Since I wrote about gumpaste recipes last week I've received a bunch of questions from people about adjusting the recipes and how to do it. The secret to it is that there is no secret to it.
The one thing I'd say to do every time you adjust a recipe is to write down what you've done, because you won't remember. By the time you figure out what type you like best, you'll forget whether you added one or two extra half teaspoons of tylose to the last batch. So write down what you did and how it turned out.
You basically just need to remember that there are things that soften gumpaste, and things that dry it out or make it stiff. Softeners include water, corn syrup, shortening, and glycerine (if your recipe calls for that, which it shouldn't if it's real gumpaste and not a fondant/tylose gumpaste.)
Drying/stiffening agents include gelatin, corn starch, egg white, and gums including tylose.
Start with a basic recipe, perhaps one of the ones that I posted last week. Then decide whether you think that it's too stiff, too soft, or dries too chalky, too fast, or too slowly for your liking. Now you're ready to adjust it.
If it's too soft, you can do a few things to stiffen it up:
-Reduce the liquid
-Reduce any shortening
-Increase the tylose a little bit
-Add some corn starch
-Increase the amount of gelatin or egg white
If it's too stiff:
-Increase corn syrup
-Reduce the amount of tylose or other gums
-Reduce the gelatin
If it dries too fast or too chalky:
-Avoid adding extra corn starch
-Add gelatin to the basic recipe if it doesn't have any in it
-Use shortening instead of corn starch when kneading or rolling the gumpaste out
If it dries too slowly:
-Eliminate glycerine if it has that in the recipe
-Add corn starch to it to dry it out
-Add egg white to the basic recipe
-Add a bit of tylose to it.
Once you get a good consistency that you like, use that as your personal custom gumpaste recipe. Because you did write it down, didn't you? So that you can make it again? Just make sure that you do that.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com