How to Make Gum Paste Flowers

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Gumpaste flowers can make a great addition to nearly any type of wedding cake. Find out how to make gumpaste flowers with help from a graduate of the Classic Pastry Arts Program at the French Culinary Institute in New York City in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Wedding Cakes
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Andrea Nicholas from Andrea Nicholas Cakes here in Portland, Oregon, and I am here to teach you how to make a sugar calla lily. So, we're going to start with doing the center. This is a process that takes a couple of different steps. You're going to have to dry items in between, wait and then move on to the next stage. So, we're going to start with some yellow gumpaste for the center of the calla lily. Yellow gumpaste is just regular gumpaste that's colored with gel paste. Be very careful to use gel paste, not the regular kind of food coloring that you would get at the supermarket. Gel paste is much thicker and does not have as much liquid in it so it won't break down the gumpaste. So you can come up with any kind of yellow color you want. This is a mixture of some colors but mostly egg yellow that I like to use. So I'm going to cut off from here maybe I'd say about the size of a large gumball, a very large gumball and I'm going to roll it, take that excess and put it away so it doesn't dry out and I'm going to take it and roll it into a nice perfect ball. The trick to getting a ball that doesn't have wrinkles or imperfections is putting it in between your palms, giving it a really nice pressure in the beginning, rolling it around in your palms and then slowly loosening that pressure and now I've got a nice clean ball. So from here I want to make this into a nice conical shape that's going to eventually end up like this but I want to make sure to retain that bulbous space on the center because that's where the outer portion of the flower is going to adhere. So I've got this nice ball, I'm going to stick it in this lower portion of my hands right here and kind of work it so I'm working it into a cone shape. Alright, so there you go. I rolled it in that part of my hand and I got this nice conical shape and I still retain this little bulbous bottom. So at this point I'm going to hold onto this. I'm going to grab my wooden dowel that I'm going to use for the base of the flower and I'll dip it into my sugared glue. You don't want to have a lot of excess on there so go ahead and wipe that off and I'm just going to insert it right into the base. Now I'm using the flat portion of the dowel because I want this pointed portion to be easy to stick right into my cake. Alright so I stick it in there. Obviously you don't want to stick it up so far that it's going to change the shape of the cone, just so that it's in there good and secure, okay? So that is the center portion of a calla lily. Now you just take it and stick it into your foam and allow that to dry completely. So what we're going to do with the center that's now dry, I'm going to grab my paintbrush and the glue and I'm going to put a thin layer of glue all over this entire center. This mixture right here is cornmeal with a little bit of cornstarch in it but the majority of it is cornmeal and you'll find that oddly enough it looks a lot like pollen. So it's a really nice edible concoction that you can put together to make pollen for flowers. So I'm going to take this glue from the center and I'm going to roll it inside here and you can go ahead and tap off any excess and now you've got a really nice center of a calla lily it looks really like a real calla center. Get rid of that and make sure you keep your mat clean and we'll take that and we'll stick that back in our foam and we're also going to wait until that dries completely. I'm going to make a white calla lily, obviously callas come in all different colors so feel free to explore that. I'm going to take a medium size amount of this paste, make sure it's worked and nice and smooth. Now I've got my rolling pin and I'm going to thin that out, alright. So I've got this one set at number three on my pasta machine. So we've got a nice piece of paste here. I'm going to use my calla cutter, this is something you can get online or any cake decorating store that has any flower making supplies. I just applied a tiny bit of shortening around the cutting edge. It tends to give you a cleaner cut, put that right there in my paste, press down, get rid of any excess paste. Alright, so now I've got this nice shape right here from my cut. I've got a ball tool and what I'm going to do is thin out this flower all around but I'm not going to thin out the base. I want that to remain thick. So very carefully you apply the ball tool and you basically want it to be half on the mat, half on the flower. Okay, now, I'm going to use this very small needle tool, with the larger portion on the side, I'm going to run that needle tool down here and kind of roll it out and then pick up the paste as I come back in and I'm going to give a little movement to the other rounded portion too. I'm just going to stick my needle tool here, kind of roll it up. So right now you can see it's just got kind of some crimping movement. There's no exact science to this because just like in nature every flower is different. So once you've given that nice curl you want to flip that over using your paintbrush and your glue, you're going to apply just a small amount, about a quarter inch up here and a little bit up the side. And now I'm going to take my center and I'm going to lay it down so that the base of the yellow portion is just above where the petal begins. And now I'm going to very carefully wrap the flower right from the base all around. You want to try and keep it as clean as you can on the bottom, covering up any of that yellow center portion just by very, very gently working your fingers around the base and now you've got this really beautiful calla. You can go ahead and form it with your fingers to whatever shape you feel looks most natural right there. And then you'll take it and you can dry it on your foam either straight up right there, or you can hang it on a rack.


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