So how does it work?……..
The secret of success is to use the correct paste and to make it soft enough:
For most sugar work the best paste to use is modelling paste.
Make your own modelling paste by adding 5ml (1 teaspoon) of edible gum to 225g (8oz) of sugarpaste/fondant (you can use Gum tragacanth but you must wait overnight for the gum to take effect or a synthetic substitute such as CMC, Tylose, sugarcel etc which will work immediately).
You can use pastillage or marzipan in the sugar shaper but if you use sugarpaste/fondant you’ll find that when you squeeze out the paste it tends to have a jagged appearance – not what you want!
Making the paste soft:
There are two ways to do this
- Knead a little white vegetable fat into a small ball of paste to stop the paste getting sticky, then dunk the paste into a small container of water and knead. Continue adding firstly white vegetable fat and then water until the paste has the consistency of chewed chewing gum – i.e. it is very soft and stretchy, a lot softer than you probably would have thought! Roll the paste into a sausage and insert into the barrel of the sugar shaper.
- Knead a little white vegetable fat into a ball of paste, roll the paste into a sausage and insert into the barrel of the sugar shaper. Place just the filled barrel into a microwave and heat from 10 seconds on the highest setting.
Squeezing out the paste:
Reassemble the sugar shaper, inserting your chosen disc. Push the plunger down to remove any air from the barrel and then hold the tool in your hand with your fingers on the red handle. Pump the handle a few times to increase the pressure in the barrel – you should then find that the softened paste starts to appear. If nothing happens, either you need to build up more pressure by more pumping or your paste is still too hard. If the paste is too hard, the best thing to do, is to remove the paste and soften it some more, rather than struggling with paste that is simply too hard!
When the paste comes out easily, simply pump the sugar shaper when necessary to squeeze out more paste.
The uses of this amazing tool are only limited by your imagination, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
I also use Artista Soft with my sugar shaper to create the hair on my bride and groom toppers.