If you are a novice baker, or even a seasoned cake decorator looking for a new tool to add to your bag of tricks, try using edible pearls on your next wedding cake. These small pearls are made from sugar and can be created in your own kitchen using the same pastry bags and icing tips you probably already have. For a wedding cake that will require a large number of pearls, buy them in a bottle from a craft store or kitchen store. Edible pearls are versatile decorations, and since they're made of sugar, wedding guests won't have to worry about picking them off of their cake.
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If you make your own edible pearls, you can use coloured gel to create whatever shade of pearl you desire, so you can match the couple's wedding colours precisely. If you are buying manufactured edible pearls, you may have to add some colour to get the shade you desire. To give edible pearls a sheen or sparkle, paint them with lustre dust in gold or silver.
Wedding cakes commonly have borders around the bottoms of the tiers of cake, where the seam creates a gap between layers. Hide this gap in a wedding cake with edible pearls going all the way around each layer. You can either use one size of pearl for all the borders, or use larger pearls around the bottom tiers and smaller pearls around the top tiers. For a more modern look, make a pattern using two differently sized types of pearl; for instance, set them in a repeating pattern of five small pearls and then one large one.
The natural counterparts of edible pearls come from oysters, so these little decorations accent a beach or seashell-themed cake well. Pearls can be displayed in many ways: set on the cake sides in a pattern, scattered on the top tier or set inside of chocolate or sugar seashells. Use pearls painted with lustre dust for a particularly natural look.
One way brides sometimes dress up their cakes is to have the decorator make sugar jewellery to display on the cake. Edible pearls are ideal for creating pearl necklaces or bracelets that can be draped on the cake, but they can also be used to make a replica of the engagement ring that some couples will use as their cake topper. You can also use edible pearls in other arrangements to mimic articles of clothing, such as lace or a tiara on the cake.
Wedding cupcakes are trendy these days, so cake decorators need to know how to present these mini cakes in an elegant style as well. Edible pearls can be used just as easily on cupcakes and will stand out even more because of their diminutive size. Be sure to press them in a little so they stay in place. Use large edible pearls and set one on a crest of icing atop each cupcake --- a nod to the classic cupcake with a cherry on top.
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