Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What is the Difference between Fondant and Gum Paste?

What is the difference between Gum Paste and Fondant?

Those who used both popular sugar craft mediums  for a while, may find it very hard to imagine ever NOT knowing.  Yet, as you can see from my previous post, it is quite possible to be in sugarcraft business for a number of years, yet be no wiser, lol.   In fact, I get asked how the two pastes compare all the time, which is why I decided to to make a video about it, out on  Cakelosophy Youtube Channel tomorrow.

Video aside, though,  there are many useful facts , which are beyond the scope of a video tutorial, hence this post.  Those of you, who, like me,   sometimes stop to wonder about things Sugarcraft they don't know yet, those little things that could give you 'an edge',  you might find my 10  factoids below interesting.

And so, in no particular order ...

10 IMPORTANT FACTS about Gum-Paste and Fondant.

1. It  is possible to make a flower out of fondant, that looks half decent.  But transporting it without braking will be nothing short of miracle unless you are operating a hovercraft.

( This blue one,  was one of my first wedding cakes. I only vaguely heard of gumpaste at the time and thought  I could wing it. One of the petals fell off and I had to fix it at the venue.  The couple never noticed but they would have, had the petal shuttered, as naively I didn't even have a spare one. )

2. Fondant doesn't do these dainty ballerinas holding all their weight on one thin leg you see all over Facebook.   The further away whatever it is you are trying to make, is from the said ballerina, the nicer is your fondant to use.

3. If you get last minute  cupcake order that involves placing your decorations on fondant discs, don't say 'no' to it, and don't offer your potentially returning customer bumpy sagging slumping discs in hope that they are exceedingly kind or a bit blind.  Just use gumpaste or 50/50.  These will  dry very quick/ quick enough.

4. Tell the said customer ( by email )  to watch small kids, should there be any, with your gum-paste decorations as these can be a chocking hazard.  Last minute customer should allow for some limitations on your part ( and if they don't, don't deal with them, they are trouble). Fondant is no problem like this.

5. You can NEVER roll your fondant, practicably,  as thin as your Gumpaste. Don't even try.  It's like trying  to fold a paper square more than 8 times.

6. 50/50 ( half fondant / half gumpaste)  Makes absolutely stunning unwired roses and some other flowers, much better looking than fondant ones, so here's a very nice compromise if you hate the idea of using wires.

7.  You CAN wire 50/50.  It will produce better looking flower petals than any gum-paste could ( IMHO )  However it is absolutely NOT commercial, it seems,  as you can't reasonably guarantee safe transportation,  and they won't last past few weeks at best or at all in v humid climate.

8.  If you add 1/4 fondant to modelling chocolate, it will be much easier to work with and it and  next to impossible to see the difference in the end result. It won't work with 1/4 gum-paste.  (And it will be VERY hard to make it into a stand up figurine topper )

9. Microwave is your friend when rolling fondant for a large cake, 15 seconds bursts will do just fine. On another hand, I find that microwave changes the texture of my gumpaste, unfavourably, even if used carefully.  So I don't. Some cake makers might ( and do ) disagree, though.

10.  And now, any takers of an absolutely  RIDICULOUS  tip.  The  50/50 may look smooth and heavenly if rolled in a small piece, but it will not make for a particularly smooth looking cake. I tell you that much for nothing.  It won't work at all, in fact. (may well be not only ridiculous but also a completely useless tip, as I allow a possibility of myself being the only sugar crafter in the whole world, stupid enough to have attempted something like this!)

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