Gum paste calla lilies are widely used in cake decorating and other confectionery arts in order to lend a classy, refined look to any dessert. Making the calla lilies out of gum paste is in and of itself an art, but without a proper arrangement even the most perfect representation of a calla lily will fail to carry that air of distinction that is so sought after. As with most things, simplicity is the friend of the artist, especially the amateur; avoid lavish, over-the-top displays and you'll be ahead of the game already. Following a few timeless traditions will help you build confidence as you expand the range of your culinary skills.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Gum paste calla lilies
- Extra gum paste
Build the cake (or whatever it is you are decorating) before arranging any decorations around or upon it. Though gum paste is a relatively hardy material to work with, avoid handling it as much as possible to prevent disfiguring the shape. Therefore, have the rest of the dessert finished before moving to your arrangement.
Use the extra gum paste underneath your gum paste calla lilies to provide lift and adhesion. In some scenarios it may be advantageous to lay them flat, but most of the time these replicas appear more lifelike if the trumpetlike flowers rest even just a little off the surface they lie on.
Arrange the lilies in groups of three or four rather than spaced individually. Part of the beauty of decorating with gum paste calla lilies is the creation of an organic design. Avoid symmetrical or mathematical arrangements. Instead, tight bunches at random points around the cake create a more realistic presentation.
Consider tying these loose bunches together at the base of the gum paste calla lily flowers with rolled gum paste dyed green to mimic a stem. The colour blends well with the elegant white flowers and helps bridge the otherwise awkward junction of cake and flower.
Transport carefully to avoid shaking the flowers and potentially damaging them. Though gum paste is edible, it is probably better if the arrangements are removed prior to consuming whatever dessert you have concocted.
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