Bakers use gumpaste to create details on cakes. Gumpaste often forms shapes that require a sturdy frame like 3D fruits, animals and flowers. Made from icing sugar, egg whites and water, gumpaste also contains gum tragacanth, gum tex, or tylose powder. These ingredients cause gumpaste to harden into sturdy forms when dry. You can make many things out of gumpaste; think of it as edible self-hardening clay. For christening, first communion and religious birthday cakes, gumpaste makes a sweet choice for edible rosary beads.
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Things you need
- Food colouring
- 10mm bead mould
- 12mm bead mould
Roll about a baseball-size lump of gumpaste into a ball. Press your thumb into the top centre of the ball. Drip a few drops of food colouring into the depression. Knead and roll the gumpaste until you distribute the colour evenly through the paste. If you want white beads, dye isn't necessary.
Open your 10mm bead mould. These moulds usually have several depressions for beads; choose one with up to 10 depressions. This way you can make an entire decade of beads at one time. Dust the inside of the mould with cornstarch.
Press a ball of gumpaste into each depression. Mound the gumpaste about ¼ inch above the mould. Close the mould; the extra gumpaste should fill the corresponding depressions on the top of the mould. Fill the 12mm bead mould for your pater beads the same way.
Place the moulds in your freezer for about 15 minutes. This solidifies the shape and makes the beads easier to handle.
Release the beads from their mould. Open the mould and flip it over; the beads should spill out onto your work surface. They're ready for stringing and placing on your cake.
Tips and warnings
- String the rosary together with dental floss and a needle. Push the needle through the centre of each bead.
- Try using silver or gold dragee beads (sugar beads) as spacers. You may make a gumpaste centre and crucifix or use real ones and save them as keepsakes.
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