Fanny has gone into full-blown Blue Peter mode for her latest 'how to...' pic-strip. Not only has she raided the tubs of plasticine from the play-box, she also has a box full of 'ones that she made earlier' ready to show any newcomers who may miss her impromptu demonstration. If anyone dares that is. Fanny has come suitably prepared with all sorts of templates and diagrams as well... There's no need to send the adults out the room at this stage though, this one is intended for them, not the small fry...
All this preparation is for edible roses. According to Fanny they require an awful lot of practice to get right you see. That's where the plasticine comes in. She recommends making the roses from it first of all, just to make sure that you get the technique spot-on before letting you loose with anything remotely edible. Fanny additionally recommends using white plasticine ONLY for the practice runs, and then coloured Almond Paste ONLY for the real thing. This is a health and safety warning in essence to make sure that none of the plasticine flowers are eaten. Do not eat the plasticine, alright?
Fanny says the sole reason (apart from the aforementioned safety) for practising with plasticine is that if you do not end up with satisfactory roses, you can simply 'bang them down' and start again. The plasticine will easily work back into blobs and you can try again. And again. As many times as you require to perfect the presentation. Indefinitely Fanny says, such is her confidence in us all to master the technique. This make-and-make-again learning process is not possible with coloured Almond Paste, as it dries and cracks. No-one likes to see that.
I may be cuckoo, but not only do I decide to throw caution to the wind and NOT rehearse with plasticine first, but I also decide NOT to use Almond Paste to make my roses. I've got ready made icing instead. It is white though, so perhaps my mind will be fooled into thinking it is plasticine, although I don't ever remember seeing it in white. Maybe it just never stayed white very long in my hands? For the roses, in your choice of edible or non-edible materials, Fanny first takes a blob the size of a walnut and fashions it into a 'bud' shape, with a flat bottom and a narrow waist. Then more, smaller blobs are rolled, pressed flat to the exact size of the given templates and then wrapped round the bud and made to look like petals.
I think I did alright despite the lack of plasticine preparation. They might look more like cabbages than roses, but I can sharpen my skills. Instead of colouring my icing, I have sprayed them with edible glitter once finished. Fanny gives one final warning at the end, so if even if you've practised and practised, but failed, it may be that by some unhappy chance you suffer from hot, moist hands and, if so, you should forget all about making your own edible roses. The moisture from your sweaty palms will penetrate the petals, producing a plastered together pile-up. Please do revert to ones that someone else has made earlier. Or indeed fashion your own from sticky-back plastic.