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Friday, March 16, 2012

Gum Paste Shamrocks

They might not look like much, but I'm sort of proud of these shamrocks because they're my first original gum paste design. And as such, they're super easy! Gum paste isn't exactly edible (even though it's Kosher; go figure), but I'd rather see these on a cake or cupcakes than shamrocks made out of plastic with pointy spikes planted in the frosting. You'll need some green gum paste, a 9" fondant roller with pink rings, a dusting pouch (filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch), Crisco (to revive your gum paste if it dries out), medium flower forming cups (one for each shamrock), gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), a small brush, a gum paste storage board for a work surface, thick pink shaping foam, thin pink shaping foam, purple shaping foam, the knife, ball and veining tools from Wilton's 10-piece Fondant & Gum Paste Tool Set, a dogwood cutter (available in Wilton's Gum Paste Flower Cutter Set), and a petal veining impression mat. You may also want to use Color Dust, in which case you'll need a separate brush for each color (I used Lime Green and Spruce Green). 
Start by dusting the underside of the storage board. 
 Roll out a walnut-sized ball of green gum paste to 1/16" with the roller.
 Cut out a piece with the dogwood cutter and tear away the slack.
 Use the orange knife tool to make a small diagonal cut on either side of one of the heart-shaped petals toward the middle. The cuts only need to be about 2 millimeters long.
 Use the knife tool to cut away the opposite curved sides of this same petal; the sides should be straight and parallel:
 Brush some gum glue from the middle of what's left of the petal to the edge, and roll one side in toward the center.
 Paint gum glue on the other side and roll it around the first rolled-up half:
 Then cut the tip away at an angle with the knife tool. This is the back of the shamrock.
 Dust the petal veining mat and place the center petal over one quadrant, face down:
 Press this petal gently with the thin pink shaping foam:
 Rotate the shamrock and repeat on the remaining petals. The impression is subtle, but will pop if you brush on Color Dust.
 Place the shamrock face-up on the purple shaping foam, and run the large end of the ball tool around the petals' edges. You don't want to ruffle them by moving the ball tool back and forth; just thin them by running the tool around once, half on the petal and half on the foam. The petals won't look as much like a cookie cutout after they've been thinned.
 Run the narrow end of the veining tool, heel side down, from almost the middle to the outer center edge of each petal.
 Place the shamrock face-up on the thick pink shaping foam and gently press the narrow end of the ball tool into all six curves of the petals to make them concave:
Hit the shamrocks with Color Dust, if you like. Best to wait until they're completely dry to do this.

Allow the shamrocks to dry in medium flower forming cups, and get to work on a festive cake to put them on! Happy St. Patrick's Day!




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