This time last year, I introduced you to Natalie Porter, a talented wedding cake designer and the founder of Immaculate Confections, responsible for the creation of the Rapid Rose and the Perfect Peony kits, which have made sugar flowers accessible to sugarcrafters all over the world.
This month saw talented innovator, artist and entrepreneur Natalie add yet another skill to her CV – published author – with the release of her first book, Book One: Sugar Flowers.
A colourful and easy-to-follow guide to creating beautiful, yet achievable sugar flowers, Natalie’s book features clear and easy, step-by-step instructions that will help you to create a whole host of sugar flowers, buds, berries and leaves and turn your cakes into works of art!
Regular readers (and viewers) will know that I have been very excitedly following Natalie’s journey to bring her first book to life (check out my video from April’s Cake International on Tour 2019 to see more), and it seemed only right that now it is here, we sat down with Natalie, and husband Chris, to find out how she got started in sugarcraft, discover what inspired her to create her range of products and learn how she was able to finally bring her vision to life in her new book.
Head to this link to read my exclusive interview with Natalie and find out how you can get your hands on a FREE copy of Natalie’s book, Book One: Sugar Flowers.
Natalie Porter is the founder of Immaculate Confections and the talented designer responsible for many of the most beautiful wedding cakes that light up our newsfeeds.
Her journey into the world of all-things-sugar began back in 2012, when Natalie created her first wedding cake – her own.
When she and husband Chris were planning their wedding, they decided they wanted something very personal and a little bit different for their cake. They weren’t able to find what they wanted from their local cake decorators, so, much to the horror of their families and friends, Natalie decided to take on the challenge of making their wedding cake herself.
Luckily, Natalie’s edible recreation of Lord of the Rings’ Minas Tirith was incredible and she realised that she clearly had a real talent for sugar art.
Roll forward six years and Natalie’s eye-catching designs are now regularly featured in magazines and blogs, she has won a multitude of gold awards at an international level and she is now teaching sugarcraft to other designers and artists.
However, her award-winning cakes are not the only thing that Immaculate Confections is known for, because in 2016, Natalie introduced her first time-saving product to the market: the Rapid Rose – the Five-Petal Rose Support Pad. Natalie explains that her Rapid Rose allows users to create beautiful non-wired roses from flower paste in just a few simple steps.
As a very reluctant sugar florist, the idea of being able to save time (and effort) on my usual one-petal-at-a-time method of crafting sugar roses sounds like a real winner to me and, after one of my subscribers reached out and asked me if I could demonstrate the Rapid Rose, I decided to get in touch with Natalie and ask if I could have a play.
Included in Natalie’s Ultimate Rapid Rose Bundle are the Five-Petal Rose Support Pad, a set of Five-Petal Rose cutters in 90mm, 80mm, 70mm and 60mm, a set of Extra Large Five-Petal Rose cutters in 100mm & 120mm, a Water Brush Pen and a sample pack of prepared 20mm and 25mm Poly-Buds for use with the rose cutters.
With such an array of goodies included in the pack, one could become a little bit intimidated by all the bits and pieces, but fortunately, every purchase of the Rapid Rose comes with a free digital tutorial, packed with step-by-step pictures and detailed instructions to help users make impressive and perfect sugar roses. This is where I decided to start, before I even unpacked the kit.
The tutorial was incredibly detailed and full of lots of helpful pictures, which made the process of using the kit for the first time very easy.
Natalie’s guide recommends that we use flower paste to craft her roses, but with the variety of amazing products that have been coming to the market over the last year or so, I thought I would try using my Rapid Rose kit with a selection of different products, namely Renshaw’s Petal Paste, Renshaw’s Flower & Modelling Paste and Renshaw’s Modelling Paste.
For my first attempt, I decided to use the Renshaw Petal Paste – simply because I hadn’t got around to trying it yet. Available exclusively in white, I decided to colour it, and all of my other pastes before I used them, with Sugarflair’s Blush Pink. It took quite a while to fully blend the colour with the paste and I have a feeling that I may have overworked it in the process. My petals quickly became very dry, in spite of storing them using Vanilla Valley’s Petal Shield. When I went on to construct my first rose using the coloured Petal Paste, you may notice that some of the edges cracked and frayed a little.
For my next attempts, I was careful not to overwork the other pastes and I was keen to see which one would produce the best results.
When it came to crafting my roses using the Rapid Rose, the process was incredibly simple. Natalie’s photo-tutorial really makes each step clear and I actually found that regardless of the paste I used, I was able to create some very pleasing roses – that, if I am honest, were just as good as the ones that I usually spend days painstakingly crafting.
I arranged my flowers on a dummy so that I could keep track of which paste made each rose, but then I needed the dummy for something else in a hurry and they got moved. Now, I couldn’t even tell you which rose was made from which paste! I think it just goes to show how versatile the Rapid Rose kit is that I was able to create some pleasing roses using ALL of the pastes that I tried.
When it came to presenting some finished roses for this post, I had originally planned to dust and finish them, before presenting them in a complete arrangement on a dummy tiered cake, but then I got to thinking… My reader wanted to know what the Rapid Rose was like to use, not to see another post featuring a beautiful cake stuffed with beautifully perfect blooms.
Plus, Natalie already has that covered with beauties like this one…!
Instead, I decided to share a snap of a set of roses at various stages of the construction process so that you can see the sort of results I was able to achieve during my first play with the Rapid Rose.
Here are some roses with one layer of petals, some with two and some with three. To create even fuller blooms, one can continue adding another one or even two more layers.
Obviously, there are incredible sugar florists out there who are able to create stunningly realistic sugar flowers and, if that is what you want to be able to achieve, sadly there are no shortcuts to perfection. However, if you want to create a lot of good quality roses quickly, then the Rapid Rose is the perfect tool for you. As I’ve already said, if these were to be finished off fully, then they would easily stand up next to the usual roses I usually take days to create and yet these took me just over an hour. Yes, really!
Having been stung by other ‘quick’ or ‘easy’ rose Makers before (think colourful cabbages) part of me was initially skeptical about how these would come out, but I think it’s safe to say that I am converted.
And while you’re there, you may wish to check out Immaculate Confection’s Perfect Peony as well.
I love peonies – they are absolutely my favourite my favourite flower – and I was so excited to see that Natalie had added them to her line up. I’m definitely going to have a play with the Perfect Peony next. I’m already seeing a projects to combine some fully finished Rapid Roses and Perfect Peonies together to create a beautiful floral cake. Not my usual style, as you know, but that’s how inspired Natalie has got me…
If you haven’t already subscribed to Mr Baker’s Blog, make sure you do before you go – you won’t want to miss out on my first attempt at peonies!
But until then, I must say a massive thank you to Natalie for letting me share her fabulous Ultimate Rapid Rose Bundle with you all. I hope you have enjoyed finding out a bit more about it…