Artful Decadence

One Size Fits All Gum Paste

All you need to have on hand is some fondant and some CMC.  I love Cal-Java`s Fondex for this.  I mix about 1 tablespoon of CMC into a pound of fondant, let it sit or an hour and, bingo - you have instant gum paste.  You can vary the amount of CMC you add to the fondant according to your needs.  

This is the kind of thing you would want to use if you need something to really hold its shape while it dries and that dries quickly.  It is great if you are using molds to create pieces - pop some of this into the mold and stuff it in the fridge or freezer for a bit.  When it comes time to un-mold, the piece will come out much easier than it would if you were using a softer paste.

That being said - if I were going to enter a cake show, I would use a finer softer paste so that I could get the thinnest edge possible on my petals; but this paste fits a great deal of my everyday needs.

The following two gum pastes are intended to be combined in equal parts

Rosemary Watson`s Gum Paste

When I spoke to Rosemary at convention she graciously gave me permission to give these recipes out to whoever wanted them.

Note:  This recipe cannot be made by hand.

1 pound powdered 10X (Confectioner`s) sugar

2 Tablespoons Gum Tragicanth

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup cold water

1 Tablespoon shortening, melted

3 Tablespoons glucose or corn syrup

Combine the powdered sugar and the Gum Tragicanth in a large mixer bowl.  Place over a saucepan of boiling water.  Stir occasionally to heat the entire contents evenly.  When ready, it should feel warm to the touch.

Meanwhile, soften gelatin in the cold water in a heatproof glass container.  Allow this to stand for 5 - 15 minutes.  Melt shortening and let cool a bit.

Place glass container with gelatin/water mixture in a pan of hot (not boiling) water.  Stir slightly until mixture becomes clear.  Be careful not to overheat.  If you cook the gelatin before it melts completely it will make nasty inclusions in your finished paste.  Remove from water; add glucose or corn syrup and shortening.  Stir to combine.

Place mixer bowl on mixer.  Add liquids to dry ingredients.  Mix to combine.  At first, mixture will be very soft.  Beat until white and stiff, about 10 minutes.

Turn onto greased surface.  A plastic hand-held bowl scraper helps remove the sticky gooey mixture.  Knead a little with greased hands.  Mixture will be a bit like a large marshmallow.  Grease the inside of a large zippy bag with shortening.  Wrap the gum paste in the zippy bag so it is airtight.  Let sit at least overnight, better if left a couple of days - this paste improves with some age.

Rosemary Watson`s CMC Based Gum Paste

1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1/3 cup cold water

1 1/2 Tablespoons glucose

1 Tablespoon shortening, melted

1 pound 10X (Confectioner`s) sugar

1 Tablespooon CMC

Add gelatin to water and allow to bloom.  Warm over hot water or in microwave until clear.  Add glucose and melted shortening.  Combine 1/2 pound sugar with CMC in mixer bowl.  Add liquid and mix in mixer util thoroughly wet and well mixed.  Work in remaining sugar with mixer on low.

Wrap in greased airtight plastic bag and seal.  Let sit at least over night before using.

Combining gum paste ...

Soften equal parts of each gum paste in a microwave for a couple of seconds.  With greased hands, knead together until completely combined and workable.  Try to work with a soft gum paste when you are making flowers and ribbons instead of the thicker stuff.  You can do finer detail work with the thinner stuff and that is what makes for quality in gum paste work.