Maggie's Orchid Cake

In contrast to my conservatory, home to the pots of Orchids past, Maggie's is home to a beautiful array of blooming Orchids, so for a very special birthday we thought Maggie might enjoy an edible one :D

I think this might just top the minion as one of my most successful cakes! I didn't really have a plan so I didn't have high expectations for how it would turn out. It was actually quite relaxing to make, and I was so engrossed in it I kept forgetting to stop and get progress pictures along the way.

All of the flowers are made from sugar paste. I had no idea there are so many types of Orchid and so many cutters to choose from! After a trip to the garden centre for some research, I opted for the
Moth Orchid cutters and veiners set which also comes with a handy set of instructions.

The centre of each flower and each petal was wired individually and then left to dry. I used petal dusts to add a little touch of colour, and then taped them together with more florist tape to form one complete flower.

I had no idea how I would connect each flower to form the plant until Mr Chris' manager kindly donated a wire coat hanger to the cause. I cut the coat hanger and shaped it to form the main branch, wrapped it with florist tape, and then attached each flower and bud with more florist tape. 

I use poly dowels to support my tiered cakes, which are strong but hollow dowels, and therefore also perfect for holding an Orchid branch! Placed through the centre of the cake, my Orchid fitted snugly inside and it did a great job keeping it secure and upright. I hid the top of the dowel peaking out of the cake with fondant leaves, and the wooden dowel alongside it is purely for show to mimic a real Orchid.

The plant pot itself is three layers of chocolate cake sandwiched together with chocolate buttercream, and the soil on top is crushed Oreo cookies, a nice addition as they add a little chocolate crunch.

On this occasion I didn't decorate the cake board. Mr Chris suggested we leave it blank in an attempt to trick his Mum into thinking it was a real Orchid. Instead I added a poorly written edible gift tag.

We celebrated Maggie's birthday with a family meal out and instead of bringing the cake out at the end, we placed it in the centre of the restaurant table. At first glance everyone thought we'd brought another Orchid for Maggie's collection but as Maggie went to pick it up we had to warn her it was cake :) 

I'd say it was a success and I confess, I am a little bit in love with this cake.


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