to kind of see the, all of that work and see how it all comes together and beautiful it can really be. So I'm going to add all these petals. Try not to just loop and loop that floral tape around because that just creates a thicker stem which is not very realistic either. So try and just add a little floral tape, add a petal, loop it around a little bit. You just want it to be secure but don't over do it with the floral tape. Okay, so there we go, got that in. Again, I create that ninety degree angle and I'm just going to stick that in right there. This looks very delicate and yes, you should handle it delicately but sugar flowers, if made properly, aren't really as delicate as all of that depending on what they are. You can, you should be able to handle them. They should be able to be worked with. If they're too delicate, I'm sure they're beautiful but they're not very practical for working with wedding cakes. All right, so we're going to put that third one on there from the outer ones and then you just basically, once you've got all those petals on, just go ahead and continue with that floral tape and slowly, slowly but very tightly start working down that stem. There you go and as you reach the base, just keep twisting and kind of pinch that off and there you go. You've got a beautiful sugar flower anemone. Now, the final touch to this that really really makes something especially realistic is adding a little bit of shading and depth to things. So, I like to work with Leicester dust. Our dusting powders. This is in a like a lime green and you can just take a little bit of this, you can work directly out of there if you want. Dust it, add a little shading. If you find that some of that kind of gets on more of the flower that's fine too. And that is how you make a sugar flower anemone.

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