Mar 11, 2009
Gumpaste Recipe and Directions (Part 2)
This is part 2 of a 5 part series on how to work with gumpaste. If you didn't catch part 1, click here, I wouldn't want you to miss out on anything ;) The links to the rest of the series are included at the end.
As promised, here is the recipe that I use. Use this gumpaste for figurines, flowers, or decorations. Make several days in advance, wrap it well, and let it sit out at room temp in order for ingredients to properly bind.
1 tablespoon Gum-tex powder (Wilton)
1 tablespoon glucose (Wilton)
3-4 tablespoons hot water
1 pound (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon extract (if desired)
shortening (for covering, kneading)
plastic wrap and zip lock baggie
The mixing of gumpaste can be a somewhat daunting task the first time around. If you've made or worked with fondant, you'll find that gumpaste is quite a bit different. So I decided to include the steps along with photos so that you'll have some idea of what's to be expected.
First, assemble all of your ingredients. You can substitute the Gum-Tex with Tylose powder or tragacanth gum if you prefer. Although I wouldn't personally eat gumpaste (uhm ya, edible, not so palatable), I used my homemade Bourbon Vanilla (or you could use lemon extract), if nothing else, to disguise some of the smell of the gum-tex. (it will still taste bad because of the gum powder, but at least it will smell better!) The glucose will help with the texture and is also necessary for a longer working time.
Stir the glucose-water mixture. I use a small spatula because some will stick to the bottom. Let it sit for just a few minutes and it will dissolve somewhat.
Now add in the extract. Stir the mixture until everything is dissolved and combined. Set aside. (do you have any idea how hard it is to stir and snap a picture at the same time?)
Continue to knead the dough, gradually adding the rest of the powdered sugar until your ball is smooth and not sticky. If you do get it too dry, you may have to sprinkle in another teaspoon of water at this time, but not too much or you'll just have to add more powdered sugar.
Now we're ready to color. If I'm doing a project, I'll go ahead and make all of the colors needed at this point, it saves a lot of time later. Also, you'll notice, that I cut off a section at a time, color it and keep everything wrapped while working. The powdered sugar is set to the side in case I use a lot of color and the dough gets sticky. I just knead in more powdered sugar. Also, you can rub a bit of shortening on your hands and that will help keep it from getting too sticky. Be careful however, do not use too much or you'll change the consistency of the gumpaste.
Remember to store the gumpaste at room temperature. If you refrigerate it, or freeze it, it will change the consistency and weaken the integrity of the product. The gumpaste will "harden" up, even wrapped tightly, don't be alarmed. When I'm ready to work with it, I just cut off a small section of what I think I'll need for the piece I'm working on, cup it in my hand to warm it up. As it warms, it becomes more pliable. Knead it a bit with your fingers to make it smooth. If it does have a bit of dryness to it, I just rub some shortening in my hands, hold the piece for a few minutes, then start working it again.
Ok, you've got to be curious by now what the heck I'm making with the colors green, flesh, orange, red and yellow, right? In my part 3 of this series, I'll show you the tools I use and how to work with the gumpaste. In detail; the body figures, heads, faces, hands, clothing etc. Later on, I'll do a fondant cake to go along with my gumpaste figures so that you can see the whole project come together.
You can click here to go directly to a section of the series:
You say Sugar Paste, I say Gumpaste (part 1)
Working with Gumpaste (part 3, the tools and body)
Working with Gumpaste (part 4, heads & hands)Happy St. Patrick's Day! (part 5, the cake construction)