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pastryjen

Cake Fondant

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...In a moment of weakness and shocking ambition, I offered to bake my best friend's wedding cake. ...

Historically, I have beginner's luck in all manner of cooking, so I am relying on that to see me through. The second wedding cake I attempt to make will probably be a disaster, but I expect the first to turn out OK. That's why I'm not making a practice one (that, and the cost of good chocolate).

The wedding is January 22, in Whistler. I live in Vancouver, and the cake will have to be transported up there in a car; I am already collecting boxes. My major concern at the moment is timing: it seems as though this particular cake can easily wait four or five days to be served, and it probably will have to as I am also maid of honour and have other things I need to do, but can anyone offer tips as far as how long I can expect it to take me to put fondant on, whether I should roll or use the other kind (I think not as I think cool temps are important to this cake, I don't want to have it melt all over my counter--is that a valid worry?) and is store-bought fondant really OK, especially if you have no confidence in being able to make it!!! and is it OK to store it assembled like that, refrigerated, for a few days and then stick on the leaves on the day?

I plan to bake on the 18th, assemble and put fondant on the 19th, have the 20th in case of emergencies, and then it will be brought up to the site on the 21st.

I would be really grateful for any tips anyone could provide.

Thanks in advance :smile:

Deborah

OK I finally got it - I been thinking about your post - make three wedding cakes - two in advance so you know what you're up against - or at least three fondant covered cakes. Since the first will be perfect and the second will be a disaster, you need to plan on the third one for the real deal :biggrin:

Because the only person that can give you tips as to how long it will take is you.

You mean rolled fondant or ganache or buttercream??? In a not hot kitchen you should be fine with any of them.

Everything is a valid worry especially the part about beginners luck with wedding cakes.

I have an easy recipe for some great cake covering. You use one part candy clay which is candy melts and corn syrup and two parts marshmallow fondant which is marshmallows and confectioners' sugar - it makes a great rolled fondant to use on cake like this. Umm, but purchased fondant is fine - I hear that Wilton's is awful - I believed everybody & never bought it. So use one of the other brands like Pettinice and be sure to add some flavoring.

Let me know if you want that recipe. Marshmallow fondant maybe sounds inglorious but it's great great stuff - very user friendly for me anyway.

You really want to have a good handle on this. You will need to roll out a circle of stuff at least 18 inches big and be able to lift it over the cake and smooth it out & trim it for the 10 inch cake -

Do your last things first - put stuff in your car now to make the seat level for the cake box - get that bubbly kina shelf liner to set the cake on so it doesn't slide in the box or in the car - be sure your box fits in the car doors - like get your box ready - one box is enough btw - get your cake board/s ready - make in advance decorations - make your icing - make your filling - then bake your cake - that kind of thing.

Good luck!! Have fun!!

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Thanks for responding :smile: See, that thing about the Wilton's is exactly what I need to know. I will search out the other brand.

No, I'm quite serious about the beginner's luck: you should have tasted my first osso buco! it was better than any I've had in a restaurant. The second...not so much :laugh: It's a real theme. I truly can't afford to make three of these cakes...I'm going to price fondant today though, so yeah, maybe I can take a practice run on another type of cake.

I intend to give myself a weekend to do the ivy leaves, I'll get into a leaf-making zone. If I fail, I have those little flower watering test-tube things with pierced lids, we can use more real ivy in those.

Oh, when you have two layers, one dirctly on top of the other, do you cover them with fondant separately? and then plop one on top? I think you must, eh? rather than setting one on top and then covering them both. Hence those little bits of icing covering the seam. I have books, I should really read them again before I go asking stupid questions.

Thanks again, I will keep you apprised of my progress and probably bug you with additional questions as time goes by.

:smile:

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Absolutely, check your books. Yes, usually you cover each cake individually. And another biggee is proper support so the top tier doesn't crush the bottom tier - some people use straws, or dowels or stress-free support systems. Each tier of course sets on a cardboard of some kind.

Umm, it's easier for me to put the cake on a board the same size or a teensy bit smaller than the cake & set that on my pedastel turntable - rough ice it with buttercream then roll out the fondant and apply it so the sides of the fondant hang down rather than pool on the tabletop & then trim. Then put the covered cake on the right sized board or whatever. That's what easiest for me.

On your timetable, you can bake the cakes a week or so in advance, and fill them, double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. Then take 'em out & ice & decorate.

