What are Gumpaste and Flower Paste
Gum Paste and Flower Paste
Gum Paste, also known as Flower Paste, is a hard setting cake decorating product used to make sugar flowers, models and cake decorations.
It is far stronger that normal fondant icing or sugar paste and can be rolled out tissue paper thin which makes it very versatile and able to be used for delicate sugar work.
It is edible but does dry to a very hard finish so unless the pieces created are small such as little sugar flowers, eating it is not advised - and wouldn't be very pleasant either.
Gum Paste is widely available in all good cake decorating shops, and within the UK there are 2 main makers, Squires Kitchen and Beau Products.
Can Gum Paste be Made at Home?
Yes it can, but it's not a quick process and once made needs to be left for 24hrs before use to allow it to form correctly.
Recipes are widely available and making it yourself does have one advantage over buying shop bought gum paste in that you can colour it to your exact specifications. The gum paste available through cake decorating supply shops does come in a wide range of colours but unlike ordinary sugar paste, is not easy to mix colours into.
The main components of a homemade gum paste are icing sugar, gelatin, gum tragacanth, liquid glucose, white vegetable fat and egg white.
Squires Kitchen do now make a version suitable for vegetarians.
Cake Decorating Ideas with Gum Paste
Although flowers are probably the most widely produced item using Gum Paste or Flower Paste they are certainly not the only things.
Due to its ability to be rolled out so thinly it is great for using with alphabet and shape cutters and impression sheets, producing delicate and detailed decorations.
As it holds its shape so well it can easily be made into 3D shapes such are shoes, bags or hats.
It has to be worked quite quickly as it starts to dry as soon as it is exposed to the air, but so long as it is kept covered and stored in an air tight container it has a long shelf life.