If you want to bring a hint of Spring into your baking before the end of the year, discover how to make these sweet sugar paste roses with a little help from mumpreneur Juliet Sears.
- Plastic wallet
- Sugar paste
- Icing sugar
Cut a plastic document wallet so that it is open on three sides, leaving it joined by just one seam.
Dust a clean worktop with icing sugar to prevent sticking and knead your sugar paste until pliable. Don’t over-work, or it will get too soft and warm. Dust sparingly with icing sugar if the paste is particularly warm or sticking.
Roll the sugar paste into a long sausage – the fatter the sausage, the bigger the rose; approximately 1cm diameter for a tiny rose, 2cm diameter for a medium rose, and 3cm or more for bigger roses. Don’t make them too large or the weight of the petals will pull the flower apart.
Cut the sausage into discs – these will form the petals. When you cut into your sausage, the bottom of it will flatten slightly where it has been pressed against the work surface – this is normal and at this stage the shapes don’t need to be completely round. Try to cut the discs roughly equal in thickness, approximately 3-4mm, whatever the size of rose. You can make different-sized roses by putting different amounts of these discs together.
Lay the plastic wallet open on the worktop and lightly dust the inside with icing sugar. Shake out the excess, or it will show up on your finished roses. Now lay the discs down with the flattened edge facing towards the seam. The reason for this is that the side facing the seam will be pressed flatter than the other to create the delicate petal edge. Line the discs up inside your document wallet in rows of 3, giving you 9-12 petals. Close the wallet.
With the heel of your wrist, gently push down on each disc to begin flattening out.
You now need to thin the discs on one side to create a petal effect. Gently sweep your thumb over one edge (on the side nearest the seam, so that when you open the wallet later the delicate flattened side won’t pull up as you open it). Press from the bottom to the top, smoothing with gentle pressure to thin it out. Make sure to do this on one side only.
Repeat with all the petals, working as quickly as possible to stop the sugar paste from drying out.
Carefully peel back the top of the wallet and pick up one petal, holding it at the fat base so as not to damage the thinned-out petal edge. You’ll notice that the petal will be curling to one side. Hold up the petal in front of your face with the edge curling towards you.
Make the centre of the rose by curling the petal back away from you and rolling horizontally into a tight cone. Take care not to touch the thinner top edge; just press the bottom part together gently to fix. You will be left with a tightly curled ‘petal’ centre.
Now you need to envelope the centre petal with the second one to create a bud. Lift the next petal off of the plastic and hold it up to the centre petal. Have the edge curling away from the rose’s centre, not pointing in towards it. Line up the seam or join of the centre petal with the middle of the second petal. Sit the second petal just a fraction higher than the first one, to create an effect where the outer petals are lifting up and out, rather than the central petal sticking out furthest like a trumpet.
Gently press the bottom of the second petal in, pinching it to the first petal so that their bases mould together. Again, take care not to press the top part or you will spoil the natural curling effect of the petals.
You will now have a lovely rosebud, which can be used for decorating cupcakes or for including in arrangements along with larger roses. If you want to use it at this size, cut away the excess at the bases just below where the petals are joined. Leave the bud to dry overnight then use it to decorate your cakes.
If you’re having trouble with any of the steps, check out the pictures below for reference. Happy baking!