Mexican paste is great for making fine flower petals. This is my favourite paste for making sugar flowers, it has a generous drying time, dries hard and is humidity resistant once dry.
It’s fast to make, cheap, super reliable and lets me roll paper thin petals for flowers.
*Special note: Different brands of Tylose/CMC are very different. I’m used to using the cheapest CMC I can find. The first time you make this recipe start with half to 3/4 of the recommended amount of tylose and add more as needed. Record the result for whatever brand you are using.
Mexican paste- fine flower paste.
6 tsp cmc or tylose powder (28g)
500g pure icing sugar, sifted
70g hot water
4 tsp copha, crisco, snow cream, or other solid vegetable fat (25g)
2 rounded tsp corn syrup or glucose (20g)
1 tsp cream of tartar (5g)
A drop of vanilla
Wipe over bowl and spatula with a small amount of fat, sift in dry ingredients.
Melt the remaining fat.
Measure syrup and hot water.
Add melted fat and vanilla to the liquids, pour the liquids into the dry mix, stir well.
Lightly grease your bench and hands and briefly knead the icing (This is easier with gloves).
Place in a zip lock bag, rest for and hour knead, rest for another ten minutes and the paste is ready to use.
Mexican paste has a long working time and still sets fast enough to make great flowers. Fine petals will go leathery and firm up after half an hour. (Depending on weather). Once dry the paste is strong and sets like porcelain, not at all flexible when dry. It holds up to humidity extremely well. And it rolls very very thinly. I vacuum seal the paste in small lots and freeze them so I have it as I need it. When it defrosts it’s very sticky but comes together again beautifully after a quick knead.
I make super brightly coloured Mexican paste by weighing the colour and the water together to make up the total weight of the water.
- 3 teaspoons CMC or Tylose powder
- 250 grams of pure icing sugar
- 35 ml hot water (35g)
- 2 teaspoons Crisco or other solid vegetable fat
- 1 rounded teaspoon light corn syrup
- Rub the bowl and paddle attachment of a strong stand mixer with a thin film of crisco.
- Sift in the icing sugar and CMC powder, turn the mixer on low for two turns to ensure the CMC and icing sugar are mixed.
- Heat the corn syrup, Crisco and water together in a microwave safe mug until the Crisco starts to melt, usually 40 seconds or so will do it, alternatively heat in 10 second intervals and stir until the Crisco is fully melted.
- Start the mixer on low then pour the hot liquid in in a steady stream, turn up the speed to medium and beat for a minute, stop if/when the mixer sounds like it is starting to struggle.
- Turn the still warm sticky mixture onto a lightly greased bench and knead for a few seconds. Seal in zip lock bags and keep covered until ready for use. Leave the mixture to rest and cool for at least an hour before using it.
- I find it easiest to make triple batches, I vacuum seal them in small amounts and freeze them until I’m ready to use them.
- I make super brightly coloured Mexican paste by weighing the colour and the water together to make up the total weight of the water.
- Dust surfaces with cornflour to stop sticking. Can be refreshed with a tiny smear of crisco, or copha.
- Can be mixed with fondant or pastillage to make very good paste for modelling detailed figurines etc.
- It is easier to work in larger quantities I usually make this in kilo - 1.5 kilo batches and freeze in small portions in vacuum sealed bags.
How long does it last for out of the freezer and should it be stored in the fridge short term?
in an airtight container it will last a few weeks, it will last longer in the fridge and will last up to 3 month s or more in the freezer. 🙂
Will you please convert to volume measurements?
250g icing sugar is equivalent to 2 1/2 cups or 8.81oz by weight. 1/3 of a cup or 1.23 oz by weight of water. I almost never use cup measures for recipes as they are not as accurate and for this recipe accuracy will make it easier to start with a product that is close to the right texture.
Fortunately scales are cheaper than they have ever been before and you can usually pick up a digital kitchen scale for around $10 from somewhere like Kmart. Measuring by weight is awesome because it removes all variations and means that anyone can reproduce a recipe with reasonable accuracy.