I am doing a beach themed cake. I have planned to put a palm tree as the topper. I have made leaves out of 50/50 gumpaste and fondant. They seem like they are going to crack and break. Should I use another mixture? Or do I need to use a wire in each leaf? TIA!
Anything structured that needs to be quite strong I make mexican paste for. If it needs to be dark/bright, then add food colouring gel into the mexican paste when you're making it and reduce the water a little so it doesn't end up too soft. Then when I want to use it I mix mexican paste with a little fondant (about 4 parts mexican paste to 1 part fondant). Mexican paste dries very hard and strong, but can be brittle if it gets a knock...adding a little fondant makes it less brittle, so if I knock something over it's not as likely to break. Allow plenty of drying time for anything that needs to be very strong, a week is good.
How to make mexican paste: http://www.patchworkcutters.co.uk/POM/pom_mexican1.asp
I did palm trees for a Hawaiian themed wedding cake. I rolled out the gumpaste on the ridges on the cel board and inserted a wire in the ridge. Then used a leaf silcone mat to make some texture. Then snipped the leaves to look like palm leaves.
I don't know about Mexican Paste, but I do that gum paste alone works great. And you can get it pre-made. Wilton's is the one I love...and I don't say that about too many wilton products. You can roll it very thin and it dries very hard fairly quickly. I did a palm tree on a tiered baby shower cake a couple of months ago and it was a last minute idea at 3 in the morning. I put a long wooden skewer into the base of the tree and let it dry in the oven with only the light on and a few hours later it was dry enough to stand atop the cake. Love the gum paste! It's lighter than fondant too.
Thanks everyone! I used straight gumpaste and used a 20g wire in each leaf.