Notice my contact info to the right, if you want to contact me with any questions. I would also like to say that I do attempt to give credit where credit is due. I do not make any claims to cakes in my blog except the ones in my slideshow. If I show a cake I will try to post some type of identifer with it, however, if I don't know who posted the cake it is impossible for me to do that. I am only using the cake to illustrate a specific technique.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting started with Fondant Part 2

You should now have your fondant (either pre-made or from scratch), and your tools. One tool I forgot to mention is either a ruler or yardstick to measure your fondant. So let's get started. What you do with the fondant depends on your cake design. For simplicities sake, we are just doing a simple fondant covered cake.

The first thing you need to do is decide on colors (if you didn't color your fondant when you were making it. This is pretty simple. All you have to do is dip a toothpick in some icing color and poke the toothpick into the fondant. You then knead the fondant until the color is dispersed through the fondant to your liking (either one solid color or less kneading for a marbled effect). If you want it darker simply add more color (use a different toothpick to avoid contaminating your icing colors). If you fondant seems too wet, simply add a little powdered sugar, or if too dry a little shortening or water. Ok, colored fondant ready. Let's go.

If you decided to get "The Mat", great. Place it on your rolling surface. This is very important, so please note, put very little shortening on the mat to start. You may even want to wipe it off with a dry paper towel after applying it to the mat. Too much shortening will make the fondant stick to the mat, and thus, make rolling out your fondant an unpleasurable task.

Knead you fondant until soft and pliable. Flatten out the fondant to a sort of disk shape and place on the bottom part of the mat. Put the top portion of the mat on top of the fondant. Put your rolling pin with one end of the rolling pin in the center and the other facing the outside edge of the fondant. Roll/Push the roller down and back, but only the outside edge not the center. Hold the center firm to keep it from moving. Continue to do this all the way around the fondant.

Occasionally lift the top portion of the mat to release the fondant from the mat. Flip the mat over and do the same on that side. Your fondant should measure at least the width+depth+depth. In other words, if you are working on an 8 inch cake that is 4 inches high you will need fondant that is 8"+4"+4"= 16" both vertically and horizonally. Once you fondant is rolled out to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (make sure it is consistent all the way around) you are ready to put the fondant on your prepared cake.

You cakes should have a thin layer of either jam, ganache, or icing to help the fondant adhere to the cake.

It is best to have your cake either on a turntable or something else to elevate the cake off of the table surface (e.g. a coffee can, bottom of cake pan). This will allow any excess fondant to drape off the cake in a "skirt" and not bunch up at the bottom.

Using you fondant smoother, lightly rub the fondant from the center to the outside of the cake. Turn the cake and do the same all the way around.

For the top edge, you can either use your hand (using your index finger and thumb to form an "L" or two fondant smoothers to form a 90 degree angle to go around the top edge lightly pressing the fondant into the cake.

Once the top edge is smoothed, smooth the middle by pressing down gently and pulling out the bottom of the skirt. Do this all the way around the cake. Smoothing the bottom of the skirt is the most difficult. To avoid getting any pleats, work the fondant exactly like you did in the middle (rubbing with one hand while gently pulling down and lifting the skirt away from the cake. If you should happen to get a pleat, don't leave it there thinking you can get rid of it later or cover it. Not going to happen! Just pull the fondant away from the cake and work it down the side of cake again.

Once your fondant is smooth all the way around you can trim off the excess with a knife, but do not cut it too close to the cake. After most of the excess has been removed you can now place it on the countertop. Using your fondant smoother at a 90 degree angle, push the fondant smoother down into the fondant all the way around the bottom of the cake. Using the pizza cutter with the blade vertical with the cake, cut around the bottom of the cake.

To finish the cake, lift it up off the surface and using the other hand with your fondant smoother, gently rub the fondant at a 45 degree angle toward the bottom of the cake. This should leave you with a nice smooth bottom edge.

If you have any difficulty understanding the way I've written this, you can see what I mean by watching the video on the website for "The Mat". The link is posted on my blog "Getting started with Fondant Part 1".

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