Gum paste is a versatile medium for cake decoration. It is a sweet sugar dough usually made out of confectioner's sugar, cornstarch and either gelatin or gum tragacanth. The addition of gum gives it a pliable consistency that can be shaped to form flowers, bows and other decorations using appropriate cutting tools. Gum paste is easy to colour using coloured gels or pastes. You can also paint on gum paste decorations and dress them up with edible glitter.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Damp cloth
- Rolling and cutting tools
- Food colour in poppy red shade or red and orange
Knead the gum paste well, making sure it is soft and pliable. Always keep it covered with a damp cloth so that it does not dry out.
Use a toothpick to smear small amounts of food colouring on the gum paste, kneading well each time so that the colour mixes smoothly with the gum paste. If using red and orange, add them alternately so that the true poppy red shade can be achieved.
Shape the gum paste using a rolling pin and cutting tools to form petals and flowers. To make a rose, make a small cone out of gum paste to form the centre base of the flower. Roll the gum paste thin and cut out each petal separately.
Wrap the petals around the cone-shaped base while the dough is still pliable. Allow the flowers to dry completely, at least two to three days, before using as decoration.
Tips and warnings
- Sprinkle edible glitter on flowers to add to the decoration.
- Keep all surfaces grease-free while working with gum paste. Any grease or oil can cause the gum paste to break down and separate.
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