If you are a new home baker exploring for more recipes and beginning to extend out of your comfort zone on cake decorating and cake design. One of the very first thing you need to mark on your list will be – Gum Paste Decoration. Yes!
Gum paste is one of the most basic forms of cake decorating, it is something you need to learn if you want to level up your cake decorating skills and art. Becoming an expert on this skill is essential before going to the next level of intricate cake decorating technique. Did you know you can buy ready made gum paste, but it won’t make the same way as making gum paste from scratch. Homemade is always way better than ready made. Creating your own gum paste will save you more money too. It will yield a product that is in accordance to your keen eye which is easier to turn into decorations. Making gum paste from scratch looks tricky simple but it is complex in the process. Once you get used to doing it, it becomes easy breezy. You can create beautiful floral designs and bouquet of flowers. Gum paste, a.k.a. “florist paste”, is used for decorating cake with realistic flowers shapes and forms. The gum paste is like a dough that can be rolled out as thinly as a flower petals. It holds its shape for long lasting and very ideal use for sugar flowers too.
Although there’s one disadvantage you want to take note of: gum paste dries up quickly into a hard and brittle surface. Yes, it is still edible to eat, but it won’t be all that delicious compared to a fondant. It is not suggested to use for covering cake. it is better for using as a garnish to set off the cake base. So what really makes gum paste from scratch is tricky from doing? What actually makes the whole process tricky is in the ingredients itself, such as gum tragacanth. Where do you buy it in the first place?
Gum tragacanth is the ingredient that makes the gum paste more malleable and paste in your hands. This is not readily available in any supermarket but you can easily find it in any baking supply stores near your area. You can find it in Chocolate Lovers (Cubao Branch) and many other baking stores. Or find the nearest baking store near your area by Googling it. Example: “Baking Store list in Metro Manila Philippines”
Another replacement to gum tragacanth is Tylose powder. I think Tylose Powder or CMC powder is more common to any baking store. Others prefer Tylose versus gum tragacanth because it is cheaper, whiter in appearance, and holds up pretty well despite the humidity. So once you get hold of the ingredients, it’s your time to shine and practice the recipe below.
Gum Paste (Using Tylose Powder or CMC Powder)
- 4 large egg whites
- 4 cups of sifted confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- 12 teaspoons of Tylose powder or cmc powder
- 4 teaspoons of shortening
- Add the egg whites in a mixing bowl and then beat it for 10 seconds over high speed.
- Adjust the mixer into its lowest speed setting, and then gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar. Don’t add everything in, and leave 1 cup for later.
- Adjust the speed up a notch higher for about 2 minutes. Make sure that at this point, it is at its “soft peak,” texture, it means the peaks should fall all over when lifted.
- This time turn the mixer into a slow setting once again, and at the same time sprinkling the Tylose powder into the mixture.
- Note: you must sprinkle it, and not just dump the entire powder into the mixture to prevent clumping. Tylose powder will thicken the mixture.
- Dust the remaining confectioner’s sugar into a clean surface. Using a spatula, scrape out the paste from the mixing bowl and into the dusted surface.
- Grease some shortening into your hands, and start kneading the paste into a soft dough. Once you pinch the dough and your hands come away clean, it is good to go!
- Keep the dough in a double ziplock bag and in an airtight container. Place it in your refrigerator for the next 24 hours. The dough will be good to use for the next 6 months.
- Before you start using the dough, let it adjust to the temperature first. Grease your hands with some vegetable shortening before you begin kneading the dough again.
- Start slicing and use tools to create beautiful flower designs.