Gum Paste Rose How-To
Making a gum paste rose is one of the easiest cake decorating techniques you will ever master. They’re delightfully simple to make; it just requires a little practice to make them look life-like. As any professional cake decorator will tell you, they really add a finishing touch to any cake. Creating a handmade rose is more of a skill rather than a science, so if you prefer decorating to baking, this is probably a technique you’ll want to try. This technique uses no cutters. There are many different way to create the roses, but this is the simplest and requires the least amount of tools.
These roses are one of the most versatile handmade decorations; you can put them on cupcakes, birthday cakes, wedding cakes and even biscuits. To create these roses, people usually use gum paste (this is sometimes known as sugar paste); however, if you don’t have any on hand, you can use rolled fondant icing, which works quite well too. Adding tylose powder to fondant will make it harden.
Some professional decorators even prefer rolled fondant to gum paste to make these roses. Really, it’s down to personal preference; you just have to find what works for you.
- Small rose – 1/2 oz. (15g) Gum paste/Fondant
- Larger rose – 1 oz. (28g) Gum paste/Fondant Icing Sugar
- Cornstarch for dusting.
- Flat surface, such as a marble chopping board, clean work top or cake decorating mat.
- Cell stick
Small airtight container
|Step One - The first thing that you want to do is to dust the flat surface with cornstarch. Icing sugar works just as well, but cornstarch tends not to dry out the sugar paste as much. Just a light sprinkling of cornstarch will do, just to prevent the gum paste from sticking. Knead the gum paste with your hands until it’s soft and pliable. You want it to become soft, almost like play dough. Just be careful that you don’t knead it until it becomes warm and sticky, as this will make it difficult to mould. However, if this does happen, don’t worry; just lightly sprinkle the gum paste with cornstarch to absorb the moisture.|
|Step two – Once the sugar paste is soft and pliable, use the palm of your hand to roll the gum paste into a thin, sausage-like shape. For a small rose, try to keep the diameter of the sugar paste around 1/2 inch or 1.5 cm. Keep in mind that thicker this shape is, the bigger the petals will be.|
|Step three- Firstly, trim both rounded ends of the shaped sugar paste with a sharp knife. After cutting off the rounded edges, you need to cut six evenly sized circular rounds of sugar paste. These should each be around 4mm thick.|
|Step Four – After you’ve cut the six discs, you need to evenly space each piece on the flat surface, giving you enough room to flatten each piece without them sticking together. At this point, place the remainder of the gum paste in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.|
|Step Five – With your thumb or forefinger, lightly press down on each piece of sugar paste using a light circular motion. If using either of these fingers doesn’t feel comfortable, then try using the base of your thumb, as demonstrated in the picture. The aim of this is to flatten it into a thin petal sized disc. Once you’ve finished flattening the sugar paste slightly, lightly press down on the edges to thin the sides a little|
|Step Six – Gently peel the petal using your thumb from the flat surface and lay the petal over your forefinger. It doesn’t matter if one side curls over as this is what you’ll be doing next.|
|Step Seven – Begin to curl one side of the petal by rolling it horizontally between two fingers. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look quite right the first time, just try again until you get it right. Ideally, it should resemble the inner part of a rose. After you’ve done this, peel off the second flattened gum paste disc and place it on your forefinger.|
|Step Eight – Taking the created rose in one hand and the second flattened petal between two fingers, gently overlap the petal across the join of the rose as shown in the picture. The trick here is to be very gentle, and begin by placing each petal over where the previous petal joins.|
|Step Nine – You then need to repeat these two steps until you have created the flower using all six flattened petals.|
|Step Ten – Once you’ve created the complete gum paste rose, gently lay it on the flat surface. If the petals seem as though they need to curl over a little more to make them seem lifelike, you can use a cell stick or paintbrush.|
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