I've been decorating cakes for a few years now but always decorated with BC and various tips, etc. Then I wanted roses stuck to the side of a cake and it wasn't working well with the BC roses...so, I ended up using Candy Clay and they turned out beautifully and I used toothpicks to attach to cake.
This year my son's birthday party will be on Halloween and I'm planning to frost with BC and decorate with figurines of cats, bats, ghosts, pumpkins. Initially I was thinking I needed to use fondant. Since I have never used fondant, I started researching and found lots of confusing information. I really can't figure out if it's best to use straight fondant or to mix with either gum paste or gum-Tex (whatever the heck that is). It also isn't clear if I mix with gum paste, do I just mix in the powder or actually make some paste to mix in? Then I remembered my candy clay roses...should I just use candy clay, or should I just use gum paste? I'm also going to have flat cutout shapes stuck to the side of the cake (if it turns out best to use fondant for this and something else for the figurines, no problem).
If I use fondant in some form, I understand there are several different kinds -- I plan to buy it but I don't know which kind to buy.
The figurines will be made of separate parts that will need to be stuck together (wings on the bats, ears/ legs/ tail on the cat, etc) -- what is the best thing to use to stick them together? I want the option of him being able to eat the figurines if he chooses, and I'd like it to taste decent.
Also, when I was searching for a way to attach the roses to the side of the previous cake I was going to use the decorating wire but then I read that it wasn't actually safe (lead or something)...is there actual food grade wire that I can use? I'd like the bats to look like they're flying.
I really don't know the advantages and drawbacks of each different type of media. Thanks in advance!
Honestly, if you like working with candy clay I'd use that. It's easy to model with and a lot of decorators who do elaborately sculpted figures and shaped cakes use candy clay or a fondant with candy clay in it. Just make sure it's stiff enough to keep its shape. If you're using the Wilton candy melts the usual formula is 1/3 cup corn syrup to a 13 oz bag of melts, but some of the colored ones come in smaller bags so you have to add a little less corn syrup or it stays softer.
I like fondant mixed with cmc for figurines. Gum paste isn't really edible and would need to be removed from the cake ...guess the kids might not agree with that ;) ...so better use a fondant mix. Or candy clay ^^^
To glue fondant pieces together you can use either water or edible glue (cmc mixed with water and left over night to thicken).