Or When I Met Peggy Porschen. All of my friends cannot have failed to notice how excited I was last week after a cheeky visit to Peggy Porschen's Boutique Bakery in Belgravia, led to an encounter with the one and only cake queen herself (cue girly excitement and photo opportunity!) The bakery itself is small with only a few tables and the cakes were merchandised to perfection - each one was identical and it was a real inspiration. And I can definitely recommend the Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcake :) Peggy was so lovely and took time to chat to me about my baking and brand new blog and then invited me over to her Academy to see the Flower Diploma Class in progress.
The students' work was amazing and so detailed. Making sugar flowers is quite an investment as to create more than a simple rose, you need flower paste, cutters and a spectrum of tints. Plus a lot of patience as you're often waiting hours or overnight for small parts of the flowers to dry before you can progress. That's why going to a class like this is great as you get to use all the equipment and try your hand at a variety of creations!
Inspired by seeing the Flower Academy in action, I decided my next challenge should be a sugar flower. I've been wanting to experiment with them having only attempted simple roses and hibiscus flowers. I chose a really beautiful rose from Peggy's book Cakes In Bloom - English Garden Roses inspired by David Austen's Keira Rose. Now I'll admit right now that I only had leftover flower paste (a bit hard and crumbly), the wrong colour tints for the rose and leaves and I over-coloured the rose centre so it's a bit too pink with no spare paste to recreate it. But making the rose was pretty straightforward if you have patience and a gentle touch! It might not look quite the same as Peggy's gorgeous specimen but I was really pleased with my first attempt and I think it would look fabulous on top of a lovely celebration cake or maybe even add a touch of elegance to afternoon tea.
Attending the Flower Academy is on my bucket list. In the meantime, there are a lot more flowers I want to make including a very important upcoming commission with sunflowers. But that's another blog post!