In order to create many of the petals, we need to roll our gum paste out and cut them with cookie cutter shapes. You see I have a variety of cookie cutters in front of me. Usually gum paste starts as white and then we add food coloring into it in order to create the colors that we need.
In this case let's take a look at a little bit of purple, so if we wanted to make a purple flower we would be able to do so. I'd start working with small pieces of gum paste. And usually what I'll do is flatten it into a pancake. If I need to I can use my little pin, my rolling pin, to make it a little bit thinner.
And then I pass it through my pasta machine. My pasta machine has different thicknesses on it depending where it is at my dial. I want to start with it at the widest setting, and I roll it through the pasta machine catching on the other side. This will allow it to become a uniform thickness. Then I can turn the dial to get it as thin as I need to. Usually when I'm creating petals I want my pieces to be about a sixteenth of an inch thick.
Now, each pasta machine has its own different dial as it goes through, so I can't quite tell you that a number three on my machine will match the number three on your machine at home. But you want to make sure that if you take a ruler and measure about a sixteenth of an inch.
When you're cutting your petal shapes you want to make sure to take your cutter and push it straight down into your gum paste. Usually what I'll do is to give it a little bit of a twist. This will allow the piece to come free from the gum paste and also reduce any little fraying at the end.
Before I'm ready to use my petals, though, I want to make sure that they stay nice and moist. I don't want them to dry out. So I'm going to tuck my petals underneath a cell flap, a plastic sheet, so that they won't dry out until I'm ready to use them.