Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers...Gum Paste Flowers, That Is

I think my favorite flowers are roses. My daughter's middle name is even Rose. The colors and varieties of roses offer choices of the newly named and developed to the old fashioned and heady scented ones. There are climbing and shrub roses and ever blooming roses...and there are gum paste roses. Yes, gum paste. When April showers haven't yet brought May flowers, I had my first attempt at making gum paste roses. I had wanted to try it for years. I bought the cutters and instruction book a few years ago, but put it off. You can make your own gum paste, but I bought some ready to use, just to take away a step. They were so very easy to make and came out well. This is something you can make ahead of time to decorate a cake or cupcakes at the last minute. You can also customize the colors and type of flower you want. Give it a try, you'll be pleased. And oh, Happy Earth Day!

Gum Paste Roses

To Start:
You'll need a 2 inch ball of prepared gum paste wrapped in plastic wrap, gum paste flower cutters (small, medium and large rose cutters and 1 leaf cutter) and a rolling pin. Have a damp towel, clean dry towel and small bowl of water handy. You'll use the damp towel to keep the gum paste covered, since it drys out quickly. The clean towel and bowl of water are for your hands and for adding moisture to "glue" the petals onto the base. You'll also need food coloring in the color of your choice. A toothpick can be used to put a small hole in the top of the bud and to help with the shaping. Use a knife to lift flowers from rolling surface.

Begin on a smooth dry work surface. Start with1 1/2 inch ball uncolored gum paste and slowly work in the color of your choice or mix your own custom color.
Reserve the remaining piece to be colored green for the leaves. For the flower, I used a rose color with a tiny amount of peach coloring. Leaving some color that isn't totally worked into the gum paste gives a natural looking color that isn't flat. You can even experiment with gradual shading after some practice. Shape a 1/2 inch ball of gum paste into a teardrop shape. Make a small hole in the top part with a toothpick. Roll remaining gum paste on a smooth surface to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut out 5 petals with the smallest cutter, 7 with the medium cutter and 9 with the large cutter. Remove uncut portion and lift petals up one at a time with a knife. Start with the smallest petals and gently flatten the petal with your fingers, with the outer part being the thinnest. With the end of the toothpick, slightly dampen the small end of the petal and place on the upper part of the teardrop shaped base. Press, to help it adhere. Curl the petals in a natural shape as you place them on. Continue adding petals, smallest to the largest, going around the base. Be mindful not to get your fingers too wet or damp as the gum paste will become sticky and gooey. Dip your fingers in water and wipe with a clean towel, if they become too wet or sticky. Make sure to keep a damp towel covering unused pieces as you work, and remaining unused gum paste wrapped in plastic. After adding all petals, (add more or less to make it look complete and natural), put finished flower aside. Color remaining gum paste green, roll out and cut into leaf shapes. Add leaves to the base of the flower and finish with a small teardrop shaped ball of green gum paste to the bottom of flower. Let dry on a surface that won't allow the leaves and petals to bend. Gum paste flowers last for 2 weeks at room temperature. If storing longer, refrigerate and then bring to room temperature before using. Have fun and top any confection of your choice with your beautiful creations!

Written and photographed by Diane.

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19 comments:

Thibeault's Table said...

Diane, I had to look twice. Your rose is so perfect I thought that it was real. Gorgeous.

Pearl said...

oh my goodness - how exquisite!

so i guess these are... edible? but do people ever eat them?

Michelle said...

These are so gorgeous! I wish I had the patience to make these, maybe one day I will. SOOOO pretty!

2 Stews said...

Pearl...oh yes these are edible, although I don't think I'd ever eat one..when wet they are pretty sticky. Gum paste is made from glucose, tragacanth gum and powdered sugar. I bought Wilton "ready to use" gum paste from Micheal's craft store. They have the cutters and book as well. It is a really fun project. Let me know how it goes if you try it.
Diane

Jennifer said...

Beautiful cupcakes!!! You make gumpaste roses look so simple!! well done!!

Dragon said...

Your roses are perfection!

silver_aria said...

that is so beautiful!

chocolatecup said...

gorgeous roses:)

Chic Cookies said...

So perfect! I posted a link on my edible crafts column at craftgossip.com if that's OK (hope to bring you even more clicks). Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!
(ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com)

Linda said...

Those are really lovely...
Something I have never tried!

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Oh my gosh~ What a fabulous job you did ~ exquisite!! You've made me want to try my hand at it; thank you for the inspiration. :)

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

What an amazing job you did on your first try! I haven't made them in quite some time - you've made me want to pull the gum paste out and give it another try. Thanks for the inspiration. :D Beautiful!!

La Table De Nana said...

I have no idea where my post is..I applauded the whole post 2 days ago!

I love everything! The tutorial..the pink:) The photos..I have the same little set:) From Michael's when I went to Fl:)

I am surprised to not see my post..
Like a belated Happy Birthday..

Belated Kudos!!

2 Stews said...

Thanks Monique for the comment..gotta watch out for those "black cyber holes" ;-)
I hope you get to try the gum paste flowers...I'm sure they'd be a work of art.
Diane

once in a blue moon... said...

omg i love this... this is perfect for me to learn from, gorgoeus pics and perfect end product! i look forward to trying these, you did such a super job you give me hope in the kitchen too!

Pen Pen said...

I'm a little in shock right now- I saw a pic of ur rose cupcake on a friend's blog, and was taken with it! Gum paste flowers are the next thing I'm going to be working on in my quest to make the perfect cupcake. I didn't know who made it, so I was surprised to just happen upon your blog and see that it's YOURS!! Gotta tell u how much I LOVE IT! In fact-I used it in my New Years resolution post as an example of a "perfect cupcake"! Now- I'll have to go back and add the credit and link to ur blog!
I bow to your superior flower cupcake skills! :)

Miranda said...

thank you for this wonderful tutorial! these are so pretty, you did a fantastic job. i found your tutorial today and gave it a try tonight.

Patricia said...

Awesome looking rose! I am doing a wedding cake and need gum paste flowers, I think I just found my thrill....LOL I have never make gum paste flowers but this looks pretty simple.
Thanks for sharing.
Mrs. E.J.

Vixandra said...

Thanks for posting this up. Couldn't quite remember how I'd done them in class and this was a perfect refresher. Thanks!