How to Make Sugar Gum Paste

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Making sugar gum paste for wedding cakes is a lot easier than you might be assuming it is. Make sugar gum paste 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 in Portland, Oregon, and I'm going to teach you how to make sugar gum paste. Sugar gum paste is use for decorative items on cake, also to make really beautiful sugar flowers. Alright. So, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that your mixing bowl and your paddle attachment both are very very clean. So, what we're going to do is take some paper towels, get a little bit of distilled white vinegar on there. Go ahead and wipe down that paddle attachment. Get that nice and clean and really wipe out that bowl. Okay. Once the bowl and the paddle are cleaned, we're just going to add all of our dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Alright. So, we've got two pounds of 10X powdered sugar. Just get some household kitchen scissors, cut it open. You want to pour that entire package into your mixing bowl. So, two pounds of powdered sugar. Don't worry about sifting it, those lumps are going to come out with the mixing. Then, we're going to our gum tragacanth in there, CMC in there. So, we want to have two tablespoons of gum trag. Make sure they're nice and level, whatever tool you have to level amount with. I'm using the lid. And you want one tablespoon of the CMC. Okay. You want to take that paddle attachment, very carefully just mix that altogether. Leave the paddle in there. We're going to get some foil, cover the bowl; just wrap it around there. Then, you want to put this in a 135 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes just to warm up the bowl and warm up the ingredients. And now that we've had this in the oven for about 10 or 15 minutes, alright, we're going to take the mixing bowl, very carefully, it's going to, the bowl and the paddle attachment are both hot, so do be careful with those. We'll remove that foil; we're going to attach the bowl to our mixer. Once again, careful with the paddle, it'll be hot. Okay. Once it's on there, we're going to start with the liquid ingredients. We got a half cup of water that was just out of boil. So, to that half cup of water we're going to add a half tablespoon of gelatin and using our small whisk, you want to get that really nice and incorporated. Once again, don't worry about lumps in this, we're going to strain it before it goes into the final mixture. But, do try and get all of that gelatin melted in that boiling water. Okay. Once you feel like it's mostly melted, then we're going to add our corn syrup and it's a quarter cup plus a tablespoon of corn syrup. Go ahead and measure that in a regular measuring cup instead of a liquid one. It's fun. I find with corn syrup, the best way to get it all out is to use your finger. Okay. Mix that up. Now, if you want to make a very saturated color of gel paste, say black or deep blue or hot pink, you might consider adding the gel paste to your liquid ingredient at this point before you add it to the dry ingredients when you're mixing it. If not, you can make paste, just make white paste and then you can knead it in by hand. But, usually with the super saturated colors, it's a lot easier to add it to the liquid ingredient first. We're right now just going to make a plain white gum paste. Alright. So, that's all mixed; at this point I'm going to get the machine going on a very low; grab your tea strainer and you're going to very carefully pour the liquid through your tea strainer into the dry mix. So, once this paste gets to the point where it's not too sticky, you still want a little bit of stickiness, but you don't want it to be so, it's going to stick to your fingers, but you don't want it so sticky that, that it's still almost wet. You'll know that consistency. Then, you want to take it off of here, remove it from your mixer and we're going to get it out onto a nice clean surface. And before you lay it down on that surface, you want to put a very generous amount of vegetable shortening on there. Okay. Now, what I'll do first is I'll try and get the, as much off of this paddle as I can. Just use your hands. Don't try and grab for every last little bit because if you have a dry portion in there, there's really no way of working that out of the dough again. So, just keep, just keep the portions that are still liquid, they can be back, incorporated into the dough. Okay. Then, with your tool you can try and get all that other stuff out. Now, this recipe is going to yield about three good size logs of paste, which will really keep you going for awhile. Very little gum paste goes a long way when it comes to making sugar flowers. And then, you just want to start working it with your hands, just until it's one consistent form. And then depending on how you like to store it, if you find any kind of dirt or any imperfections in there, go ahead and get them out right now. And then, I like to take it and put it into three balls. And while you're working with one of these rolls, do keep the other covered up because this does dry out very quickly. So, I'm just going to take this as if I were working with bread dough, just kind of work it a little bit, roll it out into a log. Get my plastic wrap out; put that log in there. Wrap it up nice and air-tight. Usually I would wrap one portion one way and then wrap up the other side too just to make sure that no air is getting in there so that my paste doesn't dry out. Now, you're going to do that with all three of these. Take them and store them in an air-tight container or in plastic, larger plastic bag and leave them out overnight. And then, from there on out, you want to take this and keep them stored in your refrigerator. Paste if left out will get rancid. So, remember, it's a food product. So, that's it, that's how you make sugar paste, the base for all sugar flowers.


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