Gum paste is used to create decorations for cakes and gingerbread houses. It can be rolled thinner than fondant, thus providing more room for creativity. Laces made from gum paste look very delicate and the flowers look life-like as the petals can be made really thin.
Gum paste and fondant are prepared in a similar fashion except that gum paste contains gum tragacanth.
This is made from the sap of a tree that grows in the Middle East.
It can be difficult to source except in big cake decorating stores or specific online stores.
You should know that it can be substituted with tylose powder, the difference being that it is a synthetic material unlike the natural tragacanth gum.
There are different recipes for gum paste floating around, some using eggs but all using gelatin.
An egg less recipe would require 3 +1 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar, I tbsp gum tragacanth, 1 tbsp liquid glucose, 1 packet of Knox gelatin and 4 tbsp warm water.
Slowly add gelatin to water. Stir till the gelatin dissolves completely. Slowly stir in the glucose, use a double boiler to make it easier or microwave it for 20-30 secs.
Add three cups sugar and the gum tragacanth. Mix well till you have soft and sticky dough. Store it in a sealed Ziploc bag, overnight, at room temperature. Add the remaining sugar to make it soft and pliable. Store in airtight bags and remove small quantities to work with.
Another easy to make recipe uses, 2 and a half cups of confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup corn flour, 3 tsps of gum targancanth, 5 tsps cold water, 2 tsps powdered unflavored gelatin, 3 tsps shortening and the white of one large egg.
Gently mix the sugar and corn flour in a bowl. Add the gum powder. Prepare a double boiler. Pour the water and add the gelatin in the top of the double boiler and let is stay till the gelatin starts to soften.
When the water in the bottom starts simmering, place the top pan with gelatin and add shortening and glucose.
Stir till shortening melts. Add mixture and white egg to the dry mix and combine. Knead till dough is stringy. Refrigerate for 24 hours, well packed in ziplock bags.