Sugar paste icing is a very sweet edible sugar dough usually made from sucrose and glucose. It is sometimes referred to as sugar gum or gum paste, but should not be confused with fondant. It can be used to cover cakes, to mold features, and create decorations for cakes and many other uses.
Sugar paste will harden out completely, so it is ideal for creating the bigger cake decorations which stand up on a cake, or for the bigger flowers. By contrast, cake fondant will stay softer, and is more ideal for smaller figures or flowers.
One of the biggest advantages of the commercial varieties is that they can usually be stored for longer periods of time. Depending on how fresh the product is, it can be stored for up to a year. The disadvantages of the homemade version are that it doesn't store for as long as the commercial version, and it is very difficult to make a pure white paste. In most cases the dough will be colored anyway, so this is not a problem. The commercial version is also often easier to work with, although the results achieved with the homemade versions are quite adequate. However, the home version is a much cheaper option to work with, and for a large cake production is more economical.
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Evidence for its use in various settings dates back to at least the 16th century.
- Ingrassia, Catherine (2007). "Diana, Martha and Me". In Curran, Colleen. Altared: bridezillas, bewilderment, big love, breakups, and what women really think about contemporary weddings. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-307-27763-1.
- Cake Decorating - how to ice a cake with sugarpaste (fondant) by Cake-Links (video)
- Sugarpaste / Gum paste
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