Gum paste molds are simple tools that are used to mold all kinds of shapes and characters for cake decoration. These molds are made with either plastic or silicone. In recent times however, the most popular material for gum paste mold is silicone.
You can create stunning effects with molds of flowers, hearts, babies, shoes, and bags, anything you can think about. The great thing about gum paste molds is that they are very easy to use; they make cake decoration quicker and easier. Instead of spending time molding anything by hand, you just press in the medium into the mold and out comes your finished product.
Gone are the days when one would have to spend long hours making different figures and shapes to place on cakes. The molds come in different sizes and shapes that allow you to create décor and accents for any type and size of cake.
Types of Gum Paste Molds
There are basically two materials that are used to make gum paste molds; plastic and silicone.
Plastic Gum Paste Molds
The major difference between a plastic gum paste mold and a silicone gum paste mold is the flexibility. There are myriads of designs and figures you can get out of plastic molds. But the thing with plastic molds is that you won’t get as much details out of them as the silicone molds.
You also have to be careful with removing your finished product from a plastic gum paste mold. Since they are not as flexible as silicone, you can’t bend them to bring out your finished item.
This does not mean that you can’t work with plastic mold but you’ll require more time and patience. To get the best out of your plastic mold, you may need to freeze for a minimum of 5 minutes (depending on the medium) before you remove your finished item.
The most attractive thing about plastic molds is that they are less expensive than the silicone molds.
Silicone Gum Paste Molds
Silicone molds are quite functional and easy to use. They are flexible and allow you get the full details of the mold on your finished product. Silicone molds are also versatile because you can use them for a lot of recipes and with different mediums.
Unlike plastic molds, silicone gum paste molds are heat resistant. They are also easier to clean and maintain. Since they are non stick, you may not require to use so much corn starch , luster dust or sprays to get your medium out. This means that the level of dirt on the mold after use would be lower than on a plastic mold.
Mediums That Can be Used With Gum Paste Molds
Although we refer to them as gum paste molds, these molds are also called several things. Some brands refer to them as fondant molds, others as sugar paste molds while others refer to them as simply molds.
No matter the names they are called, the objective of these molds is to help you create things uniformly and faster. The medium used also differ depending on the cake decorator and the object desired.
One thing to note is that the medium used depends largely on the object you want to make. Let’s look at some items and the most appropriate medium to use to make them.
There are things that would come out well in gum paste molds if made with fondant. These items include pearls, ropes or some other designs for cake borders, shapes that would lie flat on cakes. This is because fondant remains flexible even after drying unlike some other mediums that we’ll discuss.
Allow for a little extra time for drying when making things in the mold with fondant. If you don’t allow it to dry before handling, your finished product might lose its shape.
The good thing about gum paste molds is that they adapt to any medium used; the only thing is that the end product would be different.
When using fondant in a gum paste mold, you may find that it sticks to the mold and is difficult to remove. When this happens, you either sprinkle luster dust, corn starch or icing sugar on the mold before pressing in the fondant.
Most decorators like to use luster dust or edible dust as it is also called; this serves two purposes. It would enable the item to pop out easily from the mold and also add color and sheen to the finished product.
Gum paste is a medium that works very well for any item that needs stability. This is because gum paste has an ingredient that makes it pliable and also dries fast.
Items that can be molded best with gum paste include animal characters, figurines and other firm objects. With gum paste and a gum paste mold, you can achieve all kinds of life-like effect on cakes.
You can also use these molds for flowers that you don’t want to make by hand. They also come in handy when you don’t have time for complicated designs.
Unlike the items made with fondant, gum paste can be handled before it dries without items losing their shapes. Once you press in your gum paste into the gum paste mold, you bring out the object and allow it to dry. Gum paste also pops out of the molds easier than fondant.
Modeling chocolate is dough that’s made by mixing melted chocolate with corn syrup, golden syrup or glucose syrup. When the two ingredients are mixed, the paste is then kneaded until it becomes stiff yet pliable. This paste is also known as candy clay, chocolate leather or plastic chocolate.
It can be used to mold figures and other accents for cake decoration. You can also use it with a gum paste mold.
Unlike fondant and gum paste that most people don’t like the taste, modeling chocolate tastes just like chocolate. If you use white chocolate, you can color it or accentuate your cake with drawings and designs. Remember that it’s best to color your modeling chocolate with paste coloring.
There are arguments as to which type of mold is best for modeling chocolate.
