How To Make A Sugar Dahlia
So here we are…the very first sugar flower tutorial from Cakes by Krishanthi! We’re really excited to be able to share some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes on here. Sugar dahlias require a bit of patience as it involves making numerous petals, colouring and assembling, but it will be well worth the effort (we promise!)
30, 28 and 26 gauge white wires
White flower paste (coloured very pale pink)
A little bit of white fat/Trex for kneading and for the grooved board
White floristry tape
Edible dust colours – pink, white and yellow
Water or sugar glue
Plain-edge cutting wheel
Silk veining tool
(Note: you can buy all the equipment and flower paste from specialist sugar craft shops online)
- Bend a small, open hook in the end of a 26-gauge white wire. The shape you’re going for is a bit like a shepherd’s crook. Form a small ball of pale pink flower paste. Moisten the wire and insert the hook into the ball. Work the base of the flower paste ball onto the wire to secure it in place. Let it dry overnight.
- Thinly roll out some pale pink flower paste on a board (if the paste is a bit sticky use some white fat/Trex). With a plain-edge cutting wheel cut out small teardrop shaped petals (to go around the ball two or three times). They really don’t need to be perfect! Place them on a foam pad and soften the edges with a ball tool. Using the silk veining tool stretch and vein each petal slightly by pressing the tool into the paste. Curl the edges slightly. Moisten the ends of each petal (either with water or sugar glue) and attach around the ball. Repeat the process a couple of times until reaching the desired size (you will add wired petals using this as the base later). Colour the centre (with your preferred colour, e.g. pink and a hint of yellow in the middle) at this stage if you wish.
Building up the dahlia:
- To make the wired petals, roll out a small piece of pale pink sugar paste on grooved board. Cut out a petal shape using the plain-edge cutting wheel. Insert a 30-gauge white wire (for the smaller petals). Gently lift the petal with the wire, pinch the base of the petal to secure it to the wire and soften the edges with a ball tool. Stretch and vein the petal using the silk veining tool. Pinch the petal to curl it in to match the petals of the flower centre and let them dry slightly before colouring and attaching them to the flower centre. Tape the wired petals onto the flower centre using half-width white floristry tape. Position each petal in-between the petals on the previous layer. This really isn’t an exact science – you just have to go with what looks good to you!
- Make a large number of petals in various sizes, depending on the size of your flower. Use 26-gauge wire for larger petals. Once you have finished assembling the dahlia dust the edges of the petals with dust colour (here I used dusky pink) to give some definition before steaming it. Steaming means, hold the sugar flower over a boiling kettle to make the dust colours stick and to give a little bit of sheen (do this only for a few seconds!).
Hope you enjoy making your beautiful sugar dahlia. Don’t forget to let us know how you got on!
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