One 30 cm (12 inch) and one 15 cm (6 inch) round cake (we used fruit cake, but you could use mud cake)
1 quantity modeling paste
corn flour and icing sugar, to dust
medium frangipani petal cutter edible yellow chalks and green,
brown, yellow food coloring medium long leaf cutter
15 cm (6 inch) and 40 cm (16 inch) round cake boards
2 tablespoons apricot jam
3 x 500 g (1 lb) packets soft icing
4 wooden skewers
1 teaspoon egg white
1-2 tablespoons pure icing sugar
1 - Roll a small amount of modeling paste to 2 mm thick on a bench lightly dusted with corn flour and, working quickly, cut out petals with a cutter. Only cut 10 petals at a time (enough for 2 frangipanis) and cover with plastic wrap. Dust your fingers lightly with corn flour and smooth the cut edges of the petal. Gently press your finger into the rounded end of the petal and make a slight hollow by easing your finger towards you. Place a dab of water at the point of each petal and press the next petal, slightly overlapping, onto this. When all five petals are ready, gently roll together, pinching the ends to join. Put in a padded egg carton and ease the petals open to form a full flower. Make at least 20 flowers, all at varying degrees of opening. Make buds by rolling cigar shapes and pressing lines down outside, then give a gentle twist. When dry, dust the center of the flower with a little yellow chalk.
2 - Knead green food coloring into a little modeling paste. Roll out thinly on a bench lightly dusted with corn flour and, with an elongated leaf cutter or sharp knife, cut out leaves about 5 cm (2 inches) long. Gently press in half, then open out and mark veins on either side with the back of the knife. Twist at angles and leave to dry before placing in airtight containers. Paint with green and brown coloring and a little water. Leave to dry.
3 - Trim the domes from the cakes so they are the same height. Invert onto the boards. Heat the jam, strain and brush all over the cakes.
4 - Knead the icing on a work surface dusted with icing sugar. Add enough yellow coloring to tint cream. Roll two thirds of the icing out to 5 mm (V4 inch) thick and large enough to cover the large cake. Roll the icing over the rolling pin and re-roll over the top of the cake. Press and smooth over the cake, using the palms of your hands dusted with icing sugar. Trim off any excess. Repeat with remaining icing and small cake. Leave the icing to dry for a day before decorating.
5 - Insert skewers into the bottom cake, equal distances apart, so they will be covered by the top cake (see page 9). Cut off level with the icing. Place the small cake on top.
6 - Mix the egg white into a soft paste with a little icing sugar. Wrap ribbon around the base of each cake and secure with paste; hold with pins while the paste dries (don't forget to remove them before serving the cake). Arrange the flowers and leaves on the cakes, securing with paste.
Ahead of time: Dry the flowers for at least 24 hours. Then they can be kept for 1 month in an airtight container with a stick of chalk or a little raw rice to absorb any moisture. The decorated fruit cake can be kept for up to 1 year, but the mud cake for only 1 week
Gently press your finger into the rounded end of the petal and make a hollow.
When all five petals are ready, gently roll them together, pinching the ends.
Put the flower into a padded egg carton, then ease open the petals.