Gingerbread Exchange

Gingerbread Forum => General => Topic started by: CWalton on October 02, 2016, 08:58:12 am

Title: Working in Advance
Post by: CWalton on October 02, 2016, 08:58:12 am
I'm diving into the world of Gingerbread this year!  Our local contest entries have to be delivered on the 20th of November.  I'm working with fondant, modeling chocolate and (of course) gingerbread.  How far in advance can I start making my modeling chocolate items?  How do you store everything while the work is in progress?

I am OCD, especially about my artwork, and want to get started NOW, but am afraid if I start too early it'll all fall apart or soften or somehow ruin long before November 20th.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
Title: Re: Working in Advance
Post by: adamwerner on October 15, 2016, 02:10:44 pm
Assuming that you are not planning to ever eat your creations, you can do your Gingerbread and Fondant work way ahead of time; even two or more month ahead.  In fact, for Gingerbread I suggest baking it weeks ahead and letting it dry out at room temperature to firm up and harden.  Remember, we aren't making to to be eaten.  I just protect it from dust and other unwanted elements.  For Gum Paste and Fondant creations, these can be made many months in advance too.  Once fully dried, I place these in an air tight container with bubble wrap in between for protection, as necessary.  It really depends on your overall intentions but my general advice is that it is much better to start your project way ahead of time than to attempt to do a project sequentially shortly before an event or competition.  This allows you to be more agile and gives you the opportunity to rework and re-do elements of a project, as necessary.  Most of all, have fun! 

Regards,
-Adam
Title: Re: Working in Advance
Post by: CWalton on October 15, 2016, 07:18:56 pm
Thanks! I started with my RKT bits last week and I'm making my gingerbread this week.  I'm doing my base out of peppermints melted into a platter of sorts.  Do you think Royal Icing will do the trick for attaching my gingerbread to the base?
Title: Re: Working in Advance
Post by: adamwerner on October 16, 2016, 09:17:26 am
Oh absolutely.  Royal Icing is exactly what I would use.  And in keeping with the 'working ahead' subject, if you make your Royal Icing with Meringue Powder (as opposed to fresh egg whites, I much prefer Meringue Powder because it makes a much more stable end product) you can make it up to two weeks ahead and store it tightly covered at room temperature.  I suggest placing a damp cloth directly on top of the icing and then putting the container lid on over it or if there is no lid, just use several overlapping layers of plastic wrap.  The damp cloth helps keep the icing from drying out.  When you are ready to use it, just re-beat it gently by hand with a sturdy spoon.  It may be necessary to add a small amount of additional water to get to the consistency you need.  To add the water, I usually use a small spray bottle so I have extra-fine control over how much water goes in, its really easy to add too much water otherwise.
Title: Re: Working in Advance
Post by: kmazza on October 18, 2016, 07:49:03 pm
Adam's tips are great - I always finish baking my pieces in October!
Title: Re: Working in Advance
Post by: CWalton on October 21, 2016, 04:08:00 pm
Fabulous!  I really appreciate the help!  I'm brand new at this and have high asperations. ;D  We'll see how it turns out.  I'll post photos.