Bows are a wonderful addition to some cakes. This sweet cake is for a baby shower. I used the rose tip to pipe vertical ribbon lace and topped with a blue bow. For me, the key to these is making the bow with a bit of movement.
I start by making gum paste at least 24 hours in advance. I really like and recommend this recipe by Minette Rushing of Savannah Custom Cakes. I prefer the Tylose recipe only because it is easier to make. I color a bit more than I intend to use just so I have some extra. For this bow, I used a bit of Americolor "blue".
I roll the gum paste thin enough that it will fit in my Kitchen Aid pasta attachment. After each run through the pasta roller, I remove any air bubbles. For this bow, I thin to a #3.
If you don't already own one of these amazing ribbon cutting tools, go get one right now. They make my life so much easier. Fondant tends to wiggle and move as we cut and this accurately cuts a wonderful strip of almost any size. Let me warn you. This tool only comes with 2 of the cutting pieces. Buy more than one set. Dropping this can cause the little cutters to break. It's also good to have a few so you can cut multiple strips at once. I have set this to a 2" width for the bow. I cut the strip then cut that to 2 even pieces.
Starting with one side of one strip, I gather to the center. I bend in the middle then bend again on either side and pinch together. Repeat on the other end/side of the same strip.
I roll a piece of paper towel the thickness I would like the bow loops to be. I drape the strip around and then pinch together. Using even smaller pieces of paper towels, I add some movement to the bow. Be creative! Shape the bow what looks best for you including how open or flat it is. Repeat these steps for the other bow loop. Let dry. Although I live in HUMID Charleston, SC, I own a dehumidifier. Overnight is usually plenty for me. Be sure not to try to move your loops until they are truly dry.
Once the loops are dry, I place them on the cake. This helps me determine how long the tails of the bow should be. In this case, I want them to come a bit over the edge of the cake.
Roll out the gum paste just like we did for the loops using the same thickness. I also use the same 2" guide to cut the strip. I cut 2 pieces similar in length. I hold one end and fold it in half. Using scissors, I cut this at an angle. When, I open it, I have the lovely end of the tail. I'll gather the other end just as I did for the bow pinching to a point.
I place these on the cake and shape. Be sure to curl them up and down instead of just placing flat on the cake. I even curve up the very ends. By this time, my fondant was really drying quickly. If yours is still a bit soft, use some strategically placed paper towels to hold in place as it dries.
For that center of the bow, I roll a nice ball. Make sure it is very smooth. I push the tip of the loops in and place on the cake. If needed, I use a vein tool to shape it into place. Use a small paint brush to dust away any cornstarch/powdered sugar or even frosting.
I have a low humidity fridge. I was able to store this cake, as shown, in the fridge for 2 days. Be sure to test your fridge. Humidity will cause gum paste to break and wilt.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, please leave a comment on the blog. If you have any questions, you can reach me at info@VeryDeliciousDesserts.com