Learning fondant the hard way
As a mere amateur cake decorator, I am still navigating the highs and lows of rolled fondant.
A few weeks ago I completed my second-ever fondant covered cake. It was an order and I wanted it to be perfect with a capital P.
The occasion was little Alice Rose’s first birthday party. I made her christening cupcakes and knew the crowd would be expecting something di-licious.
The cake itself was simple enough – vanilla butter cake filled with raspberry buttercream. I’d made the fondant roses, leaves, letters and heart ahead of time. I just had to cover the cake (cue imminent danger music).
Fondant is finicky and it can sense your fear. But sometimes you have to face near catastrophe in order to get the job done.
Here’s what I learnt the hard way:
Less really is more. Colour more fondant than you think you’ll really need but once rolled out, estimate the size of your cake and sides and trim away the excess before lifting up to cover your cake – fondant, even when rolled thinly, is heavy and will tear!
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Buttercream will wipe off rolled fondant if you use a SLIGHTLY damp cloth. Having torn a huge hole in my fondant (see above) I lifted it off to find it smeared with buttercream. Not wanting to colour another kilo of the stuff, I was prepared to give anything a go. Wiping seemed to work.
Ribbon covers a multitude of sins. If you can’t get a nice neat finish to the bottom of your cake, use pretty ribbon – instant gorgeousness.
Always bring along a repair kit! Despite your best efforts, sometimes holes appear for no apparent reason. I drove the cake over to my friend’s house (approximately 30mins away). When I left, the fondant was immaculate. When I opened the box in her dining room, there was a huge tear in the fondant. I was crushed (but my friend graciously overlooked it).
Oh fondant – how I sometimes detest thee! But when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.