Constructing moulded fondant roses requires a certain amount of practise, but once you’ve perfected the technique, it’s a fantastic addition to your cake-baking skills and one that will win you many fans!
Begin by making or buying some Mouldable Fondant. It’s easiest to start with white fondant as this is the most malleable and least likely to stain your hands as you work. Different coloured fondants can have different degrees of stickiness but generally the deeper the colour, the more quickly the fondant will soften and become gluey and difficult to work with, and the lighter the colour, the more likely fondant is to become dry and crack.
As you become more experienced you can work with stronger hues, through to purple and black, because you will form the roses more quickly and therefore the fondant will have less chance to change its condition.
Making a Single Rose
- Break of a piece of fondant and roll it into a ball about 2cm in diameter.
- Now tap the ball lightly on a plastic, glass or marble surface to flatten the base and then turn it on its side to roll it into a cone shape about 3.5 cm tall.
- Pinch off a piece of fondant large enough to make a .5cm ball. Flatten this to form a penny-sized circle that is thicker at the ‘bottom’ and very thin at the ‘top’. This forms a single petal. Repeat the process until you have made four similarly sized petals.
- Fold a petal around the base of the cone, slightly pinching the bottom of the petal into the base so that the petal wraps around the cone to form a bud shape. Repeat with the other three petals, overlapping them slightly, and then gently pinch and curl the top edges of the petals outwards.
- Using fondant balls about half as big again as the first four petals, make five to seven more petals, thinning the top edges and allowing them to be slightly more fluted and curving than the inner petals. Press these larger petals around the outside of the rose, in a slightly spiralling pattern that allows them to frame the centre of the flower naturally. A rose has a naturally outward leaning shape and the further the petals are from the heart of the flower, the more curved they become, so you may wish to bend some of the outer petals outwards and to pinch the mid-point of the outermost petals to achieve the classic fluting in the middle of a petal that is what gives roses their distinctive appeal.
- Make as many roses as you like, standing them on a clingfilm wrapped tray to allow them to harden, before adding them to your cake. Once they have ‘set’, they are easy to lift and reposition, but they never become truly dry.
Decorating Fondant Roses
There are a number of ways to personalise your fondant roses once they are made. The simplest is to mix up a very light tint of contrasting colour: soft pink for yellow roses, or a violet for pink roses, and to a delicate line of colour around the top of the outer petals, deepening it into the pinch point at the top of the petal and then drawing it down towards where the petal joins the flower. This gives a natural two-tone effect.
For more ‘glammed up’ roses, try brushing the tips of the petals with a lightly beaten egg white or gum and then painting on some edible glitter: silver looks great with white roses while black roses look fantastic with a red glitter highlight.