Eye-catching flowers and other decorative cake elements are frequently made of gum paste. This is an edible, sugary, doughlike substance that you can colour and mould into nearly any shape imaginable. Once you've created a decorative piece, it will need to dry properly. Drying time will depend on a number of factors, such as the temperature, humidity, thickness of the gum paste and the gum paste recipe or brand that you are using. Under normal circumstances it can take as long as 24 hours or more to dry thoroughly. There are ways, however, to shorten the drying time by several hours or potentially by half.
Buy a piece of foam large enough to accommodate the size of the shaped gum paste. If the gum paste needs to retain a certain shape, use an appropriately shaped piece of foam. For example, if your shape has a round opening, place the opening over an appropriately sized round piece of foam.
Sprinkle the foam with cornstarch. Rub it in with your fingers to ensure that it is evenly coated.
Set the shaped gum paste carefully on the dusted foam.
Move the foam near the oven pilot light on the hob or another heat source. Alternatively, if it is humid, place the foam in front of a fan to facilitate drying.
Putting gum paste in the oven to dry is ineffective because the oven does not make it dry any faster.