Welcome back to day two of my series of Peggy Porschen posts this week.
Here I am above with Peggy and three cakes – which one was her’s and which one was mine? Read on to find out!
The Peggy Porschen Academy lies adjacent to the Peggy Porschen Parlour in a Belgravia side street.
Downstairs there are various cakes from previous classes on display as well as a shop selling sugarcraft equipment.
It’s very exciting to walk in and see the cakes close up – and to think you are about to make something similar.
Upstairs there is a bright studio with a huge marble topped workbench catering for up to eight students at once.
I was joining a personal masterclass with one other student who had travelled from Switzerland (more than once) especially to receive training from Peggy.
We were to make a two tiered fondant covered wedding cake decorated with flower paste roses that would take twenty four hours to make.
First we tinted some flower paste pink and mauve, then we formed these Barba Papa shapes on cocktail sticks. These form an inner cone to build the roses around.
The flower paste dries much harder than fondant. Made from sugar it is in theory edible but best not try incase you break a tooth in the process!
The “cake” as you see above, was a dummy made from polystyrene. We needed to smooth its edges with a scalpel and knead a large ball of fondant paste to cover it.
We were using special sugarcraft rollers, metal guides placed in parallel to prevent you from rolling the fondant paste too thin. I quickly realised how having the right equipment makes sugarcraft so much easier.
Our various pieces of “cake” and boards finished after lots of smoothing and shining – but waiting to be assembled on day two.
Next we cut out petal shapes from the flower paste and rolled these with a silver balled tool to make them thinner.
Peggy artfully demonstrates assembling the petals around the cone. She makes between 100-200 of these roses every week. I would go insane if I had to do this… I am clearly not the patient delicate type!
I also noticed how Peggy is clearly familiar with the structure of real flowers whereas they’re not something I’ve spent a lot of time looking at. Just like an artist draws, so the sugarcrafter needs to study their subject intensely to create such a perfect likeness.
Probably my roses would have looked a lot clumsier if Peggy hadn’t given them the occasional fiddle to help them along!
You have to work quickly with the flower paste as it dries out quickly. Some of these petals on the white trays were deliberately being allowed to dry out to use as decoration on their own.
Assembled roses were sat in cupcake cases to cushion them or on sticks in the polystyrene block.
Once formed, some delicate brushing with food colouring powder gives the edges of the petals a realistic tint.
They look finished now but there’s still one more final touch….
A swift two or three second hover above some steam makes the flower paste wilt ever slightly giving that final natural effect.
The final stages of assembling the cake happen very quickly – 75% of the work we did in two days was probably one those few roses, they’re that labour intensive (to the beginner at least).
Royal icing is used to sandwich the layers together – these were dummies but the technique would be the same with real cake.
“Every cake has an ugly side” Peggy jokes. Mine usually have several! Having decided which will be the back of the cake, ribbons are sealed down with a blob of piped royal icing.
Then for the fun part – arranging the roses and petals. We put bigger ones on the top, buds near the bottom and petals dotted down the side. It’s very satisfying seeing it all come together.
This one is mine. I can’t believe I made this. Although yes, the ribbon is marginally wonky.
Close up of my roses.
So can you guess which one is mine? Actually I’m not going to tell you now. I’ll let you decide below and I’ll tell you later in the week!
Why not pop back to the Peggy Porschen Parlour in yesterday’s post if you’ve not visited already?
Peggy’s Favourite Cakes & Cookies by Peggy Porschen is published by Quadrille from June 6th 2011.
Until 12th June 2011 I also have three copies of Peggy’s Favourite Cakes and Cookies to giveaway. Click here to enter.
With thanks to Peggy Porschen.
A Trifle Rushed says
I think all three cakes are beautiful, you must be very proud.
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
I was indeed… very proud to carry it home in a box!
Wow, you did a fabulous job on those roses!! I am impressed!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
Thanks… I feel I can’t claim full credit though!!
Thanks for sharing those pictures with us! What awesome cakes. So pretty and pristine.
Gorgeous!! You did a fab job! Awesome!!
Lairy the Cupcake Fairy xx says
wow! Well done! loved the cakes, loved your roses, loved the finished result … & loved your straightened hair!! 🙂 x
Receiving training from one of the best – why a privilege! You’ve worked hard and great result!
I am wondering if the cakes were reel would they require some extra support inside to ensure the second tier won’t sunk into the first one? Looking forward to the next post!
Hey what a great time you have having opportunity to work with the best (R.Blanc etc) ! Well done girl!
I would love to spend a day with Peggy Porschen making roses! Can you let me know the price for theses lessons please!
Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet says
Phew, I’m tired just looking at these cakes! It must have been seriously hard work. Beautiful though…
It must have been fun! 🙂
I’m so jealous seeing that many Kitchen Aid on the counter! I only would like one!!! 😉
Great job! 🙂
Lay the table says
Oh wow! This is just beautiful! I took a class last year on sugarcraft but unlike my mother, who managed to complete my cousin’s wedding cake with her arm in a sling, I have little patience for it!
Looks like you had a great teacher (I had a little spy on her website and WOWZERS!)
Made With Pink says
Wow! What a fantastic job! These are amazing! Wedding cake design is something I’ve always wanted to pursue, but have never had the time, money & opportunity to do it. We’ll have to meet up sometime so you can show me how to do those flowers! I pay in cupcakes!
Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours says
Wow Sarah! How amazing! I saw your cake for real and was very impressed at the time. Stunning stunning roses!
Oh, this is *fascinating*. Now I need to come up with a justification for making lots of sugar roses (would love to do this for the wedding but I’m not that masochistic)
working london mummy says
Wow Sarah love the cakes they look awesome.
Hello! Congratulations for the work! How tall was each tear?
Sarah, Maison Cupcake says
Thanks! About 6 inches!
Hello Sarah! Thank you for answering and for sharing the photos! Luky you for beeing there! 🙂
Cupcake Crazy Gem says
Wow I wouldn’t have been able to tell which was Peggy’s and which was yours – that looks amazing! p.s head on over to my blog if you want to win a gourmet cheesecake in my giveaway
Holy heck, this is so cool!
Thank you for your reportage! I’m going yo book a course with Peggy could the professional wedding cake. could you suggest me anything?
eun a says
Hello~ !!^^ verry verry I want to learn sugarcraft.!!!
I don’t go london…Because I’m live korea.
but i love cake!! I believe English speking learn. surly go to london.
I will see peggy poschen.
Have a nice day~
Those cakes are marvelous.I bet their delicious too.
Gabriela Valadez says
Both beautiful can’t tell it apart I love excel ant student and teacher as well congratulation to you both
Yzelioui yousr says
C’est vraiment fantastique ,très beau ce que vous faites vous êtes des artistes bravo !