Made out of sugar paste, Peonies are a graceful and majestic addition to all manner of cakes for a variety of different occasions. Added to anything from birthday cakes to wedding cakes, peony’s are one of the grandest flowers and really give a touch of class to any size cake. I have to say, they make a beautiful keepsake for memories of a glorious day. They are my favourite flower of all.
1. First make your flower stem and stamens with 22 gauge wire wrapped around a bunch of wired stamens in the middle and bend them upwards. Wrap a florist tape along the whole of the stem starting underneath the stamens, holding and turning the stem with one hand whilst pulling your tape diagonally and wrapping all the way down (see step 5.).
2. Choose your peony cutters for individual petals but you can start with a large flower cutter to create the middle of the peony easier. Here I used a hawaiian flower cutter (largest size) which seems most suitable for our purpose. Using a ball tool run around the edges of the flower to smooth them (as you can see in the image below) and thread your ready made stem through it.
3. Cut out another one or two pieces and this time cut into the flower to make the petals more separate but still staying together. Smooth edges again, brush a small amount of edible glue on and gently thread your stem through to attach. With a large piece of foil create a rough cone and thread your flower through to keep your petals close together. However do make sure the petals don't overlap - adjust them a little and use pieces of kitchen paper towel to keep them separate if needed.
4. Next using your smaller individual petal cutters cut out about 12 pieces. If you would like to achieve more organic look, cut out little pieces along the edge of each petal using a roller cutter. No peony petal is exactly the same so this will make your peony look more realistic! Carefully thread through each petal a 28 gauge wire dipped in edible glue and let rest on your flower petal foam for about 30 minutes.
5. Start attaching the petals with a little edible glue brushed on the bottom part of each petal. After each layer wrap around your florist tape and repeat. Put back in your foil cone and let dry for at least 30 minutes again.
6. With your large peony petal cuter cut out about 5 pieces (depending on how large/fluffy looking you would like your flower to be!) and follow the same steps as above. I add small pieces of kitchen paper towel inbetween the petals to support them to make sure they don't flop during the drying proces. This is very important as we don't want our flower to end up flat!
Let dry best overnight and...tadaaa, your large graceful peony has come to life! Peony stamens are usually yellow which you can paint with edible gel colour or dust colour mixed with a small amount of pure alcohol.