I'm getting frustrated with my gumpaste flower efforts. I've bought the cutters/veiners, watched a zillion tutorials, read a half dozen GP flower books, searched tons of threads on them in the forums, and mine...still...suck.
There are a few issues, but mainly I can't seem to keep the GP from cracking on the edges of petals. Sometimes this is OK, but mostly not. Seems like no matter what I do, I'm going to have this problem. I knead it well with a little shortening, use it fresh, etc, but still have cracks. Grrr. I mostly use Wilton's GP mix. I know others use Nicholas Lodge's recipe, or order from GSA. Could this be my problem?
Also, I can't really get the hang of dusting. It seems my petals look streaky or splotchy. I mean, how hard can this be???? How hard should it be for me to get the dust on there smoothly??? Sigh...
I really love GP flowers, and I have to say that not all of them have given me such a hard time. Using Petalsweet's tutorial, I've made dozens of hydrangea's that came out beautifully, dusting and all. I just wish I could get a consistent result.
How can I find out about GP classes in my area (New Orleans)? I'd happily pay someone to just SHOW me at this point lol .
Have you considered making you own to see if it is maybe the Wilton Gumpaste. There are some recipes available online. You have some very pretty cakes by the way. I would start by making my own gumpaste and see if that helps. I have only used the Wilton so far, and so far, I'm not impressed. I plan on trying to make my own, but I am currently obsessing with royal icing and the Lambeth method of decorating. I can only handle one obsession at a time lol.
I use Wilton's premade and mix it 50/50 with fondant and don't have that problem at all. I've never tried the mix.
All I can tell you about the dusting is to keep practicing and keep trying different brushes until you get a few that work well.
Isn't that hydrangea tutorial from Petalsweet fantastic? And Jacqueline is so nice! I left her a comment thanking her for the tutorial with a link to the cake on which I used the hydrangeas I had made and she responded so graciously and with very kind words about my flowers and my cake.
I suffered through Wilton gumpaste and fondant forever before turning to Satin Ice and Pettinice, neither of which crack on me. Wilton fondant never covered my dummy cakes (would never use Wilton on a real cake) without tearing at the corners. I've recently made Rhonda's MMF which tastes good and covers my cakes beautifully. Satin Ice is great for making flowers.
Satin Ice and Pettinice make gumpaste, or do you mean the fondant? I have only used Wilton for flowers, etc., and have never had a problem. Once I got a bag that was dry and Michael's exchanged it.
I just use fondant with tylose powder added to it. If you don't keep your petals covered while working they will dry out pretty fast. Or adding too much cornstarch while rolling out, can be a problem too.
Since you're a gumpaste novice, I recommend you not use the Wilton gumpaste mix but instead purchase the pre-made gumpaste. I've taught GP flowers classes for years and although my personal favorite is making Nick Lodge's GP, I have my students use either a 50/50 GP/fondant mix (Wilton works great for this, believe it or not), or even a 75/25 GP/fondant mix.
Once you get used to using a pre-made GP, you can then go about making your own and you will know the right consistency. I don't like Wilton's mix at all.
Thank y'all so much for all the tips. I do keep petals covered (use either plastic wrap or the Wilton practice pad with the little plastic flap), and I bought the large CelBoard so that I don't have to use cornstarch/powdered sugar when rolling out. LOVE the CelBoard, although it was quite expensive. I never thought of mixing fondant in. I have some handy so I'll give that a try today. I also just bought a big Tylose to use in making Nicholas Lodge's recipe. I'll give that a try as well. There's no way I'm NOT going to get this lol !
As for the dustin, I think you're right, Elcee. I'm just going to have to sacrifice a lot of flowers as I practice. *Digging in for a day of GP flower making*
Again, thanks so much!
I've used the wilton gumpaste mix, I've had success with it but I much prefer using just fondant.. The petals come out so much smoother and prettier. I haven't been able to find tyclose but I've heard that works great mixed infondant in place of gumpaste and also the 50/50 mix. Good luck finding a better method to flower making!
i don't make gumpaste flowers, but for everything else i do love nicholas lodge's gumpaste! the recipe i use is great and it comes out consistently great
I always make my own gumpaste the recipe I use is Helen Dissel's recipe.
Flowerpaste Recipe »
- 1 egg white
- Pure icing sugar
- Tylose powder
1. Mix egg white and sufficient icing sugar to form a stiff peak royal icing.
2. Add 2 rounded teaspoons of Tylose powder and mix through well.
3. Wash hands and put 1 rounded teaspoon of Copha into your hands and work paste thoroughly for at least five minutes.
4. It may be a good idea to mix two individual golf size balls separately to facilitate easier blending.
5. Wrap in cling wrap and store in an airtight container.
6. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
Helens Sugar Art Tip...Please note that this paste will not work if it is not worked in the making process. It will have no stretch if you do not work it well. If you do, you will be able to roll it out paper thin / tissue thin.
I make it in a mixer as a double batch .
As for dusting use a doubled over tissue , and blend your colour with a soft brush with a little cornflour first. It gives you much more control over the amount of colour you use and it goes on much better without streaks. Your colours also go heaps further.
Chellescakes, thanks so much for the recipe. I'd like to ask, though, can you give me an estimate of the amount of icing sugar you use? I've never made RI using egg whites, so I don't know where to start.
And thanks as well for the advice on dusting. I added a little cornstarch to my dust and it DID go on smoother! I need to adjust the amounts, but I think this step might help me do a better job. Thanks so much!
It really depends on the size of the egg you use , for a double batch it can be anything up to 500grams. I sift it, I actually use icing sugar mix , not pure . As where I live it is rather humid and I find the pure just clumps too much,
I mix it in spoon full by spoonfull , I use a dessert spoon. It is ready to add the tylose when you can touch the icing and it feels sort of dry to the touch. but not so much that it gets crumbly , it will be crumbly when you add the tylose this when you need to work the shortening in. You can use Chrisco instead of the copha.