Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sweets For the Eye

Today the Boatworks was host to a demonstration of the creation of edible sugar-based flowers. Artist Gerrie Vergona developed an interest in the creation of decorative flowers made from gum paste, a completely malleable mix of sugar and various gums. The beautiful results can be an attractive addition to a cake or worthy of display on their own. A group gathered (above) to watch Gerrie go over some of the process used to create a rose. Shown below are previously made parts for a poinsettia and the tools of the trade.

Gerrie showed everyone the basic procedure. She started by working some premixed gum paste with vegetable shortening and her hands to make it more pliable, then rolled it flat and cut out some small circles with a cutter. She then used a tool to smooth and expand the edges, so that the edges more resembled an actual flower petal.

The newly formed petal was placed in a silicone mold and pressed, so as to add vein textures to the petals.

Completed petals were carefully attached to a wire (the only non-edible part of the flower) using gum glue, and molded to resemble the structure of a rose's interior petals.

She also showed us how to color the flower, using a brush and some powdered dry food coloring. The finished examples that she had on display looked as beautiful as any that you'd see on a cake competition show.

Those in attendance had an interest in creating cake decorations and had varying degrees of experience, so they really appreciated getting some tips on these advanced techniques. Gerrie Vergona is exploring the possibility of teaching a series of hands on workshops at the BAC in the future. Details will appear on the main website when the classes are scheduled.