Gum paste/ fondant figures

I live in a hot and humid country where it rains often. When I make my figures out of gum paste or 50-50, it takes weeks to firm up. One week after I’ve made all the pieces (head, torso, limbs, clothing….) when I try to assemble the figure, the weight of the torso causes the figure to topple or sag or even parts to break off. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks for all your answers in advance.

Radhika, Singapore, http://sinsationscakes.wordpress.com/

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13 Replies

Nicholas Ang ...

Hi Radhika, you should try adding a little tylose into your paste, works wonders. But above all else, you should be working in an air conditioned room, that’s the real “secret” for doing any successful sugarpaste work in Singapore’s climate…

Also, try using toothpicks to support you figurines. Holds everything iin place nicely.

miettes ...

I have the same problem but our winters here and cold and humid and nothing is drying out. So, I can’t put the AC since it is already cold but raining. Can I add Gum Tex to the gumpaste?

Radhika ...

Thank you for your replies. I have been running the air con continuously….but when I turn I off the fondant immediately starts to sweat and turn soft. And I’m now making my figures entirely out of gumpaste, but they still soften. Recently did Jake in 3 pieces – head, torso and legs. The spaghetti would not hold the head and torso together. He kept listing sideways. Izzy was seated so I had more luck with her. But any free standing figure is difficult to work with.
Also what brand of fondant is best to work with here?

Nicholas Ang ...

Spagetti before its cooked is inedible anyway so you might as well just use wooden skewers. At least they have the strength. And they’re used for food anyway so you know they’re food safe (satay). In Singapore, you have a few choices: either run an aircon all the time or keep your room doors and windows closed all the time. It’s not the heat… It’s the humidity that kills our fondant. Alternatively, get a small wine chiller, set at around 20C and keep all your work in there, or get a dehumidifier and place it in the room. If really desperate, get a couple of those tubs of charcoal dehumidifiers you normally place in cupboards with your clothes, then pack your figurines in a box with it.

Nicholas Ang ...

Do not use Gumtex, use tylose instead (I believe it’s called cmc powder or sugar paste modelling gum in some places). If you can’t have an AC, invest in a good dehumidifier, it’ll save you the headaches later on.

Nicholas Ang ...

In Singapore, my ranking of available fondant in terms of usability:

1. Felchlin – best white fondant
2. Massa Grischuna – best white fondant but expensive
3. Fondafrost – best colored fondant (halal certified)
4. Redman or Satinice – good white fondant
5. Satinice – good colored fondant
6. Wilton – texture is ok but tastes like plastic. Only when desperate…
7. Silverspoon – not bad tasting white fondant but crap texture… At least slightly better than Pettinice.
8. Pettinice – best tasting fondant but completely crap texture. Avoid like the plague.

miettes ...

Thanks!

SabzCakes ...

Thank you for sharing Nicholas Ang :) I live in Singapore too & came across Redmans halal fondant only today! Hope to try fondafrost sometime too :) Didn’t know there was halal fondant here & relieved to find it at last!!I always make my fondant & store the excess in the fridge & since this is the 1st time i’m using ready made fondant may i know how to store it once the packet or tub is opened? Do i store it in the fridge or at room temp? I’m guessing it has to be refrigerated. May i also know the difference between Fondafrost & redmans fondant…is it the taste, texture or both. Thanks again!
https://www.facebook.com/SabzCakes

Sugarart Cakes ...

I find if you store your pieces in a cardboard box with some bicarb soda or silica gel sachets it helps keep the moisture away from them

Elli Warren ...

I totally agree with Nicholas, i dry all my figures with a dehumidifier, its amazing, they set solid overnight and then i place them in cardboard cake box and leave them in the room with dehumidifier until i need them, if you buy a really good one hopefully it will work for you too! :-)

Nicholas Ang ...

Sabz, Redman fondant is on the lower end of the fondant quality scale. If you’re on a budget, it’s cheap and usable but cannot compare in texture and taste to the more expensive brands. You store fondant in a cool, dry,m airtight place. If storing for a long time, roll into a ball, apply a thin layer of shortening to the surface, cling wrap tightly, then put in a ziplock bag and place in a cool dry place.

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

I’m afraid that humidity is the worst enemy for figures – we have a beach apartment and whenever I do any type of gumpaste or fondant figures, they NEVER dry – even though the A/C is on the entire time. It is extremely frustrating – I have to wait to get back to the city for the figures to harden. The dehumidifier may be your best solution.

Mardie Makes Cakes ...

In Australia we can buy these little ‘Moisture Absorber’ tubs called ‘Hippo’. These are amazing little things, u put your figures and one of these in a cardboard box (with a lid) and put it in the back of a cupboard (away from other moisture) and it will actually absorb the moisture in your figures and speed up the drying process. I live in a very humid climate also and cannot run the air con all day every day so I always have these on hand.