Sugarcraft Daffodils

Since I am obviously in a bit of a yellow mood, what with the lemon cakes and lemon curd, I thought I would share with you my method for making wired sugarcraft daffodils. The students in my sugarcraft class really enjoyed making them and I hope you do too.

Equipment you will need:

Yellow, straw and green flowerpaste (this is a sugar paste specifically designed for flower making and can be bought from any sugarcraft supplier)

Edible glue

Daffodil or freesia cutter or plastic template

Cocktail stick

24g wires

Stamen

Yellow pollen (this is simply semolina or polenta coloured with a little yellow dusting powder)

Method

  1. Tape 6 stamen to a 24g wire. Dip in glue and dust with yellow pollen powder.
  2. Make a small cylinder with either yellow or orange flower paste. Insert a celstick or cocktail stick into top of the cylinder and work outwards to form a frill. 
  3. Pull the wire through the centre of the trumpet and secure with a little glue. 
  4. Roll out yellow paste, cut out the outer petals, soften the edges and add texture each petal with a veining tool or a cocktail stick. If you do not have a daffodil cutter, simply draw a propeller shape onto a thin piece of plastic, such as a margarine tub lid, cut it out and use as a template for the outer petals.
  5. Overlap the outer petals and thread onto the wire behind the trumpet.Roll a small cone of green paste and secure behind the petals. Carefully bend the wire. 
  6. Roll a small piece of cream paste very thinly. Emboss with a corn husk or mark with a cocktail stick. Tear into an oval shape and then secure to the stem.

As I told my lovely ladies, every daffodil is unique and individual and with so many different varieties, the daffodils they have made can never look “wrong”! 

This is a really simple method and it has never let me down yet. I hope you find it simple and straight forward too. If you have any problems or queries please feel free to get in touch.

Enjoy!

Ali xx

Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

Homemade Lemon Curd

As promised, here is the recipe for my homemade lemon curd.

I’m not entirely sure how I came by the recipe but it in my old, battered recipe notebook, covered in splat marks and looking decidely dog-eared. It is a traditional lemon curd recipe but the curd it makes is better than anything you will find in a shop.

And for those of you who might live up a mountain, I have been reliably informed that it works at altitude too. Well,  it does in Breckenridge, Colorado anyway!

This lemon curd is gorgeous used as a filling with sweetened mascarpone cheese in a Victoria Sponge. Bliss!!!

Ingredients:

•       4 large unwaxed lemons

•       1 lb (450 g) caster sugar

•       6 large eggs (ideally free range as they give a gorgeous golden hue to the curd)

•       4 ozs (112 g) butter (proper butter NOT margarine)

Method:

  1. Wash the lemons and remove very thin strips of rind from two of them. I used 3 because they were smallish lemons. Using a vegetable peeler to remove the rind from a lemonI find using a vegetable peeler the best way to remove the rind as it cuts very thin slices without any of the white pith.
  2. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice, removing any pips.
  3. Put the juice and rind, beaten eggs and other ingredients into a double saucepan (or heatproof-bowl over a hot pan of water) on low heat and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens. Be patient as this takes ages, at least 25 min.  You will gradually notice the mixture changing colour and texture
  5. I found the best way to test whether it is ready was to put a refrigerated spoon into the mixture, pull it out and look at the back of the spoon. When it coats it thickly, it is ready.
  6. Remove the rind and any possible lumps by passing through a sieve.
  7. Turn into hot clean jars (I sterilise mine in the dishwasher) and seal at once.
  8. Allow to cool then store in the fridge. They will set overnight.

This recipe makes about 2 lbs (900 g) of Lemon Curd. Store it in the fridge and it will keep for about 3 weeks in an unopen jar.

Let me know how you get on with it!

Enjoy!

 

It looks like Spring is on the way!

In the last week I have taken at least 4 orders for lemon cakes, a sure sign that spring is on the way! So I beg your indulgence whilst I witter on about all things lemon!

When I make my lemon cakes, especially when they are for a wedding, there are certain things that I insist on. Firstly, I only ever use lemon oil, Boyajian is my personal favorite. I use oil rather than grated peel because that way, if I am making a tiered cake, I know exactly how much lemon to add to ensure the cakes all taste the same. Boyajian make a range of citrus oil and I have to say they are fabulous. The second thing that I insist on is free range eggs. The difference that free range eggs make to any cake is astounding but to lemon cakes, it is not just the taste they enhance but the colour too.

Once the cake is baked and whilst it is still warm and in the tin, I spike it with lemon syrup (100g icing sugar and the fresh juice of 2 lemons heated until all the sugar has dissolved). This not only keeps the cake moist but adds a real slap-in-the-face zing!

When is comes to the choice of filling I would always go for homemade lemon curd (I will post my recipe a.s.a.p.). If I havent time to make it then it has to be Mrs Darlington’s Legendary Lemon Curd.

Right, I have to shoot off now as the timer has just beeped on the oven! xx