I am new to fondant- and gumpaste-type icings and am trying to learn some new techniques... what are the big differences?
How long do they last?
Easiest to make and color?
How long does it take each to get hard?
Which is the best to start with?
Thanks for your help!
Hello and welcome to Cake Central!
There have been many, many previous discussions on this exact topic, even with the same title, if memory serves me correctly.
Why not pour a cup of coffee and settle in for a good read after using the search function? You will find dozens of threads that will answer all of your questions.
Here ya go ~ the search link: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-forums-search.html
I'm no expert but I'll get you what little info I have in my overworked brain.
Satin Icing - Name Brand that makes pre-made fondant (in several colors), gumpaste etc.
Fondant - Type of icing that you can roll out (texture similar to stiff clay). A lot of the cakes you see that have that smooth porcelain look are covered in fondant. Can use to make flowers and figures but you can't roll it as thin as Gumpaste without tearing.
MMF - Homemade fondant using Marshmallows, powdered sugar, and shortening.
Gumpaste - similar to fondant but used for making flowers, figures, etc. Dries rock hard so they don't use this to cover cakes.
Modeling paste - ??Maybe modeling chocolate? Like tootsie roll material. I haven't used this a lot so I don't have a lot of info.
How long do they last - Depends on storage. Keep air tight and some of them have to be refrigerated.
Easiest to make and color - About the same for all. Since they are all similar to clay or playdough consistency you knead in the color.
How long does it take each to get hard - Depending on the thickness of what you are making anywhere from a couple of hours for small tiny items to 1-3 days for larger thicker items (figures).
Which is the best to start with - Fondant doesn't dry as fast as you work with it but gumpaste is more pliable and you can get it thin thin thin.
Taste - Fondant is SWEET, MMF is a little better.
Tips - practice practice practice and have fun. You can use clay figure books from the library for ideas and they have gumpaste books too.