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I've been requested to make a cake inspired by Prince circa the Purple Rain era - "a riot of purple" and white ruffles like the shirt he wore.  I have little experience with fondant, am planning to use marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows + powdered sugar).  Does anyone have any tricks to making the ruffles perky and 3-D?  Should I drape them over something the day before and let them dry? I want them to add dimension. Thanks!

 

 

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I'd use gum paste for the ruffles, attached to a fondant cake covering. I looked at a bunch of youtube videos and most use gumpaste or a mix of gumpaste and fondant. IIRC, fondant alone tends to need to be thick and heavy -it always going to be a bit droopy as ruffles. Check out fondant roses vs gum past roses. I know that fondant is Charm City cakes' signature 'look' but, I don't think fondant will look like real fabric ruffles. HERE's a gum paste tutorial. HERE's a fondant tutorial. Notice how the gum paste edges are very fine and airy, and the fondant ones are cracked, thick and droopy.

 

On the other hand, most civilians would never notice a difference. That said, I have learned that one never knows who will show up and see your work.

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You can also make your own gumpaste by adding "Tylose" (also called "CMC powder") to fondant.  This will give your fondant the consistency of gumpaste so you can roll it out thinner and it will harden much faster.  I might recommend buying a pack of Wilton brand fondant from Michael's (it's not much in the taste department but it'll likely be stiffer than what you would get by making it yourself).  To that note, depending on how many ruffles you have to make, I believe they also sell small tubs of gumpaste, so you could save yourself a step by just getting what you need (gumpaste).

 

To get (and keep) that ruffle effect until the gumpaste dries, I'd drape them over something (could be as simple as a paper fan made with cardstock) or even lay out some markers/pens spaced a 1/2" apart and place your ruffle over them so they don't droop (does that make sense? I can picture it but it's hard to explain...).  Definitely make sure they're totally dry before adding to your cake.

Edited by pastryani (log)
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Are you making it with ruffles like this? Or where the ruffles point downward?  If down, as you ruffle the strips and put them on, you can prop up parts of it with toothpicks.  As it dries, it would give you more fluff I guess :).  Then remove the toothpicks. Mixing in CMC or a mix of gum paste and fondant will make them stiffer.  

 

image.jpeg

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It's going to be a half sheet, I wanted the ruffles on the top (horizontal) surface, and larger scale than the pic above - a looser wavy fold of "fabric" (see link below).  I was thinking today of going up to the cake store that has everything but traffic has been a nightmare lately so I didn't, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any specialty ingredients but maybe I can run to Michael's on Sunday.  Cake is to be picked up Tuesday morning. The shirt is kind of layered, so maybe I can pile layers of fondant on itself.  Hmm, thanks for the advice, I've never tried gumpaste or tylose but I'll see what I come up with!

 

http://static.rogerebert.com/redactor_assets/pictures/53a1ff52e3f95f4455000011/Purple-Rain.jpg

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1 hour ago, pastrygirl said:

It's going to be a half sheet, I wanted the ruffles on the top (horizontal) surface, and larger scale than the pic above - a looser wavy fold of "fabric" (see link below).  I was thinking today of going up to the cake store that has everything but traffic has been a nightmare lately so I didn't, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any specialty ingredients but maybe I can run to Michael's on Sunday.  Cake is to be picked up Tuesday morning. The shirt is kind of layered, so maybe I can pile layers of fondant on itself.  Hmm, thanks for the advice, I've never tried gumpaste or tylose but I'll see what I come up with!

 

http://static.rogerebert.com/redactor_assets/pictures/53a1ff52e3f95f4455000011/Purple-Rain.jpg

OK, the visual helps. I would form them and use cotton to hold the shape while it dries.  

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Micheal's doesn't always carry useful stuff for pros IMHO, I'll go there when I'm desperate, and usually I am disappointed because they don't have what I need.  YMMV, but I don't think they'll have tylose (but look for gum tragacanth, it'll do the same thing).  Make the powdered gum paste a day before you want to use it, if you go with that product.  For this, personally I think you can get away with fondant. But if you happen to find modeling chocolate, that will work too. Or you could make modeling chocolate.....

