Let them eat caladenia

Published 09/09/15 | by Karen McGregor

EVER since I was about 6 years old and I spent hours watching ladies from the Cake Decorators Association of Victoria creating intricate sugar flowers at the Royal Melbourne Show, I have wanted to learn how to make them myself. So when I decided to do 3rd year uni part-time the first thing I did was find a beginners sugar flower course and start learning. I have since completed a few more sugar flower classes which have given me the basic skills and knowledge to create my own sugar flower designs. I was inspired by a book of Australian native sugar flowers to create ways to make some indigenous flowers, some may never have been created in sugar-form before! 

I’ve found it particularly fun to discover new ways to make my favourite flowers, and pulling techniques I learnt in class across to indigenous flowers. One of my favourites is using the technique of dipping the sugar paste into glue and then into a mixture of yellow powder and gelatine crystals to make what looks like pollen. This was taught to me for making Arum Lilies, but works perfectly for wattles! To make my Goodenias I used a blossom cutter that had 5 petals with notches, and I re-arranged the petals into the asymmetrical Goodenia shape. My Musky Caladenias were similarly done with a five petal cutter, and dusting the purple colour power on the tips of the petals after the shape was made. For the Love Creeper I used the petal cutter for the “standard petal” of a small pea (the large petal at the back for the pea flower) and stretched it sideways. In fact my Correa reflexa leaves are made using the rose leaf cutter, I just made them more, let’s say reflexed!