How to Make Fondant & Gum Paste Wilton Bows

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Making fondant and gumpaste Wilton bows requires the right tools and a little bit of know-how. Find out how to make fondant and gumpaste Wilton bows 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, chef and owner of Andrea Nicholas Cakes here in Portland, Oregon, and I'm going to teach you how to make a sugar gumpaste bow. So what we're going to do is start with our gumpaste. Our final product is this bow right here and this bow is just starting with your basic white gumpaste. I'm going to take it, add a little shortening to your hands to make sure it doesn't stick to the paste or stick to the mat, you can always put a little shortening on there and you just want to work the paste so that it's good and consistent and then using your rolling pin you're going to roll it out into a long rectangle. This is going to be the main band of the bow. So I'll put my pasta machine on one. Alright so now I've got a nice long even band of paste. So I'm going to cut off the ends here with my pizza cutter and we'll cut a nice ten inch length here, okay. And you want to hold onto that excess because we're going to work with that as well. Okay so now I have a nice piece of paste that is 2 X 10. The first thing I'm going to do is figure out right where the middle is so I go to that five inch mark and I'm going to scrunch that up so it looks like that center of the bow and what I do is make a well right in the center and then I fold down those outer portions like that. So then I've got this nice little kind of crimped portion in the center right there. I like to add just a tiny tiny bit of glue right in that center. At this point I'm going to move my bow over to a piece of foam. Now I'm going to use these small foam pieces and as I said before if you only have tissue, that's fine too but you want just something small that's going to help you keep that nice bulbous volume inside the bow and gives it that nice rise. So I'm just going to stick those pieces right there and have them ready to give me that rise. And now I'm going to take those outer portions once again to create that movement and make that look like a bow. I'm creating that kind of ravine well in the middle. Again I'm going to apply just a little bit of glue, create that well in the center, fold out those sides and open that up and scrunch it in and really kind of pinch it tight and nice and secure using four fingers right there. Alright so now that's basically the shape of our main portion of the bow. So we'll set that aside and now we're going to cut another small piece of paste. We have this excess that we had already rolled out. We're going to cut out a center and we're also going to do a couple of tails for the bow. The tails of course, because this bow is two inches thick, remember that the tails should also be two inches wide. So we are going to cut maybe another 2 X let's say 3 inch piece for one tail, another 2 X 3 inch piece for another tail, have those ready to go. And then we're going to want to create the center and that will be like a 2 X 1 and 1/2 inch piece or so that we're going to put around the center of the bow so you don't see that work that you did in there. This is our 2 X 1 and 1/2 inch piece and we're going to fold it up so that it gives it a more lifelike look and then we're going to wrap it around that center. So I like the edges to be a little softer. So I like to fold those edges over and then maybe I'll create a fold in the center of the paste as well. I'm going to flip that over, add some glue, move that over here. Now we're going to take that and put that around the center of our bow. Now if this is the first time you're doing this you may want to wait until the bow has dried before you add that center, that's fine but if you're feeling comfortable with it, go ahead and do it while the bow is still setting. Alright, so now you shape that nice center to the bow and all we have to do is the tails. We've got two 2 X 3 inch pieces. Now I like to make these separately one, because it's a lot easier to move the bow when it's not all in one piece. The chances of you breaking it are pretty high if it's all in one piece. Also, depending on where you are putting it on a cake, you want to be able to have freedom of movement of the tails separate from the bow to be able to shape it to the cake. It looks more natural and lifelike. So I'm going to take this wire and I'm going to cut it, each piece about, I don't know, three and a half inches or so. There is once again no exact science to this. So I've got two about three and a half inch pieces here and I'm going to use my little plier tool here just to grab the edge and hook it over. I'm going to do that to the other one as well. I don't like my tails of my bows to be flat across. I think they look nicer when they've got a little angle to them. So we're going to add a little angle to those and just as before I'm going to create some movement. I'm creating a well in the center and then just kind of scrunching this up like this. What I'm going to do is dip that wire in the glue, get a decent amount on there and insert that right there and then just really make a nice pinch here so that that wire is good and insert it in there and secure and you've got this nice tail. Now I'm going to put that on my foam mat to dry as well. Once again try and create as much lifelike movement to it as you can, use your foam pieces if you'd like. You can use those to lift it up a little bit, really it's whatever you want to do. So we'll finish. We'll do the other one, again, making that well, folding it over, dip that in the glue, put that right in that center, give it a good pinch. Make sure this doesn't stay too clunky. You want a nice small small start to that bow because it's going to be underneath the other portion of the bow. Alright so let's lay that there and that's going to dry as well. Okay, so once that's dry and you're going to put it on the cake, the first portion of the bow that you want to work with are the tails. Now this is not going on the cake right now, this is going to be going onto this foam but you want to insert the tails first into your cake and after you've inserted the tails, then you're going to put the actual bow right on top. And if you want for a movement, you can always adjust the wires and move those bows around so that you have a little bit more movement. But there you are, there's a sugar bow for the top of a cake.

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