 

Other random thoughts:  you may find the marshmallow fondant to be stretchy, and it might fight you when you are trying to roll it out and then form the ruffles. It's just going to take a little getting used to, it's not good or bad. The various cake forums (at least on FB) have wonderful things to say about Liz Marek's marshmallow fondant recipe (you can google it); and the recipe works best with specific types of (cheaper brands) marshmallows.  People rave about the workability of it, so if I were going to make some, I'd start with that recipe.

 

For the ruffles themselves, I would make a long strip, maybe about 3 inches wide at least, then start folding it like the shirt ruffles.  Alternatively, you can cut circles out of the fondant, and then fold them and just layer them so it looks like the shirt.

 

ETA:  I forgot to mention that rolling it thinly will help make the edges of the ruffle thin and airy; you just have to work quickly so the fondant doesn't dry out.  It's when it's dry that it looks cracked and awful.  Don't use too much cornstarch when rolling (confectioners sugar is very drying when you're rolling out fondant.), that will contribute to a terrible look if you roll it a lot.  If that happens, spray some pan release on  your hands and knead it

Edited by JeanneCake (log)
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Ok, I found tylose - Jo-Ann was out, but Michael's was just across the street and had a can.  How much per pound of fondant? Or will I be able to feel the difference as I knead it in?

 

The cake is assembled and in the freezer, tomorrow I will buttercream it and play with the ruffles and let them dry, then finish it all Tuesday morning.

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usually about a teaspoon is enough, I'd knead in a teaspoon into a pound of fondant and see how it goes.  You can always add more if you need to (that's easier than having to add more fondant because the stuff is firming up faster than you can work it - which admittedly only happens to me when I'm using gum paste and I carelessly leave it uncovered)

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On May 7, 2016 at 10:44 PM, JeanneCake said:

For the ruffles themselves, I would make a long strip, maybe about 3 inches wide at least, then start folding it like the shirt ruffles.  Alternatively, you can cut circles out of the fondant, and then fold them and just layer them so it looks like the shirt.

 

Making the ruffles from a strip will certainly work, and will be the easiest way. 

In sewing, to get ruffles like the shirt, it's common to cut doughnut shaped pieces of fabric and split them so you can sew the short edge to the garment and the long edge becomes the ruffles. You get the ruffles without the bulk. 

 

If if you do a search for circular ruffles, there are many sites that show the technique. Like this

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Following up w/ pics - I think it turned out quite well, and the client seems happy.  A little over-the-top perhaps, but fitting of Prince and the request for a "riot of Purple" and glitter.  The cake is a nice rich chocolate with ganache filling and vanilla white chocolate buttercream.

 

I used tylose in the ruffles -circular style like @HeatherM posted above and shaped them over a bunch of little parchment paper cornets.  Most pieces were half a circle, the smaller ones were a third.  They probably could have been thinner but i didn't want to risk it.  One cracked as it was.

 

IMG_4893.jpg

 

So.  Much.  Purple!  I had fun with the leopard print guitar strap, but should have glued the different colors together better, they were starting to shrink away from each other after drying a bit

.IMG_4919.jpg

 

IMG_4921.jpg

 

IMG_4928.jpg

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5 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

Following up w/ pics - I think it turned out quite well, and the client seems happy.  A little over-the-top perhaps, but fitting of Prince and the request for a "riot of Purple" and glitter.  The cake is a nice rich chocolate with ganache filling and vanilla white chocolate buttercream.

 

I used tylose in the ruffles -circular style like @HeatherM posted above and shaped them over a bunch of little parchment paper cornets.  Most pieces were half a circle, the smaller ones were a third.  They probably could have been thinner but i didn't want to risk it.  One cracked as it was.

 

IMG_4893.jpg

 

So.  Much.  Purple!  I had fun with the leopard print guitar strap, but should have glued the different colors together better, they were starting to shrink away from each other after drying a bit

.IMG_4919.jpg

 

IMG_4921.jpg

 

IMG_4928.jpg

As a die-hard Prince fan girl who got damn emotional when hearing of his passing I deem this freaking awesome.  Prince would have loved this.  

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