This week I was making a holy communion cake and amongst the details, a bunch of deep purple grapes was requested! Now I get so excited when I get asked to make fruit, I don’t know why but I think this stems from a fascination of “fake” fruit as a child. I would always ask my mum to buy fake fruit to put in the fruit bowl at home because it would never go bad, always stay shiny and we would look like a commercial house with fancy faux fruit HA! Anyway, I always loved the look of the faux grapes and how it had that same waxy, cloudy glaze (which my mum pointed out could possibly be chemicals lol).
Fun aside, I actually had no idea where to start in making these. I knew I wanted them have a big lush look to them that you would find in a supermarket. I initially thought the easy way out would be just roll little purple balls of fondant into semi oval shapes and glue them together, simple enough? Ugh, no. What about the grape stem? What about the leaves? So back to the brainstorming board, a few google searches and lots of fondant grape images later and voila! I started by colouring my fondant using electric pink and royal blue using Americolour gel. You could also use regal purple but mine ran out… what luck.
I achieved a beautiful lilac colour which is definitely not what I wanted but with the help of some colourful friends we changed that… keep scrolling 😉
I then sectioned each of my balls off evenly by rolling out a medium thick piece of fondant and cutting circles out using a circle cutter to ensure I had the same size and amount grape. I know, not all grapes are the same size but in this case it would be best to have them almost the same size so they could fit around the bunch nicely.
Once I rolled out my oval sized balls, I cut some floral wire into shorter pieces and created a little hook at the end using some plyers. Once that was done I used some edible glue to wet the end of the hook and pushed it into the end of the grape. I then twisted the end to adhere it to the hook properly (poor description, I’m sorry). But you should get something like this.
Let your little grapes sit overnight and dry out so that you don’t squash or damage any when wiring them together.
Once your grapes have dried nicely, it’s time to colour! YAY WOO my favourite part. I used an eggplant coloured purple dust, fuchsia, and red non-toxic chalk pastels. I used the eggplant colour all over the grape, and the fuchsia and red to bring it to life.
What a difference 😉
After all your grapes have been dusted you can start wiring!
I used two pieces of floral wire and taped them together using green floral tape, green for obious reasons. I started with one and then taped each grape securely to the wire like so:
Just keep going until you are happy with how big the bunch is. Try to place them higher and higher as you go.
Once you have finished you can also make the leaves. I am lucky enough to have a grape vine growing in my backyard so I was able to use them as a template and veiner to achieve authentic looking leaves. I washed and dried a leaf and cut it out of gum paste and then veined the fondant using that same leaf. Once it was dried I also dusted it with some petal dusts. I used brown and orange. You can individually wire your leaves and add them to the bunch or you can add them to the bunch and secure with royal icing like I did.
Here is the finihshed product and the cake it ended up on! I loved making this and I hope I get to make more faux fruit in the future.
Love, Nelle xox