The technique is simple. You start with a small cone that you shape out of a piece of marzipan. Then you wrap disks of marzipan around the cone to form petals. Thinning the edges of each disk of marzipan gives a more realistic effect.
Whether you want dainty tea roses or giant blooms, the technique to make the flowers stays the same. You just start with a larger piece of marzipan and proportionately larger disks to use for the petals.
Marzipan (available at local grocery or gourmet market - make sure marzipan is pliable before you buy it)
Gel paste food coloring (color desired for roses)
Green gel paste food coloring (for petals)
Tint the marzipan to desired shade then work the marzipan with your hands until the color is evenly distributed and is warm to your touch. It will develop a gloss as you work it.
Break off small amount and roll it in your palm until round. Pinch the end to make a point like a strawberry. Set on wax paper.
Break off a slightly larger piece, about the size of a small marble. Roll the piece in your hand until round, then begin flattening the ball with your thumb. (the flatter you make it, the more realistic the rose, especially the edges. If it tears, just put it back together.
When it is flattened thin, pick up the strawberry-shape ball and wrap the ball with the flat petal. It is best to only leave a little of the point of the strawberry shaped ball showing to create the center of the rose. Then roll the edge of your first petal like a rose that is beginning to open.
Repeat this procedure until your are pleased with the size. A few petals creates a bud...more creates a full blown rose.
To finish, flatten some green tinted marzipan and make a star shape either with a knife or by pinching. Place the green star on the bottom of the rose to simulate the base of the flower.
Make the leaves out of the green marzipan by rolling and flattening to a realistic shape. You may use a knife to simulate the veining and serration of the leaves.
Place the finished roses on cake or on cupcakes.