While Sydney was home this past weekend, for a VERY short time, we visited the Botanical gardens. As we walked around the flowers and greenery I saw a Flamboyant Mayflower and became mesmerized by it’s beauty! The Flamboyant Mayflower is known for its flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It seemed kismet to spot this wonderful flower during the month of May, Graduation month.
I photographed as many pictures from all angles of the Flamboyant Mayflower and asked Sydney if she would help me recreate a cake in honor of this majestic flower. It also happens to be a friend of mine’s daughter’s high school graduation; we brought it to the graduation party. I must admit the Flamboyant Mayflower Petal Cake was a huge success.
2-recipes Cherry Blossom Cake, 2 6×4-inch cake & 2 8×4-inch cake, covered in Fondant, Fondarific
Sunset orange petal dust, PC
Daffodil petal dust, CC
Cherry for Katie, CC
Birds of paradise petal dust, PC
Lime petal dust, CK
Moss Green, CK
Sunset food paste
Leaf green, petal dust
Amaryllis cutter, Farmers
Amaryllis veiner, SKGI
Basic Leaf Cutter, ISAC
Basic leaf veiner, SKGI
Ceramic silk tool, HP
Dresden Tool, FMM
Plain wheel cutter, PME
28,26, 24, and 22 gauge wire, green & white
Nile green floral
White Floral Tape
Fine point scissors
Gumpaste rolling pin
Soft dusting brushes
Fine needle pliers
Metal Ball Tool, JR
Foam pad, ISAC
Color your gumpaste/sugar paste, for the flamboyant mayflower, you want to leave the paste white, color pale and pale green for the leaves and calyx.
For the Flamboyant Mayflower spray, there are two Flamboyant Mayflowers, three Vanilla Orchards, five Flamboyant Mayflower buds, and 15 leaves.
Prepare your mise en place.
You will want to create the stamens first, generally the Flamboyant Mayflower has 8 to 10 stamens, they have a white centre and orange/ reddish side.
Prepare 8 to 10, 28 gauge white wire, cut the wire in 1/4 and bend the end with an open hook or “L” shape, dip the wire in egg white, and wipe excess off on the back of your hand. Roll a bead size piece of white gumpaste/ sugar paste, insert the prepare wire, gently pinch the bottom of the rounded gumpaste, and create a cone with the tip pointed upwards.
Place the stamens in a floral foam and allow the stamens to dry, preferably overnight.
Wrap the stamens in white floral tape, and color the tape orange/ red. Color the stamens with birds of paradise and Cherry for Katie.
Floral tape the stamens together leaving the red dusted section showing!! Place the sets, two sets, in a floral foam for later.
The Flamboyant Mayflower Petals:
Knead some gum paste well, take a golf ball size portion of gumpaste, roll into a log and thinly roll on a groove board, take care to roll in one direction, up first and then down. The paste should be tissue paper thin. Transfer to a cutting mat, and cut five petals with your Amaryllis cutter. Dip a 1/4 cut white 28 gauge wire in egg white and thread into the grooved portion of the petal 1/3 up.
Place the wired petal on a foam pad, using your metal ball tool half on the edge of the petal and half on the pad. Add slight movement, place the petal in your amaryllis veiner and press closed to vein.
Replace the petal on your foam pad and use the side of a dresden tool to frill, next use a ceramic silk tool to add more frill.
Allow to dry half way.
Color the petal before they completely dry. Start with daffodil yellow, overlay with birds of paradise, and edge with cherry red, keeping one petal centre white and adding red specks.. Allow to dry overnight. Remember to dust from the base to the centre and edges to centre, layer your colors to add realism.
The calyx for the Flamboyant Mayflower is red inside and green on the outside, it tends to be thicker than a peony or rose calyx. It is five separate “leaves” each on it’s own wire.
Roll a pea size ball of pale green gumpaste insert a looped of 28 gauge green wire dipped in egg white, roll the ball in long cone.
Hollow the inside, and vein each calyx leaf. Dust the inside with cherry red petal dust, proceed to dust the outside and lip with lime green and moss green. Keep the contrast severe.
place each wire in a floral foam to dry.
The Buds and Leaves:
To create the buds, cut 28 gauge wire in 1/4 loop the end of the wire, dip in egg white. Roll a small ball of green gumpaste, and insert the prepared wire. Pinch the ball at the bottom gently to attach. Use a plain wheel cutter to cut three sections. The bud is dusted in lime green and moss green, and the sections are colored red. Mix a little vodka with the cherry red and draw a line in the sections. I prepared five buds, but that was a choice.
Roll your light green gumpaste thinly on your groove board. Transfer the paste to your cutting mat, and cut out ten leaves. Place nine of the paste leaves under your plastic mat. Thread a 26 gauge wire in the thick part of the groove board, pinch the leaf on the bottom to the wire. Vein your leaf with a basic leaf veiner, release the leaf on your foam pad. Using the ball tool half on the outer leaf and half on the foam pad. Use the dresden tool to deepen the veins. Hold the tip of the leaf and the bottom, gently pinch and exaggerate the center vein and create a slender leaf.
Color the leaves from the base to the centre and edge to the centre with lime green, moss green, and edge with cherry red. Add a little cherry red to the centre vein and a few outer sections. Paint 50/50 edible varnish and allow to dry.
Take your prepared stamens, with nile green tape, wrap beginning under the base of the stamens, wrap once around add a petal, wrap the tape once around again and add another petal. Continue until all five petals have been added. Repeat with the five calyx leaves. Steam to set color.
I will give a tutorial on the orchids, the spray assembly, and the petal cake in another post.
As I finish this tutorial I am in DC helping Sydney move into her new apartment. She was chosen to participate for a summer psychology program. As her mother I am proud, but my heart aches as I know in a few days I will be saying goodbye again. As her friend I am happy she has found a place she enjoys.
I guess we all must accept and be supportive when our children leave home.
Hope you will try a Flamboyant Mayflower Spray and petal cake!