Pansies are vibrant, breathe taking, fragrant, an edible bloom and the flower most people take for granite. The pansy is linked forever to the viola, its ancestor, violas includes both pansies and violets, violets most loved for their perkiness and the their pretty perfume aroma. Pansy flowers are single with five petals that are rounded in shape, and have one of three basic color patterns. Blooms can be single, clear color, such as yellow or purple with a second pattern that is a single color having dark lines radiating from its center. Most people don’t realize pansies have a delicate perfume-like aroma. Once you have smelled and identified the pansy scent, it is unforgettable. It is rumored pansies inspired William Shakespeare romantic writing’s.
Sydney and I wanted to create life like sugar pansies, while in DC we talked about placing them on a cupcake instead of including them in a cake spray. Besides I could send them to her in a care package. Although I have pansy cutters I found using a rose petal cutter worked best.
Sugar Paste Pansies:
- Rose petal cutter, OP
- Ceramic silk stick, HP
- Dresden tool, FMM
- Grove board, CC
- 28 gauge white wire
- 26 gauge nile green wire
- Fine needle nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Dusting brushes
- #2 fine paint brush
- All-purpose leaf Cutter, ISAC or Oak leaf cutter, OP
- Pansy leaf veiner, SKGI
- Poppy veiner, JR
- Six petal cutter #5, OP
- Ball tools
- Foam pad
- Floral pad
- Steamer, optional
- Pasta machine, optional
- Nile green floral tape, HH
- Fondant smoothers
- Small sugar paste rolling pin
- Plastic mat or DYI plastic cut bag lightly coated with crisco
- Fine Scissor
- Make-up pads
- Cocktail straw
- Fondant, Fondarific
- Sugar paste (gumpaste), Fondarific
- Yellow food paste, electric yellow food paste, and leaf green food paste
- Daffodil, plum, violet, lime green, and foliage green petal dust
- Edible varnish
- Egg white
- 1- recipe almond cupcakes
- 355 grams/3 3/8-cups of cake flour
- 15 gram sakura cherry blossom sugar
- 400 grams/ 2-cups sugar
- 9 grams/2-teaspoon baking powder
- 1-teaspoon salt
- 200 grams/4 eggs, at room temperature
- 227 grams/1-cup butter, softened
- 244 grams/1-cup milk
- 122 grams/1-cup milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoons almond extract
- 1-vanilla bean
Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liner of choice. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl whisk eggs, 244 grams/ 1 -cup milk, almond extract, and vanilla seeds.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, sift all the dry ingredients (including sugars) and mix on low speed just to blend. Add the butter and the 244 grams/1 –cup of milk. Continue to mix on low speed till the dry ingredients are moistened, raise the speed to medium and beat for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and gradually add the egg- milk mixture in thirds, beating for 60 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the center.
Sugar Paste Pansies:
You will need to create the pansies prior to the cupcakes.
The Pansies’ Petals:
Knead white sugar paste well, roll into a log place the log over the groves in your groove board. With your small sugar paste rolling pin roll up the groove and then down, be sure the paste is transparently thing. Transfer the paste to a cutting board, and cut five petals with the rose petal cutter. Place four of the petals under a plastic mat. Cut 28 gauge wire into equal fourths dip one of the cut wires into egg white and thread through the grooved part of the petal. Gently pinch as you twirl the wire to attach the petal on the wire. Place the fifth petal on a foam pad. We like to create the heart shaped petal first, in order to not forget about that petal. Using the metal ball tool, half on the edge of the petal and half on the pad, gently thin out the petal and create movement. Transfer the petal to the poppy veiner and vein, the poppy veiner works better than pansy veiners. Careful lift the veined petal and place back on the foam bad (on the corner edge), and use your silk ceramic tool to frill and bend the petal gingerly. Next move the petal to the centre of the pad, keeping the point of the silk ceramic tool at the base of the petal in motion roll the tool to the opposite side. To add a heart shape to the petal use the board end of your dresden tool and gently push the centre to the petal and manipulate the petal inwards causing a heart shape. Place the petal on a foam former to dry. For the remaining four petals follow the same procedure, excluding shaping the petal into a heart.