Your bottom board needs to be 16 to 18 big. It needs to be either thick enough or enough thicknesses to keep the cake from cracking. You may need a dowel to go all the way through to keep it from sliding. You need some thing to decorate the bottom board. Too bad my camera won't download.

I heartily recommend that you make a rolled fondant cake before you attempt this at the last minute. Marshmallows & candy melts don't cost much. You're making me nervous :laugh:

I already wrote that recipe out somewhere on here - I'm gonna go find it. brb...

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Candy clay is 14 oz of chocolate or candy melts or almond bark* melted** & add one third cup of corn syrup, slowly stir together. I let mine sit in the container that I melted it in and smooth it all level on top or it separates. Cover well & let that harden overnight and pinch off & knead it in small portions to soften. If it does separate, just knead it all back together.

Marshmallow fondant is nothing more than a 16 oz bag of marshmallows melted with two tablespoons of water and add two pounds of confectioners sugar - so put one pound of sugar in a bowl, pour in the melted marshmallows & water and any flavoring, mix and add the other pound of sugar - you will need to micro-zap this a few seconds (like 5-6 seconds) here & there to loosen it up so you can knead it all in.

So combine 2 batches mmf with 1 batch candy clay. You can multiply & divide this recipe.

Practice! You gotta' big learning curve, and a crash course here. Read the books!

Oh yah, when you roll this out, rolling it out onto plastic or between two pieces of plastic is a wonderful thing. Some people get upholstery plastic from the fabric store - I am not recommending that - I'm just saying that's what some people do - I use a giant plastic like a silpat that's food safe for sure. Because fondant sucks up confectioners sugar like a sponge and then it gets dry & cracks. Like if you are constantly dusting the table to roll it out so it doesn't stick.

And and and you can pick up the whole plastic to lay it fondant side down on the cake and just peel off the plastic.

Did I mention you were making me nervous?????? :rolleyes:

* cheap cheap ingredients!!

**wull if you can make great 'bukababuka' :biggrin: you know how to melt stuff like this over hot water right?? in a double boiler??? like a pyrex bowl over a pot of hot water - water not touching the bottom of the bowl.

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You can buy the Pettinice (made by Bakels) from Pfeil and Holing at www.cakedeco.com in pails of various sizes/prices. This would be ok with RLB's truffle cake (which is a delicious cake, especially the raspberry version). I've made the cake many times, and in my experience, it handles best when it is very, very cold. If you have any gaps or mishapen sides, use some just-firm ganache to fill in and then chill it again overnight. If you use the Pettinice, you don't need to use the veg shortening that RLB calls for when using commercially made fondant. Use a little cornstarch and a cool stainless steel table, along with a heavy rolling pin (use a french pin or a 14 or 18 inch rolling pin for best results). The home made fondant from the Cake Bible is more translucent than the commercially made stuff- hard to describe. The fondant in the picture (the Art Deco cake) is thicker than what I usually do; about a quarter-inch to a third of an inch is plenty.

Fondant can be frustrating for a novice the first time; how much do you use? how thin to roll out? what if it tears? Colette Peters' books include a chart for fondant amounts on various cake sizes - you might want to look into borrowing her Wedding Cake book from the library to skim through, but Margaret Braun's Cakewalk book has excellent pictures of fondant application that would be helpful to you. Fondant will show every lump and bump under it so be sure the cake beneath is smooth and blemish free. I would definitely practice putting it on a cake pan before doing it on a real cake.

Good luck!

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Hi Deborah! I use Pettinice brand fondant and it handles and tastes great. Personally, I would stay away from Wilton's fondant since I don't care for the taste of it. You really should try a practice cake to get a feel for the fondant. Once you get the hang of it, fondant is very easy to use and gives a beautiful porcelain smooth finish. As Jeanne mentioned make sure your icing underneath is smooth. I think the biggest problem most beginners have with fondant is pleats (folds) at the bottom of the cake. Here's how I avoid pleats. Once you have placed your fondant on top of your cake start smoothing it down the sides starting from the top and working your way down. If you notice you are going to have a pleat, gently lift and then cup the fondant down with your hand(as if you were gently fluffing the skirt of a dress). Continue to do this as you work your way down the side of the cake. This works really well for me and results in no pleats. Also, I would recommend purchasing some fondant smoothers to give a once over after the fondant is completely applied. HTH!

