Gum Paste + Humidity = Dead Roses ...long.

Decorating By artscallion Updated 5 Jun 2009 , 4:49pm by ailika

artscallion Posted 25 May 2009 , 1:17am
post #1 of 19

I've been working a lot on gum paste flowers lately. At first I used Wilton's gumtex recipe and had good success. But I felt it dried a little too quickly and the resulting flowers were too fragile. I had a lot of breakage, just from very minimal handling when placing them on a cake.

I heard that Nicholas Lodge's recipe was prefered by a lot of people here. And in you tube videos it looked much more workable. So I tried it the other day. I was not completely happy with it. I found the dough to be too tight. It was difficult to thin the edges or roll it out (even after relaxing it overnight) as it was too elastic and wanted to snap back to its original shape/thickness.

On the plus side, it was not as likely to tear while working it as Wilton's was. And it dried to a very strong flower that took a good deal of handling without any breakage. But the resulting flower looked thick-petaled and I wasn't satisfied.

Cut to today...I decided that if I mixed my leftover Wilton with my leftover Nick Lodge, I might get the best of both worlds. So I did this and proceeded to make a half dozen roses this morning with some improvement (though next time I might use 2/3 Lodge to 1/3 Wilton.

When I was done and left my roses hanging, it began to rain. After a bit I checked my roses and saw that one had slid off the wire and the rest were less dry than when I had hung them! They were a floppy mess that I couldn't flip over or all the petals drooped down.

Anyway, I've since discovered that gum paste flowers don't like humidity. But I'm left with a few questions.

1. My original Lodge flowers from the other day did not wilt at all. Is this because Tylose withstands humidity and the Wilton gumtex doesn't? Or is it just because the Lodge ones had already been solidly dried for a few days?

2. What do you think happened to the Wilton flowers my Mom saved? Melted?

3. Is there something I can do to the Lodge recipe to make it less tight?

4.. Does anyone have any tips on preventing this? I plan to incorporate gum paste flowers into my cakes. But I won't do it if I have to live in fear that humidity from an unexpected rainstorm on the day of the event will melt the flowers right off the cake.

18 replies
TexasSugar Posted 25 May 2009 , 2:38am
post #2 of 19

I'm not a gumpaste expert, but I'm guessing that it is probably because of the rain. I have some roses that I made in Feb of last year. They are still sitting here over a year later as nice as they were last year. They haven't wilted, haven't melted, just maybe a little more dusty than last year. They were made with Wilton's Ready to Use Gumpaste.

mrscromer Posted 25 May 2009 , 2:46am
post #3 of 19

I use to use the Wilton gumpaste, but like you the humdity got the best of them. When I heard about Nicholas Lodge's recipe, I decided to try it and I LOVE IT. I found that having some shortening around while you are working on a project helps out a great deal. I just work a little in at a time when it starts to feel a little dry and makes it easier to work with.

Maybe this will help you out.

Shirley

icer101 Posted 25 May 2009 , 3:01am
post #4 of 19

when i use wilton, i use the premade.. i dont,t like the can, nor adding gumtex to fondant.. i love the premade. i love nicholas lodge recipe.. never had a problem with it at all.. when i roll out my gumpaste, i roll on powder sugar and cornstarch mixed.. then use the pasta machine to make it thinner.. the cones as you know.. have to be completely dry...before adding any petals.. the powder and cornstarch mixture helps these rose and any other flower to dry faster... i use a little crisco on my fingers as i work up the paste ,etc.. this helps the medium not to crack,etc. just keep practicing with nicks gumpaste and also wilton premade.. the room ..should be cool also.. hth

devorie Posted 25 May 2009 , 3:13am
post #5 of 19

I use the satin ice gumpaste (premade, obviously) and have never had a problem with it. In fact, on Friday I worked with it in 80+ degree weather (inside) and they dried beautifully!
HTH

artscallion Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:14am
post #6 of 19

Thanks for all the advice. That's the best thing about this site. You get to learn from the experience of others. thumbs_up.gif

Any experts out there that specifically know the answer to my first question?

"1. My original Lodge flowers from the other day did not wilt at all. Is this because Tylose withstands humidity and the Wilton gumtex doesn't? Or is it just because the Lodge ones had already been solidly dried for a few days?"

LisaR64 Posted 25 May 2009 , 11:34am
post #7 of 19

artscallion, recently I was making roses, and it began to rain about half way through the project. The roses made early on (which had some time to dry) were just fine, but those I made after the rain started were drooping and falling off the wires. Since they all came from the exact same batch of gumpaste, it could only have been the humidity that caused it. Sorry I don't have a solution for you, but I think you are correct about the problem being related to the rain.

artscallion Posted 25 May 2009 , 12:35pm
post #8 of 19

Thanks, Lisa. I'm beginning to think the lesson here, no matter which gum paste I end up using, is as simple as "when it starts raining, stop flowering."

beachcakes Posted 25 May 2009 , 2:01pm
post #9 of 19

artscallion, i have a terrible time with humidity here, not so much rain but sea fog. I've had gp pieces that were dry for a year melt into a puddle. They were Wilton, so I think it's something in their formula. Mind you, I've also had this happen with premade SatinIce. What works best for me so far, is commercial fondant (I like SatinIce) mixed with tylose powder. I have yet to try Nic Lodge's recipe, but it's next on my To Do List. His recipe was formulated for high humidity.

plbennett_8 Posted 25 May 2009 , 8:13pm
post #10 of 19

I don't know that there is anything you can do... During Hurricane Gustave, I lost all of my gumpaste flowers including the poinsettia and peony that were made with Nick Lodge's recipe... I do like his recipe better to work with, but in Louisiana sometimes nothing can withstand the humidity... icon_rolleyes.gif Aren't there de-humidifier's? Anybody know?

