What is the difference between gum paste & fondant? I have never worked with gum paste. Which is easier to make figures/animals and why?
Gumpaste will harden much faster and it also will roll out very thin. Therefore, it is ideal for making flowers. I never use straight gumpaste anymore unless I am doing a flower or I want something to harden super fast. I would only use straight fondant if you are just adding flat cut out decorations to a cake and don't really need something to hold it's shape. It takes a very long time to dry on it's own.
I add some tylose (or gumtex powder) to my fondant for figures and things that I need to keep shape. The fondant/gumtex figures dry faster (in about two days) and are easy to work with at the time. The straight gumpaste dries out very quickly. I made a gumpaste shoe and it was challenging for me, as it dried out before I could get the thing together! By the 3rd attempt, I could work fast enough to get it done before drying. Buy yourself some time and use the gumtex/fondant combo.
PS: Some people use a mixture of ready made gumpaste and fondant, but I found that I get creases in my figures or whatever I make (e.g. wheels). Adding the powder prevents the creases I always seem to get from mixing ready made gumpaste and fondant. HTH!
I'm in Ireland and just wondered what Gumpaste might be called over here. I shop on line from a UK website - would it be mexican paste? Did a search on gumpaste and mexican paste and neither came up.
In the uk, gumpaste = flower paste. Mexican paste is similar enough, it works slightly differently - forget if it's more or less stretchy!