What is Pastillage?

Pastillage is a special form of sugar paste especially suitable for moulding and rolling. It is often used to make sugar greeting cards, picture frames, bells, boxes or other containers which can then be decorated with piping or sugar flowers.

There are a variety of ready-made mixes that you can buy in a bag, just add the water. A mixture of sugar paste and Mexican paste can be used or pastillage can be made as follows:-


Sift 454g (1lb) icing sugar and 2.5ml(½ tsp) of gum tragacanth into an ovenproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of hot water to warm. In a separate smaller bowl sprinkle 7.5ml(1½) powdered gelatine over 50ml (2fl ozs) water. Stand this bowl over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water and stir until dissolved. Combine the gelatine with the icing and beat until white and pliable. Knead well. It should be wrapped in cling polythene and stored in an airtight container overnight before use.

Top Tip

When using powder colours to tint small amounts of paste, mix the powder with a little Trex first and then knead into the paste. This stops the powder ‘flying’ about and impregnating your board and everything else on your work table with the colour!

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