Some people argue that getting your finished product of modeling chocolate is easier with a plastic mold. This they say is because plastic molds are more rigid than silicone molds. And because chocolate expands when it is cooling down, the finer detailing of the silicone molds make the medium adhere more to the molds.
Some decorators on the other hand argue that the flexibility of the silicone molds work better for them. Because silicone molds are flexible you can maneuver the mold any which way to get the finished product out.
You may have to experiment with both types of molds to ascertain which works best for you. Also bear in mind that you have to follow the recipe and instructions religiously to get the right consistency for your modeling chocolate.
How to Use Gum Paste Molds
Gum paste molds are quite easy to use; all you need is the right consistency of whatever medium you want to use.
If you decide to use modeling chocolate you most probably would need to dust the mold with corn starch. Then ensure that the modeling chocolate is smoothly kneaded then you press it into the mold. Pop it into the freezer for about 10 minutes then bring it out and remove the finished product.
To use fondant to make items from the gum paste molds, you follow basically the same procedures. But one little step (which might make a big difference) is that you may need to add a little CMC or Tylose powder to the fondant. This would help to make the fondant a bit harder and further prevent it from sticking.
For gum paste, you may not need to sprinkle the gum paste mold with any powder. From experience, we have found that brushing the mold with vegetable shortening works just fine in helping the finished product detach easily. It also gives the finished product a glossy finish.
If you want to give your finished product some colorful effect, you might decide to dust the molds with glitter powder or edible luster dust.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Using Gum Paste Molds
When using gun paste molds to make your decorations, there are some errors that one can easily make. We would list some of these errors and give you tips to help you avoid or correct them.
Wrong Consistency of Medium
It’s true that you can use any of the medium discussed above with your gum paste mold; however you have to ensure that the consistency of the medium is right.
Dry fondant would crack and not have a fine finish. Wet fondant would be sticky and not easily detach from the mold.
To ensure that you have the right consistency, add some extra icing or CMC or tylose powder to regular fondant. Knead the dough until it’s very smooth and doesn’t stick to your work surface. Peradventure your fondant becomes too dry, you can either add a little bit of glycerin or use vegetable shortening to knead it. Be careful with the glycerin; if you live in highly humid climate, you may want to avoid it totally.
Using Too Much of the Medium
Some people make the mistake of pressing in too much medium into the mold. If you do this, your finished product would look clumsy.
To avoid this, press in your medium and ensure that you’ve covered all the details and then slice off the excess with a thin knife. When making delicate items like flowers or leaves, this is very essential to a realistic end product.
Not Covering All The Details of The Gum Paste Mold
When pressing in the medium into the mold, ensure that you get it into all the corners and crevices. When you are making large pieces, you need extra attention to all the little details. If you don’t press the medium in properly, you’d end up with a distorted product.
For items that also need to be thin, you have to be careful not to skip any detail in the bid to keep your medium thin.
Too Much or Too Little Dusting With Corn Starch
Although your gum paste mold should be non stick, it is always safer to dust with cornstarch. When you are working with fondant and modeling chocolate, you must of necessity dust the mold with corn starch.
When you dust the mold with corn starch, ensure that it reaches all nooks and corners of the mold. Apply the corn starch liberally then shake out the mold so that the excess corn starch would be removed.
If you do not remove excess corn starch, you would have a residue of white substance on your finished product.
Improper Care of the Gum Paste Mold
Let’s assume that you’ve gotten it right when it comes to using gum paste mold. You are now wondering why your gum paste molds doesn’t last long. Maybe you are not taking proper care of the molds.
How to Properly Clean and Store Your Gum Paste Molds
Wash your gum paste mold with warm soapy water after every use. Do not wipe with paper towels or napkins. Always allow your gum paste molds to air dry.
When you buy a gum paste mold, do not throw out the package it came in. This would come in handy for storing the mold. However always ensure that the mold is totally dry before storing.
Do not stretch or twist your gum paste mold, you may cut or damage some intricate details if you do.
Gum paste molds are really wonderful time saving devices for any cake decorator. It can be easily gotten at any cake specialty goods store. What happens if you want to make a particular design but can’t find the mold?
You can always improvise by using gum paste to create a mold of the item you want to make. Roll out the gum paste into appropriate width and length and then press in the original item into the paste. Ensure you have an adequate imprint then lift off the object then leave the gum paste to dry. When you are ready to make the edible version just use the mold you’ve made.
You can also make silicone molds by yourself. All you need to do is check out some tutorials and follow the instructions.