As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Trial and error, many buckets of purchases gum paste and loads of sweat equity brought me to these two recipes. They each serve a purpose in my sugar flower line-up. The Go-To Gum Paste is perfect for deep, rich colors in flowers. The Tylose gum paste is my recipe for white or pastel flowers.
I prefer to make my own because it is cost-efficient, easy and reliable. The buckets of pre-made gum paste just don’t work for me (maybe you have better luck and know something I don’t). I found some brands to be be difficult to work with and others never dried hard. Like the saying goes, if you want something done right (or how you want it), do it yourself.
The first recipe is my Go-To Gum Paste and was a gift from Rosemary Watson years and years ago. I like the recipe because you can substitute gel color for some of the water to make deep colored gum paste without compromising the texture. I am sharing the recipe in the format it was originally given to me.Print
1 pound powdered sugar
1 TBSP + ½ tsp. Gum Tragacanth (don’t substitute)
1/3 cup cold water (less 1-2 TBSP for firmer paste)
1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin
1 TBSP shortening
3 TBSP white corn syrup or glucose
- Add powdered sugar and gum tragacanth to the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Use a whisk to combine.
- Bring a saucepan of water to a light boil. Place mixing bowl over the saucepan and heat the powdered sugar mixture until warm, stirring occasionally. When ready the mixture will be warm to the touch.
- Place cold water in a heat proof glass container and sprinkle gelatin over it. Allow to sit for 5-15 minutes.
- Place shortening and corn syrup (or glucose)in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 10-15 second intervals until shortening has melted. Stir occasionally during this process.
- Place container of gelatin in microwave and heat at 15 second intervals until the gelatin is completely melted being careful not to get the gelatin too hot. To check gelatin, rub a small amount between your fingers. If you feel a few granules, continue to warm. You should not feel any granules of gelatin.
- Pour the melted gelatin and the shortening/corn syrup mixture into the warm powdered sugar/gum tragacanth mixture. Turn mixer on low and mix until combined. Turn mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes. The mixture should not be warm after the 5 minutes. If it is, continue mixing until the mixture is at room temperature. Mixture will have a marshmallow feel and will stiffen up.
- Turn gum paste out onto the work space which has been dusted with powdered sugar. Knead 3-4 times. Wrap in two pieces of plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag.
- Let sit for 12 hours before using. Keep well wrapped when not in use.
- Gum paste can be stored in fridge for several months and in the freezer for a year.At this point, if coloring gum paste, substitute gel paste for some of the water. ie. Substitute ½ tsp of gel color for ½ tsp of water, etc. Gum paste will darken as it sits. I like to make the paste 2-3 shades lighter than I want the final paste to be.
- This recipe can be doubled.
- Corn syrup will work with this recipe but I prefer to use glucose.
- The fresher the gum tragacath the better your finished gum paste will be.
- Don’t substitute another type of gum for the gum tragacanth.
- Make sure to buy “Gum Tragacanth” not cmc… they are NOT the same.
- If the paste becomes a little too stiff to work with, Knead a drop or two of water into the paste. A little at a time until the preferred consistency is obtained.
I’m pretty sure Nicholas Lodge introduced Tylose gum paste to the world. My recipe below is a variation of his recipe. This gum paste is easy to make and very reliable. It always dries nice and hard and very white so it is best used for whites and pastels. I don’t recommend using the Tylose recipe for deep colors because if you put too much gel in Tylose, it alters the recipe. The paste loses its integrity and will not perform how you expect. There is nothing more frustrating than not having the base you need for your flowers.Print
- Use room temperature egg whites.
- In the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer, place egg whites and powdered sugar. Use a paddle attachment and mix on medium until the mixture is smooth, shiny, and fully incorporated.
- Turn the mixer off and sprinkle the Tylose powder into the mixture. Turn mixer to low and mix until the Tylose is fully incorporated. 10-15 seconds should be all it needs. The mixture will be very thick.
- Sprinkle workspace with powdered sugar and turn the gum paste out onto your workspace. Apply shortening to the palms of your hands and knead the gum paste until it is smooth and elastic. If the paste is too sticky, add more powdered sugar a little at the time.
- Wrap paste in two pieces of plastic wrap. Place in a ziplock bag and store in refrigerator. Best to let the paste rest 24 hours in the fridge before using.
- I have used the paste right after making it but the paste will work so much better if you let it chill 24 hours before using.
- If adding color to this recipe, use a concentrated gel color. Add the gel color prior to add tylose. Make sure the color is dispersed evenly before adding tylose. This recipe makes a great white or pastel colored paste. Adding a lot of gel color (for deep shades) can change the consistency of this paste. Use the Rosemary Watson gum paste recipe for deep colors.
- This paste needs to be stored in the fridge when not is use. Will last in the fridge for 3-6 months. Freeze for 1 year.
- This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
- This recipe works best using Tylose. The only brand I use is Confectionery Arts International. Strengths vary by brands and I find CAI gives me a consistent product. Don’t substitute CMC or other gums when using this recipe.
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