I really love sugar craft because the possibilities are endless. You can bring your ideas to life and make amazing cakes without it costing you much at all. That’s where today’s topic, tylose powder, comes in.
You might never have heard of it before but tylose is cheap to buy, easy to get hold of online and simple to use. It’s quite literally the magical edible ingredient in every professional cake maker’s store cupboard and will help you model everything from a fondant flower bouquet to your kids favourite novelty characters.
In this post I want to show you what tylose is and how to use it. Move over Pinterest. Drool-worthy creations are coming to your very own kitchen.
First things first, what even is tylose powder?
If you’re new to tylose, let’s quickly do the science part. Just like ‘Hoover’, tylose is basically a brand name. It’s the chemical version of a natural powder called ‘Gum Tragacanth’, a sap that’s drained from the root of a plant in the Middle East and then dried.
Gum Trag makes a really fine powder that’s perfect to add to fondant icing (also known as sugar paste), thickening it up so that it’s ready to mould into shapes and characters.
The chemical version of Gum Trag is ‘CMC’ (carboxymethyl cellulose) and it’s much cheaper to buy and works faster. Tylose is simply a brand name for ‘CMC’. It is gluten free, kosher and vegan.
How do I use tylose?
The joy of tylose is that it’s super-easy to add to your shop-bought fondant. All the different types of pastes you hear cake decorators talk about can be confusing but sugar paste, or fondant, is the one that’s ready-to-roll with the same consistency as play-doh. Straight from the packet it’s perfect to roll out and cover a cake but once you add tylose it transforms to a great modelling paste.
All you need to do is add 1 tsp of tylose powder to 250g of fondant icing and knead in really well. It starts to work straight away and you’ll feel it because the paste starts to firm up. I like to leave it to rest for 30 minutes (wrapped in cling film) If you add too much tylose and your fondant starts to crack then just add a little more fondant and play with the quantities until you’ve got a consistency you’re happy with. Added tylose also helps fondant to dry out and set more quickly too.
I coloured icing using gelpaste colouring, then added tylose to make modelling icing. Scrunch all the icing together and then roll out to create a lovely mottled finish. Perfect for Hydrangeas!
Why tylose is a game-changer?
One of the best things about tylose is that you can make decorations or novelty characters several weeks in advance. No more late, stressed-out nights of cake-making because you can get ahead of the game.
If you do make things in advance then don’t store them in sweaty plastic where they’ll droop but in a cardboard box where they’ll stay in mint condition. If you’ve got spare fondant then you can store that double-wrapped tightly in clingfilm and then in an airtight plastic container so that it doesn’t dry out. It should last you for 3-4 weeks. I sometimes cut the modelling icing into small portions, wrap well and freeze if I make too much. Do not store in the fridge!
You can also make an edible glue with tylose by mixing 1/4 tsp of the powder with 2 tbsps of warm water and leaving in the fridge overnight. This will make a syrupy mixture that’s great for sticking bits and bobs together on your cake.
So, if you’re ready to have a go at levelling up your cake game then tylose could be just what you’re looking for. A versatile little ingredient that holds the key to your best decorations yet.
Tylose can be bought online or in most cake decorating stores. We only sell the moulds and not edible products such as Tylose or colours.
You can also buy ready made modelling paste in a variety of colours if you prefer.
Watch the quick video below to see the different consistency in the icing.