Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to-Gumpaste

Have you ever had one of those days where it looks a little cloudy outside and you have to go out (inspite of hating the rains,sue me :/) and you decide to wear that white t shirt just because the weather in this city is just weird and downright hot. You obviously didn't know it would start pouring just when you were too far away to turn around and go home.
Ofcourse not.
 You also didn't know that buying that dark coloured t-shirt out of panic incase you got drenched would ultimately be useless because just as you did , the sun came out from behind the clouds and mocked you.
Life was just pulling one of those regular 'Bruce Almighty' days on you. And to top it all off, you pretty manicured feet with the bright neon O.P.S nailpolish was ruined.
And some people still love the rains.
However, if you truely ARE having a 'Bruce Almighty' day ,it will work out anyway :)
Kind of like Gumpaste.

Ok. I'm just going to go ahead and say this before I have you fooled.
I'm really no expert here.
All that I'v learned here is just from experience,long nights of staying awake for orders and a lot of "what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-gumpaste-why-is-it-being-a-lunatic" days..

Calm down for a second.
Take a deep breath.
This is'nt rocket science. Just pretty much edible clay. See, that doesn't sound so scary now does it?

Iv'e put together a few little pointers that I think might help :) Any questions are welcomed  :)

  • Be a little patient.It's a little tricky to get the consistency right  but you'll get the hang of it soon enough.
  • Always, I repeat ALWAYS sieve the icing sugar. Sure, it takes a little extra time but little lumps of icing sugar at a later stage and a complete nuisance .
  • Gel colours are highly recommended.They give you and even,vivid colour without changing the consistency of the gumpaste and making it sticky. Otherwise, you will end up adding more icing sugar to get rid of the stickiness which will lighten the colour. So you will have to add more color and then... You get the point right?
  • Also, if you are colouring you gumpaste in low light /at nighttime, make sure to check the colour under  white light, yellow light can be very decieving !!       
  • Humidity is your worst enemy.
    Another reason to hate the monsoons. Ha!!
    It makes it difficult to work with gumpaste and sometimes,it gets too humid, once you have covered the cake,made your decoration etc,it begins to get sticky and patchy and pretty much can't be saved.

  • Always make sure that the surface you are kneading/rolling out the gumpaste on as well as your hands are  ABSOLUTELY clean and dry.I've found it handy to keep a small damp and dry towel within reach and wipe the table between using different colours/usuing different batches just to be on the safe side.A lot of gumpaste can get wasted from one streak of dark colour on a light coloured batch. :(
  • This one's a big one.
    Ever heard of cornflour?? Use it!! It's what allows you to ensure that the gumpaste doesn't stick to the table,rolling pin etc. It's easy to dust it off later. Never use plain icing sugar for dusting(I've seen a lot of people do this) ,the icing sugar is a little caorse and does not give you a smooth finish.
  •  When trying to make a complicated design, Break it down. It's easy to panic when it looks very complicated but making small,simpler pieces and then assembeling them together is much easier.
    Use egg white to stick different pieces together and allow it ample time to dry.
  • Read up!! Check blogs, books and maybe even just google images to get ideas and pick up little tricks . Nothing works better than learning from other people's mistakes :P:P


Icing sugar          125gm
Gelatin                  10gm
Liquid Glucose      10gm
Lemon juice           a few drops
Cornflour             s required

  • Dissolve the gelatin powder in 30ml of water in a steel/heatproof bowl and allow it to bloom/rest for 10 min.
  • Sieve the icing sugar and set it aside.
  • Simmer some water in a shallow pan . Melt the gelatin alonw with the liquid glucose and stir until it is a smooth mixture.
  • Now, take this off the heat and slowly pour it into the icing sugar and knead until you get a firm dough.
  • Store in a ziplock bag and try and use as soon as possible.

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