Made a party cake this past week. On it was a frog sitting on a lilly pad and surrounded by reeds and cattails. I let the pieces dry for 48 hours and since they were small, they air dried quickly. I used a 50/50 mix for the reeds and cattails. I stuck them in the cake and about 5 hours later they seemed to melt where inserted into the cake, but still hard where it stuck out of the cake. Luckily I made extra. Had to pull out all those I put in earlier and then waited until delivery to stick the new reeds and cattails in. Piped over the area with the grass tip and noone knew the difference. But I wonder what to do if a cake is being picked up day before a party??
Would this happen if it had been solid gumpaste?
Did they need to dry more like a week even though they were already hard after 48 hours?
What were they on when you stuck them into the cake? Did you have them on toothpicks or were you sticking the fondant/gumpaste item directly into the cake? If the latter, then the moisture from the cake would soften the figure. If you used toothpicks, nothing should happened.
When you say that you used a "50/50" mix.. Do you mean that you used half fondant and half gum paste?
When I make decorations, like flowers and leaves, I use 100% gum paste.
Yes it was fondant/gp mix. And since it was for a child's party, I wanted only edible parts on the cake, no toothpicks. The reeds and cattails were so thin, it would not have looked good with toothpicks inserted anyways.
I do think the moisture of the cake moistened the pieces stuck into the cake.
But there must be a way to do this!
If you didn't want to, or couldn't use the toothpicks, the new "Wilton way" is to use spaghetti (I don't remember the size they say).
But otherwise, I'd say you'd need to put them into thin straws in the cake to protect them from the moisture. Maybe if thin enough, even into stir sticks. Or make them thicker in the straw so they will hold and then thin them out for the part that is above the cake.
I did consider spaghetti, but I did that once and it just seemed wierd. And how do you explain that to someone? It just doesn't seem professional. I am just a hobbiest, not a pro, but at least strive to have professional cakes. JMO
I don't like it either. What's to stop the moisture in the cake from softening the spaghetti.
In future you would probably have to find a way to protect the objects using a straw or similar.
Nothing stops the spaghetti from absorbing moisture inside the cake--I once made a "stick of dynamite" cake, and used the suggestion of dry spaghetti instead of toothpicks, skewers or wires so it as "all edible." HA! Fortunately for my future cakes, I served this one myself, and the spaghetti pieces that were in the filling were completely softened and in bits--it was nasty.
I think using all gumpaste will give you better results in the long run.
Instead of toothpicks or spaghetti, form your gumpaste around lolipop sticks. Just tell the customers they are on the sticks. It is definitely the moisture that softens gumpaste.
I know your goal was to have completely edible pieces, but if you run into this in the future and that isn't an issue, you can always form on covered floral wire and before inserting the wires into the cake, place coffee stirrers (small straws) where you want the wires to go. This keeps the wires from being in direct contact with the cake, and it also gives the wires something to "lean" on in case you're worried about them being heavy enough to rip the cake.
Dip spagetti in melted chocolate and let/dry