Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gumpaste Gerbera Daisies ~ A Lighthearted Tutorial

If you're looking for a serious, straight shooting tutorial on how to make Gerbera Daisies out of gum paste, stop here and go here. That's where I learned and it's a great tutorial but it lacks a certain assiness. Is that a word? It is now. Write it down.

Seriously, check out that entire site. Chick has some awesome stuff on there.

I'm gonna attempt to "keep it real." I did a lot of the "work" on these will sitting in bed. I'm not kidding. I don't use all of the proper tools or whatever. I use Q-tips, Dixie cups and other oddities. I did buy some of the proper equipment cuz there are just some things ya can't fudge. I got what I needed here. Some of you lucky bums have great cake decorating supply stores nearby, goody for you. The rest of us have to order off of the Internet!!!

Let's start!

You will need:

gum paste (dur)

Large Gerbera daisy cutter

Wilton's smallest daisy cutter

celforms (or some other small dish/bowl that will hold your flower in a slightly cupped shape while drying)
water **you probably should use gum paste glue, but I'm lazy. Make gum paste glue by mixing 1T meringue powder with 1 T water, mix well.

food coloring (I used powdered and paste)

I bought bagged, pre-made gum paste that Wilton makes. Works well for me. It was like $8 bucks. Actually, I had some leftover from the Remy figure I made for the twincesses birthday cake.

Start by kneading your gum paste in your hands until it's quite pliable. You may knead in color if you would like, or paint your gum paste later!

Dust your clean *snicker* work surface with cornstarch. You can certainly sprinkle that stuff right on your workspace but that tends to give you a rather heavy coat. Take some cheesecloth, or NEW nylons/knee highs (do they still make those? Mom?), or what I had, which was a roll of tulle which I took one long piece and folded it over itself a million (five) times. Now, put a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch in the center of your material of choice, draw up the sides creating a little sack. Steal one of your daughter's tiny hair elastics and tie it off (or use twine or regular rubber bands or whatever). Voila! A Fluffer-Duster! I'm certain there is a real name for these, but I don't know it and I like Fluffer-Duster.

Next, we want to roll the gum paste out quite thin. We're talkin' Calista Flockhart thin (Yowza! That broad is skinny!). Like this:

Take your larger Gerbera Daisy cutter (from here on out, I'm gonna drop the "a" on the end cuz I don't like it and when I say the word the "a" is silent anyhow. Deal with it.) and gets to cuttin'. For one flower you'll need two cut outs. Please note, when not using your gum paste, even for a couple of minutes, fold up your rolled out sheet and seal it in a ziplock bag. Otherwise you'll be kneading and re-rolling it out!Pick up your cut outs using a spatula or, if you can't find your spatula because your two year old has an odd habit of stealing and hiding kitchen utensils, simply gently slide the cut outs off the table and into your hand. Set in your celform. Gently push down a bit so the center begins to cup. I SAID GENTLY!!!!

Set those aside while we do the next step so they have a chance to dry a bit. Take the small daisy cutter and cut out a crap ton *not actual measurement*. Seriously, I don't know how many I used per flower. Just cut out a bunch. You must work fast with these as they dry very fast! Using a small knife, cut each daisy in half and then cut each petal in half. Like so:
If you don't fancy the color of your flowers at this point, or if you have left them white, you can paint them now! Go to the liquor cabinet and find the cheap vodka, cuz when you use the expensive vodka, The Dude gets grumpy. See babe, I remembered that little lesson from last time!Now drink! No, that's not right. In a small cup, combine a couple tablespoons of vodka with your food coloring of choice. Using a small brush paint the flowers. Use a small amount please! While the vodka helps it dry quicker, if you use too much it will start to eat away at your sugar and get gummy.

Now get your gum glue or water. You can use a small paintbrush (recommended) or a Q-tip (not so much). Start attaching your small daisy halves around the center. Gently push them on to secure.
Now take a small ball of gum paste and flatten is a bit by pressing it against a sieve. No, I'm not crazy *lie*. We're doing this to get the pattern on the gum paste! I don't know why I didn't take a picture, loser I guess. Using a little glue, attach your center. I omitted a small step that the other tutorial has and I'm kicking myself for forgetting! Using small scissors, make small cuts into the center piece to help give it more texture. Paint if you'd like!

Set your pieces out to dry. Set one daisy head (one of the ones with a center) on top of a plain daisy head so you have a double layer of petals. Use a dot of gum paste glue to hold it together. Does that make sense? I guess you could use just a single one, but trust me, it looks so fine with a little more depth.
That's it. Seriously. Go try it. When people start raving about your mad decorating skills you can come back and thank me.

It won't look this shiny when it's dry. This was right after I painted one of them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Suck At Blogging

At least I can admit it. I have left my little blog to whither and die and that makes me a sucky person. Not because I had a huge following, but because the few people that check it are important to me.

I have been doing plenty of stuff, possibly too much. I shall try and pull in the reigns and be less of go-getter. No, that's not right. I WILL try and be inspired to post more!

The dieting thing had me kind of uninspired to cook/bake, but I'm back on it with more self control. Instead of baking cookies with the kiddos last night (and thereby eating several warm cookies straight off the cooling wrack) I left The Dude to do the baking with the kids, while I got a shower in.

I AM working on my birthday cake and so far, so fabulous! I'm making gumpaste Gerbera Daisies! They were so easy and so cute!

This picture was taken with my iPhone so the quality is, lets be honest, lackluster.
She's shiny cuz she's not dry. It won't be shiny when it's on the cake.
I've got several more drying at home and hope to post a little "how to" later this week.

Also, I have discovered the roll recipe to end all roll recipes. Seriously, coming from an avid carb lover, this is simply THE BEST roll recipe I've come across. One of my sisters, who has worked in many-a-restaurants, tells me these are an exact replica (or better) of a specific brand of rolls that several of the restaurants she has worked in used.

I will grace you with that little gem later as well.

Last thing, and then I'll shut up: the twins were scouted for a movie! It was an exciting experience. The first audition was held at the same time/place as they were casting for extras in a drag queen scene. OMG, the girls were loving all the queens! The second audition was much more formal and serious. They had catering and everything, lol. Unfortunately, or not, actually, they did not get the roll. We were the only ones from out of town (it was being shot in New Orleans) and the casting director repeatedly asked how far we lived, how long the drive was, etc. They came out and ranted and raved about the girls, but again brought up the distance (55 miles). The agent that scouted the girls followed up and it was indeed our not being "in town" that was the deciding factor. Seriously, now that I am over the star-struck thing, I am kinda glad they didn't get it. That would have been a hectic 3 months!