Each pansy has different shape petals, look at pictures to find a style you like and duplicate it to create a style of your choice.
The Stamen and Calyx:
Color a small amount of sugar paste bright yellow. With a teensy size of well knead yellow sugar paste roll a smooth ball. Take cut 28 gauge wire bend an “L” shape to the top of the wire, dip the “L” part in egg white and place in the ball. Roll the bottom of the ball as your twirl the wire to attach. Place the wired ball on the foam pad, cut the tip of ball in, 1/16th down, with fine scissors. Use the fine side of the dresden tool and hollow each side and pinch to point.
Dust with daffodil yellow and allow to dry in floral foam.
Color well kneaded white sugar paste with leaf green paste and electric yellow. Place a rolled sugar paste in a pasta machine, gradually roll to a number 6 thinness, and cut out one calyx for each pansy. Place the calyx on a foam pad use a small metal ball tool on each side of the six petals, creating a ridge. Turn the calyx over and pull your dresden tool outwards. Pinch each petal tip to a point. Place the calyx on a make-up pad, with a pre-made hole. Push the assembled pansy through the calyx and make-up pad, brush a little egg white on the calyx. Now turn the pansy upside down and position the calyx in pace and lay the petal so they have a little movement. Dry the pansy on foam former.
Once the calyx has dried color the calyx with lime green and foliage petal dust. Steam the pansy to set the color and place in floral foam.
Color well kneaded white sugar paste with leaf green paste and electric yellow. Roll the green paste into a log place on your groove board and with your small sugar paste rolling pin roll up the groove and then down, be sure the paste is transparently thing. Transfer the paste to a cutting board, and cut three leaves with a leaf cutter or oak leaf cutter. Place two of the leaves under a plastic mat. Cut 28 gauge wire into equal fourths, dip one of the cut wires into egg white and thread through the grooved part of the leaf, gently pinch as you twirl the wire to attach the petal on the wire. Use your metal ball tool to add movement to the leaf and to widen slightly (if you’re using an oak leaf cutter). Place the leaf on the pansy veiner, and transfer the veined leaf to your foam pad. Using your dresden tool on the side draw the tool outwards to give a serrated effect of the leaf and pull the dresden tool inwards to frill.
Gently pinch the top and base to exaggerate the spine of the leaf. Place on a foam former to dry.
Dust the leaves with lime green from the base upwards and the edges inwards, repeat with foliage green and cut the foliage green on veins. Add a touch of plum to the spine and outer edge. Steam each leaf, allow to dry, and varnish, with 50/50 edible varnish .
Dusting and Assembling the Pansy:
For Yellow Pansty:
Dust the base of the pansy with daffodil yellow, dust the tip and sides with the daffodil yellow keep layering until you achieve the deepness of yellow you want. For the pansy coloring is a tad different, because the vibrance of the color is on the bottom centre you will want to concentrate the violet and plum in that section. I found dusting the sides inward work best. Dip your fine brush in a little vodka, dip the wet brush in plum dust and draw the lines upward.
For Purple Pansy:
Dust the base of the pansy with daffodil yellow, dust the top and edges inward with violet petal dust, layer the violet until you achieve the violet color you like. From bottom centre upwards dust with plum petal dust, next dip your fine brush in a little vodka, dip the wet brush in plum dust and draw lines upward.
Take the two back petals tape them together with nile green floral tape. Add the stamen wrap the tape once around to the back of the petals, add one side and tape once around again. Add the the other side and pull tape once around, next add the the last heart shape petal, and tape down to the bottom, cut the excess with wire cutters.
Tape three leaves together.
When arranging on the cupcake the pansy leaves are lower on the side.
To place in the cupcake use a cocktail straw and place the foliage and pansy in the straw, use your needle nose pliers and bend into position.
Pansies come in a plethora of colors, red blue, yellow, purple, pink, etcetera follow the same method for coloring. Sydney and I found working on white paste works best for bringing out the vibrant colors.