Monday

Gum Paste Rose and Leaves

This is such a large tutorial that I split it in thirds. Three posts this week, what a treat! Enjoy.

I have never been able to make icing roses and fresh flowers tend to wilt whenever I put them on a cake. I love the look of gum paste (what an ugly name) flowers but thought I would need lots of tools (cookie cutters, veiners, texturizers, etc.) and tons of skill to make them. The porcelain bisque flowers lend a gorgeous look to any cake. The advantage is that you can make these flowers months ahead of time.

The flowers dry hard so you won't want to eat them but then you don't eat fresh flowers either. You can make a whole bouquet of flowers and leaves using your fingers and a table knife.

Materials
gum paste (Wilton - available at Michael's)
food coloring (either paste or liquid)
crisco
cookie rack

Tear off a section of gum paste about as big as a walnut. Add food coloring and knead in a little crisco to make it smooth and elastic. Learn from my mistake. This is too much color. The instructions say to add the coloring with a toothpick. Do it!

Pinch off a piece the size of a small pea. Roll it in a ball then pinch and stretch it until it is about the thickness of a piece of paper and somewhere between the size of a quarter and a 50 cent piece, coating your fingers in crisco to prevent sticking.

Roll it into a spiral.
Pinch off 10 or more pea-sized balls and form them into coin-sized pieces as above. Pleat the bottom of the circles to form petals. Attach to the spiral by pinching. Cut off the bottom of the rose to allow it to sit flush.
Your rose should look like this. It will dry to a matte finish.

Pinch off more gum paste this time adding green food coloring. Form pea-sized paste into cones and pinch and stretch to make leaves. Use the back of a table knife to form veins.

Dry your flowers and leaves on a cookie rack. They should be completely dry in a few hours. They can be made days, weeks or maybe even years ahead of time. Humidity may soften them, so keep them in an air-tight container in a dry place.

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