Ok my 3rd attempt on my palm trees went sooo much better after getting advice from a fellow cake decorator (she trained me and I really look up to her!)
Anyway, I skipped the fondant totally and just used gumpaste because I was so afraid they would break on me again.
I followed her instructions...I made the leaves, let them dry for 24 hours, then I made the base out of a small ball of gumpaste and pushed the leaves in, adding less than a drop of "glue" made with a small amount of hot water and melted gumpaste. I supported some of the leaves with balls of napkins to make a nice shape. 24 hours later (today) the glue seems to have dissolved the gumpaste a bit and make it soft again. I broke one. I decided to put them in the oven. This seemed to have dried the glue pretty well, but upon moving the pieces I broke 3 more. They are breaking at the same place as before, where the leaves attach to the base.
Am I just getting overly anxious here? Do they need more time to dry or is this just not going to work again? I didnt think they would need more than 24 hours to dry, but hopefully you veterans can tell me whats going on. Im still new to gumpaste and all that.
You may want to try putting some wire in the leaves for support (leave about 1/4 to 1/2" sticking out the end) so when you attach them to the base the wire will push into the base and not the tip of the leaves.
Oh that would have been a good idea! lol a little late now but good for future reference.
scott clark woolleys recipe for gumpaste is the best.
LOL!! I'm sorry sometimes it takes this old brain of mine a while to think of things.
I responded on your first thread about this and it never dawned on me to suggest that until today.
Perhaps you can try putting them on a tray in the oven with JUST the light on, door open. This may help them dry.
By chance did you buy the gumpaste? I made that mistake a few times, the brand i believe was bakels...two times, different pkgs of gumpaste...never ever dries hard...complete waste of money. Now i make my own. Best of luck.
I use egg white to glue my gum paste. You want to moisten it so you apply the glue then remove most of it so your area is moist.
What are you making the tree trunks out of??? Maybe you could stick your palm fronds/leaves into the trunk?
I would maybe use long thick pretzels and wrap them around & around with candy clay and maybe wrap it extra around the bottom so it's bigger and looks more realistic and then maybe the leaves would stick into the candy clay on the top--or you could even use chocolate to adhere them.
Without the wires it's kinda ify to get them to stick and uphold their weight just with glue--like you're finding out.
And they look great by the way.
Some palm tree thoughts for you.
I've always had good results with CK's gum paste. Easy--just add water. I do love Nick Lodge's but 'just add water' is my friend.
I tried to make palm trees once, too. I found that the "ball" that you're sticking the leaves into takes SO long to dry fully. I scrapped the palm tree plan and went with a different design because I hadn't started my trees in time for them to fully dry.
Next time, I'll be using wire to attach them!
Thanks guys! Luckily I have until June! lol. I decided Im not going to touch these trees anymore until next Sunday. Hopefully in a week they will be ready to go.
I made the tree trunks already. In the wilton 2008 yearbook it says to make them by wraping dowels with brown gumpaste. So that is what I did and they are ready to go and look great. ]
Im supposed to turn the leaves upside-down to attach the trunk. That Im a little worried about as Im afraid Ill break every leaf off doing that. So Im just going to wait as long as it takes. I dont want to do this again. If after a week or so it just doesnt work, I guess Ill be buying plastic palm-tree picks!
Thanks everyone for your help. Next time Ill be using wires for sure. Or maybe even toothpicks or spaghetti. That would probably work too, right?
Honestly, I think the weight of the leaves is the primary problem, but that's also weird that the GP is taking so long to dry. I use Nick Lodge's gumpaste recipe and my stuff dries in a few hours.
If I were making these, I would wire the palm fronds. That's the only way to guarantee they will not break under their own weight. Of course, this would require re-doing the trunks, but that would be easy. Do your palm fronds on wires (buy a Celboard for beautiful results), let them dry, tape them together with floral tape, and put them inside bubble tea straws with royal icing piped inside. You can wrap the straws with brown gumpaste and do the trunk detail work (I'm assuming you're snipping the trunk with scissors to make the trunk details). Easy-peasy and stable! And you would never need to turn them upside-down.
Thats a really great idea....lol. Well if I make them again I will do it this way. I really am not interested in re-doing them again. Im about burnt out on these palm trees. I think after 3 tries and all the hours I put into these, if this doesnt work its just not worth it to me to try again. Maybe for another event, another cake, but for my son's cake Ill just find a plan "B". Ive already wasted too much time and materials.
Darn I just broke another one! lol. Serves me right for going to look at it...er...mess with it. Ok Im really not going to touch them again until Sunday. I think that one was already broke before I touched it. The others seem ok. We'll see.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of your suggestions! I really appreciate everyone's help! Experience is really the best teacher and the more I mess up, the more I learn, so I really am ok with this...as frustrating as it is.