This past weekend I took a great five-hour “Beginning Fondant” class, instructed by the owner of Carolyn’s Cake Decorating, the one and only cake decorating store in my town. With all the bows, quilting detail, and pale pink roses, the finished product would have been perfect for my grandmother, if only she had a taste for styrofoam!
We learned the fundamentals of fondant work, including rolling and placement on the cake, storage, fondant choices and a few decorating techniques. I had my missteps, but all in all, I feel ready to attack fondant with fervor!
Here’s some Fond Fondant placement tips:
1. Crumb coat the cake with buttercream icing. Refrigerate or freeze the cake for a few minutes before applying fondant. Don’t apply fondant to a completely frozen cake.
2. If using pre-made fondant (which apparently lasts for a year (a year!) if stored in an airtight, twisted bag (not Ziploc)), roll the fondant out like a pie crust on a silicone mat dusted with powdered sugar.
3. For an eight-inch round layer cake, use approximately two pounds of fondant. To keep the fondant moist while working with it, periodically dip your fingers into a small bowl of vegetable shortening (like Crisco) while kneading and rolling out the fondant. Use the powdered sugar like flour to keep the fondant from sticking to the mat. Move the fondant frequently and turn the fondant over a few times. Don’t roll the fondant too thick, or it will it will be too heavy for the sides of the cake.
4. Place the fondant over the center of the cake, allowing excess on all sides, if possible. Place Crisco on the bottom and side of one hand and use it to smooth the fondant around the cake. “Hop” around the cake to gently pull and smooth the fondant to prevent it from gathering in one place on the cake.
5. When the fondant is in place, trim the excess with a pizza cutter and then cut 1/4 inch of the fondant from the bottom of the cake. To seal in the cake’s moisture, cover the gap with fondant trim or with a buttercream border.
6. You can freeze the fondant cake for a couple of weeks before applying decorations.
7. Ultimately, the cake will have weak spots or dimples. Find the worst spot and call it the “BACK.” Use that spot to begin borders, etc.
8. For decorations, the key is to roll out a small amount of fondant at a time. This is because the fondant dries and cracks quickly, as demonstrated by this dusty bow:
9. The basic tools for fondant work include a pizza cutter and 1) a silicone mat, 2) a silicone rolling-pin and 3) a small rolling-pin/modeling tool.
10. Finally, to make things easier, a basic modeling tool and powdered sugar shaker are nice additions.
That’s all for now. More to come!