Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 4-22-2016 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Make beautiful edible Rose and Chrysanthemum flower decorations with strawberries and mango Natural Fruit Leather.
The flowers look remarkably real, due to the translucency of the fruit leather. We used ugly or imperfect produce for the fruit leather, as part of our Ugly Produce is Beautiful℠ Educational Campaign.
We also have lots of cake, cupcake and frosting recipes on this site!
If the fruit leather is too thick, it is not flexible enough, causing the assembly of the flowers not to work. Using 1 cup of puree per dehydrator tray makes them the right thickness. If you use a sheet pan, use a half sheet pan, lined with a silpat mat, with 2 cups of puree to get the same results. Set the oven to the lowest temperature. It will take about 4 to 6 hours to dry.
1 recipe Natural Fruit Leather
One 1 1/2-inch round metal cookie cutter; You must use metal, because the plastic cutters are not sharp enough to cut through the leather.
Silpat or nonstick mat
Small paint brush used for food
Empty egg carton
Unsprayed rose or mint leaves
One yellow jumbo nonpareil, or a yellow chocolate covered sunflower seed
Cupcakes and frosting, optional
STEP I: MAKE THE ROSES
1. On a silpat nonstick mat, cut out rounds from the strawberry fruit leather, using a 1 1/2-inch metal cookie cutter.
Cut as close as you can to the outer edge of the leather, to save room for more cut-outs.
10-12 round cut-outs will make a small rose.
Cover the unused piece of fruit leather covered with plastic wrap on both sides.
2. To make the rose center, line up 4 rounds and overlap slightly on one side.
Brush a small amount of water where they overlap, then press each overlap to adhere.
3. After a few minutes, start rolling up one set of overlapping petals into a tight spiral.
4. When you reach the end, put a dab of water on the end of the circle, then gently press to adhere.
Add petals to the rose center:
1. From the strawberry fruit leather, cut out 3 more rounds using the 1 1/2-inch round metal cutter.
2. Brush some water on half of a petal round.
3. Wrap the petal around the rose center, and use gentle pressure to make sure the wet area of the petal sticks to the center.
Hold the petal in place for about 20 seconds before adding additional petals.
7. Moisten another petal, and add it where the sides of the first petal meet, wrapping it around the center.
8. Moisten the third petal, and wrap it around the center, starting at the edge of second petal.
9. At this point, it is best to let the rose rest for 15 minutes, to make sure the seams are set.
We used an egg carton to help support the rose bud while it sets.
While you wait, you can work on another rose, if desired.
10. Continue cutting fruit leather rounds and adding petals in this manner, until the rose is as full as you like.
Set the rose aside for 15 minutes in the egg carton to set.
Adjust the petals just before we use them on the cupcakes/cake.
1. Right before using, pipe icing on the cupcakes, then gently adjust the petals on each rose to make them look more life-like
Curl down the edges of the outer petals with your fingers.
2. Gently push the rose into the frosting, and surround it by two or three small unsprayed rose leaves or mint leaves.
STEP II: MAKE THE CHRYSANTHEMUMUS
1. Cut a 1-inch wide strip of the mango-swirled fruit leather across the entire length of the leather, using a pizza cutter.
2. Snip a jagged edge across the entire length, using kitchen shears.
3. Roll the strip up in a tight spiral.
4. When you reach the end of the strip, brush on a little water, and press to adhere.
5. Cut a 1-inch wide strip across the entire length of the strawberry fruit leather, if desired, for contrast. Or use the mango-swirled fruit leather, instead.
6. Snip one edge at 3/16-inch intervals, using kitchen shears.
6. Brush some water on the bottom edge of the flower center, then wrap the strawberry strip around the center, brushing on more water when the strip overlaps itself.
If you want to make a larger flower, simply cut another strip and add it where the first strip ends.
7. When the flower is as large as you want it to be, gently press it open with your fingers.
8. Brush a little water on the center of the flower then add a yellow jumbo nonpareil, or a yellow chocolate covered sunflower seed, to the center of the flower.
Let sit for 20 minutes.
Just before serving adjust the petals with your fingers, then press the flower into the center of the iced cupcake, then add unsprayed rose petals or mint leaves around the flower.
You can make the flowers a few days ahead, and store them in a plastic lidded container.
They will stay nice and pliable for at least 3 days.