I have to make 120 fondant/gumpaste carnations for cupcakes for my brother's wedding 9/8. I'm supposed to have been working on them (the flowers) little by little for a few weeks now, but I'm just getting around to trying them out. It's not been very successful!
I am using homemade MMF, with a little glycerin and a little Gum-Tex mixed in. I also got the three piece carnation cutter set. What I am finding is that the paste is too brittle when I ball it and it ends up being too fragile to handle without breaking. I've read several blogs, tutorials, and a few posts here about the same problem, but nowhere can I find what the best medium to use for this would be.
What do you personally think is best? Is it 100% gum paste? Is it 50/50? Is it store-bought that works best? Is the MMF the problem?!
since I never used MMF I can't say if that's the problem or not.
Personally I'd use either 50/50 or straight fondant. I've made many, many flowers w/fondant and they hold up rather well. And mostly I used Wilton's fondant w/some added flavoring. Just roll it as thin as you can.
kakeladi: But don't you find that it is too flimsy/soft for holding shape for delicate petals? I'd love to just work with fondant, but was adding Gum-Tex to make it firm up and dry faster.
I use all gumpaste if I need flowers to dry quickly. A 50/50 mix is my personal favorite.
Adding Glycerine will hamper the drying.
I use 100% flowerpaste (Gumpaste ) for flowers.I use the royal icing tylose one and make it myself. You can get the petals much finer and the carni ruffles looking far more realistic.
Chellescakes: but are they edible then? Do they taste gross!?
How much Gumtex are you adding to the MMF? It may be too much for the amount of MMF you are working with if it is brittle and drying quickly. May be experiment with a 2" ball and adding about 1/8 teaspoon or a couple of pinches of Gumtex. Knead it in real good then let it sit in a plastic plastic wrap in a plastic storage bag for a hr. Then test its workability. I hope this helps. I also use shortening, just little with working with this. If it is really hard add drops of glycerine until it is in working condition.
I always use 1/2 gumpaste 1/2 fondant for flowers... Dries well, tastes fine and don't have to mess around with tylose or Gumtex HTH!
I use homemade gumpaste for all flowers - it allows you to really thin the petals and it dries strong.
Does it taste gross? don't know - never really eaten it ..... BUT consider this....
Whilst technically EDIBLE.... each flower has had each petal mooshed in somebody's hand, rolled, cut, balled, curled, dried over formers, dusted with petal dust, wired together, steamed or sprayed with isopropyl alcohol, often bits are painted with confectioners glaze.
Me? nah I don't want to eat them........ and if people CHOOSE to eat them... they deserve what they get! lol
They are meant to be kept ! not eaten
What Pam said
All sugatpaste here, and ditto what Pam said.
Carnations are really thin and frilly - I wouldn't want to mess with that at all using fondant or even 50/50. Nicholas Lodge recipe all the way.
Nicholas Lodge gumpaste 100% for all my carnations. I cannot imagine using fondant- they would just never come out. I can say they don't taste good, I took a bite one night
I agree, Nicholas Lodge recipe. I used to be intimidated by the idea of making my own gumpaste and I put it off for years. I got pretty good at coming up with elaborate ways to shape and dry my fondant flowers, assuming I had days or a week to dry them. Then I tried gumpaste and never looked back. It's so much easier, faster, and the results look a lot better.
100% gumpaste so you can roll and frill the petals really thin. allow each layer to dry for 24 hours before adding the next. A wire rack propped up on a couple of boxes gives you somewhere to hang the flowers upside down if they're wired.
Thank all for your prompt responses!!! I will post some pics of them once I get it right
Well, not only did I post pics of the flowers, but I also posted pics of my "makeshift" tools I posted a different question about mats because I do not have many flower-making items. The only mats I have are from my *one* veining mats set. So. . .
My makeshift mats: backsides of veiners, a facial puff (brand new, but still covered tightly with plastic wrap)
On the right is my first try, using fondant with Gum-Tex mixed in; on the left, is the middle of the first ones I used 100% gum paste (Wilton is all I have, but I'm due to receive my tylose tomorrow for homemade version):
Here is the process:
These first ones were very shallow:
But even thought they will just be on top of cupcakes, I thought I'd add another outer petal with a small teardrop-shaped piece of gum paste between to lengthen the bulb part:
I need to do pink ones and yellow ones too
Ooops, just went back to look and found that one of the pictures didn't post!! Here is the finished one, head on:
For those who use the Nicholas Lodge gumpaste recipe, are you worried about food safety, since it uses egg whites? Mostly I'm concerned that I wouldn't be allowed to use this recipe under a Cottage Food Law.
traci_doodle: Couldn't you use pasteurized egg whites in a carton? I've started using those exclusively for my buttercream, for safety reasons.
I read somewhere that they don't work for this recipe. I've never tried it myself though.
traci-doodle asks: For those who use the Nicholas Lodge gumpaste recipe, are you worried about food safety, since it uses egg whites?.......
Nic's recipe *CAN* be made using meringue powder. When I was teaching Wilton classes I had to demo royal icing and really never used it in my decorating so one day I decided instead of throwing the royal out I would try making gumpaste......it worked fine. Just add the 7 tablespoons Tylose to royal made with meringue powder. In fact, the time I tried it the royal had been made some 3-4 days before as I had gone out of town immeadiately following that class & had the royal w/me all weekend before using it after I got home.
Good to know! I also have a can of meringue powder not getting much use. I'll have to try it!
The cartons of pasteurized egg whites also say they are not meant for meringues, but it works
These carnations were made with MMF with a little Gum-Tex added to them. They did just fine.
I ended up with carnations that looked much better than those I posted here in this thread. Here is the link to the most recent thread with my final-final carnations:
And as mckaren mentioned, I found 100% GP worked the best and allowed me to get extremely thin petals with frill/fray without breakage.