Pat B.

Cakepro Posted 26 May 2009 , 5:47am
post #11 of 19

During Hurricane Ike, we were without power for almost 2 weeks, and all of my gumpaste flowers (I have a BUNCH of gumpaste flowers I've made and kept) that were made with Nick's GP recipe were perfectly fine. The things I made with fondant and Tylose wilted.

Yes, Pat, you can buy portable dehumidifiers at Home Depot and Lowe's and places like that.

beachcakes Posted 26 May 2009 , 2:14pm
post #12 of 19

I have a dehumidifer that gets brought upstairs when it's really bad. Unfortunatley, it heats up the kitchen and I don't have AC. But it works really well for GP. icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 29 May 2009 , 12:19am
post #13 of 19

Just an update:

Once the rain stopped, the roses I'd salvaged, by removing the last row or two of petals to lessen the weight so they wouldn't slide off the wires as they had been doing, started to firm up and harden. By morning they were fine. It rained again the next day and they remained fine. So I guess it is just that the rain will affect the ones that have not yet set. Another lesson learned. Thanks again for sharing all of your experiences and advice.

I also learned from another thread here on CC that the copy of Nick Lodges recipe that I had was an unclear version. It made it sound like the 4 tsp of crisco was the sum of all the bits and dabs of it you used periodically to "reawaken" the gum paste after it rested when you were ready to use it, as icer mentioned doing.

In reality, I discovered, you are supposed to add the whole 4 tsp of crisco in on your initial kneading of the dough before letting it rest in the fridge. Then you should also knead in a little more each time you go to use it to wake it up again.

This is probably why I found it to be too tight and difficult to stretch and thin. So I made a new batch and this made all the difference. I'm working on peonies using Lodge's DVD and the gum paste is working like a dream. I'll post pictures at the end of my learning experience.

Peridot Posted 29 May 2009 , 12:29am
post #14 of 19

Artscallion,
Thanks for sharing your experience with us especially about waking up Nick Lodge's gum paste!!

ailika Posted 29 May 2009 , 10:04pm
post #15 of 19

I need help, I'm making the baby shoe but no matter what I do he gumpaste dries too quickly. I've nuked it, I've used veggie shortening and nothing. I've been kneading for more than an hour and nothing it's just drying and breaking into tiny pieces.

rein Posted 5 Jun 2009 , 9:08am
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ailika

I need help, I'm making the baby shoe but no matter what I do he gumpaste dries too quickly. I've nuked it, I've used veggie shortening and nothing. I've been kneading for more than an hour and nothing it's just drying and breaking into tiny pieces.


Hi Ailika,

Try adding some fondant to your gumpaste mixture. Start with 25-30% of the total weight of the gumpaste. Add more if gumpaste still dries up too fast. I hope this helps icon_smile.gif

Cake4ever Posted 5 Jun 2009 , 10:09am
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Just an update:

Once the rain stopped, the roses I'd salvaged, by removing the last row or two of petals to lessen the weight so they wouldn't slide off the wires as they had been doing, started to firm up and harden. By morning they were fine. It rained again the next day and they remained fine. So I guess it is just that the rain will affect the ones that have not yet set. Another lesson learned. Thanks again for sharing all of your experiences and advice.

I also learned from another thread here on CC that the copy of Nick Lodges recipe that I had was an unclear version. It made it sound like the 4 tsp of crisco was the sum of all the bits and dabs of it you used periodically to "reawaken" the gum paste after it rested when you were ready to use it, as icer mentioned doing.

In reality, I discovered, you are supposed to add the whole 4 tsp of crisco in on your initial kneading of the dough before letting it rest in the fridge. Then you should also knead in a little more each time you go to use it to wake it up again.

This is probably why I found it to be too tight and difficult to stretch and thin. So I made a new batch and this made all the difference. I'm working on peonies using Lodge's DVD and the gum paste is working like a dream. I'll post pictures at the end of my learning experience.




I've wondered about adding glycerine to his recipe. I can't figure out why the store bought gumpaste is much more pliable, Nick's is not and dries very quickly. Do you think the crisco makes it more pliable? I am going to try it and see what happens. Just curious what your thoughts are on this.

artscallion Posted 5 Jun 2009 , 11:06am
post #18 of 19

The crisco did make it much more pliable. And it does stay workable longer than the Wilton gumtex reciipe. I'm now able to get the petal edges much thinner. But I still find I can't get them as thin as I can with the Wilton recipe. The Wilton recipe seems to have no elasticity at all, and is just a fast drying, very malleable dough. That's great for the 'thinner than paper' petal edges. But other than that, it's less stable to work with. Petals tear more easily, and it's difficult to cup the petals with a ball tool without going right through them. And, of course, the thinness accounts for the very brittle result n the dried flower.

On the other hand, Nicks has so much elasticity that you not only can, but really have to work it lseriously to get it to do what you want. I prefer it overall. But I do wish there were a happy medium...thin but sturdy petals that are easy to work with. Maybe glycerine is the answer. Sounds like a test is in order.

ailika Posted 5 Jun 2009 , 4:49pm
post #19 of 19

Thank you for your help

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