Hey everyone, remember those flowers I posted last week?

There’s a funny story about those flowers, about them sitting undisturbed in my oven for two days, after which I decide to bake a cake and forget to take them out. Suddenly my kitchen started smelling sort of like roasting marshmallows! The flowers themselves were ok, but the plastic bag of icing I’d left sitting beside them didn’t fare as well, and I had to take out the oven rack and scrape melted sugar and plastic off it. It was quite sad to have to throw out so much icing, but at least I caught it before the melting bag was able to drip through the oven rack. And now I think I’m going to post a warning sign next to my pre-heat button. Always check your oven before turning it on. Always.

Moving on, though, look at what these flowers became when they grew up!

basket weave close up

A flower basket cake! Last night was my final class for the Wilton level 2 course. I knew we were going to work on the basket-weave piping technique, so I figured I may as well go whole hog and make a proper basket! The handle is made of gumpaste, braided over a wire. I made it about 3 days ahead by shaping it on the side of a cake pan and leaving it to dry.

I also made the bottom layer of cake in a pie plate, to help shape the sides into something angular. If you want, you could bake this cake in a pyrex bowl and end up with a lovely basket shape as well. (Just expect it to take a lot longer to bake than your usual pans.)

The flowers themselves are made from royal icing, which is pretty stiff to begin with, and dries rock-solid. Small pieces will dry in a day, but large ones like the lilies shown here needed at least 3 days to dry…. though being in my oven while it was heating probably sped that up a bit…

They are still pretty delicate though, so you have to handle them carefully. Between carrying them to class, removing them from their wax paper, and setting them on the cake, I broke quite a few, and several of the ones on the cake now are cracked.  If you try this, be sure to make extra!All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the results. Now… what to do with all this cake?