The inspiration for this cake came from Mich Turner's Cake Masterclass, that my husband bought for me last Christmas. I learnt how to make the roses, which is fairly simple once you've practised a few times, this skill alone opens up a whole new sphere for me because I can now, with some level of confidence decorate cakes at home for my family and friends that look semi-professional.
The method I detail below is not directly from Mich's book but my own effort! I like this cake because you can prepare most of the elements in advance and then assemble when it is needed, for instance the rose and petals will keep for up to 3 months and the cake a day or two before also, so the surprise can be kept under wraps until needed. I used the same sponge that I used in my Black Forest Gateau and half the quantity Buttercream from my cupcake recipe. Thank you Mich for such a fantastic book.
You will need:
20cm Round Cake of your choice on a 20cm cake board
Large round cake board
2 Tbsp Strawberry jam
800-900g White sugar paste
200-300g Red Sugar paste
25g Red icing
50g Green icing
A4 Plastic pocket, cut open on three sides
Red ribbon (optional)
My cake board was the wrong colour so I covered it with white sugar paste. Brush the board with water and cover with sugar paste, run the smoother over it to get rid of any air bubbles and trim off the excess, leave to set overnight if possible.
I used a single chocolate sponge, which I split in two and spread with strawberry jam and chocolate butter cream.
I then covered the whole cake with butter cream, this acted as a under layer for the sugar paste, for ease I suggest that you use a 20cm cake board to support the cake while you cover it with the white sugar paste. The butter cream needs to set for a couple of hours or overnight.
Cover the cake with the white sugar paste and lay on the covered cake board.
Trace a large heart onto the top of the cake using a pokey tool or cocktail stick.
Roll out the red sugar paste into a long sausage, use only a small amount of icing sugar because if the sugar paste becomes too dry it becomes too difficult to handle.
Cut the paste into 4mm discs, cover unused paste with clingfilm straight away as it will dry out in a mater of minutes and become unusable. If this happens just knead and re-roll.
Gently press out each petal with your thumb until it is uniformly smooth on all edges, it will roll much easier if it is even all the way through.
Gently peel the petal off the plastic and roll between your index finger and thumb, this is the centre of the rose. Some of my first petals were too dry and cracked so I advise that you practise with a small amount of paste first.
Add two more petals to the bud at opposite sides to the preceding seam, turning down the edges. Cut the excess paste off the bottom with a knife, leave to set.
Fix the twenty roses on the cake with a dab of red icing.
Place the roses as evenly as possible, be careful to leave room for the leaves on both sides of the design, which I didn't!
I iced dark green leaves directly onto the cake but you can make them separately and fix then with green icing.
I finished the cake off with a small red trim instead of a ribbon but if your cake is full height then I recommend a wide satin ribbon.