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Hi Deborah,

I've taken RLB's chocolate truffle torte on a plane across the country so it will definitely stand up to a trip up the Sea-to-Sky. (Even security at the airport smiles when you have a cake box in your hands) Make sure you chill the cake thoroughly before trying to unmold it and work with it cold because when it is warm it is very soft(and delicious). If you need cake decorating supplies, Ming Wo or The Scoop'n'save (Surrey) has a lot of stuff. I have tiered this cake, 9" and 6" and I used straws for support ans it worked just fine. I don't ahve any fondant advice, I had it once on a wedding cake and thought it was nasty. If you are looking for a white cake, maybe try covering the cake with a white cocolate ganache. 2 coats might be enough to cover the chocolate.

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Wow! you guys are the best!

I went insane today, I got pans, and boards, and I already have a turntable (thank God) and a smoother and a roller and shaper things and stuff to make gum with? for decoration stuff and stencils to help me shape things and colours and brushes...I got two lbs of Callebaut and one lb of Scharffenburger, this is going to be one fabulous damn cake.

I got some Wilton fondant to play with while I try to source the Pettinice in my neighbourhood, I couldn't make it to Ming Wo today, but I'll try there. and I'll go to Surrey if I have to LOL. Putting fondant on a pan to practice is a great idea! thanks! I will certainly do that.

Really, Kate, I appreciate your recipe and your great advice very much, but I will feel much more confident it's as it's supposed to be if I buy the fondant. If it's gross, everyone can leave it on the plate, it's all about the inside anyways.

I don't have Colette Peters' book; I have The Cake Bible, and Dede Wilson's Wedding Cake book, and Kate Manchester's and Bette Matthews'. Between them and you guys I think I have a good chance of pulling this off.

$300-odd later, basically, and I haven't finished yet! and millions in advice from those who know better than I :smile:

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check out www.qzina.com - they are a distributor in Canada. I don't know what brand of fondant they carry, but you will want to have more experience before you buy the Satin Ice brand - this is a very, very soft fondant and a challenge to work with.

You can ask them directly at www.americanbakels.com and find out who the closest source is to you.

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I just read your cake recipe and while I have not made that truffle cake, I'm writing to say don't apply this well-intentioned advise of mine:

"Umm, it's easier for me to put the cake on a board the same size or a teensy bit smaller than the cake & set that on my pedastel turntable - rough ice it with buttercream then roll out the fondant and apply it so the sides of the fondant hang down rather than pool on the tabletop & then trim. Then put the covered cake on the right sized board or whatever. That's what easiest for me.

On your timetable, you can bake the cakes a week or so in advance, and fill them, double wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. Then take 'em out & ice & decorate.

So in other words, when applying the fondant I am recommending allowing the fondant to pool around the cake on the table - this cake seems too fragile to do it the other way where it hangs down & the cake is suspended over the turntable.

And make it according to the directions - don't freeze it per my advice. I thought you had a regular cake recipe.

The point of the fondant recipe I shared is to give you something to practice with. But whatever works for you, at least you're practicing!!

You can zap fondant in the microwave for a few seconds to help it be more user friendly.

Applying fondant to a cold surface means you need to work quickly to smooth it.

Good Luck!

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I make RBL's chocolate oblivion torte frequently. The quality of your chocolate is very important in this item, it's the only flavor. Choose your brand wisely. It's much like eating a plain ganche. I like to add a liquor, oil or herbs to add dimension to it's flavor. This is a rather unusual item and combo with the fondant to use for a wedding cake.

I would suggest you serve it with whipped cream and some fresh berries or berry sauce. Something to lighten and counter balance the heaviness of this. A plain piece with rolled fondant will not be appealing to a wide audience.

To cover this item with rolled fondant will require a thick layer of fondant or you'll have to frost it first with butter cream to whiten it up or your dark cake will show through. You could use white chocolate ganche with added white food coloring-that would probably taste better then frosting this cake. If you could, I think a simple whipped cream frosting would be the best way to finish this cake. But that would effect your traveling and decor.

You'll need to level the batter in your pan before baking this. Attempting to level this "cake" is nearly impossible afterwards. To unmold this, I freeze it in the pan then use a torch to heat the pan. It pops out perfectly and this cake always is smooth, easy to finish.

Typically when I make this item I add other elements to it to make it more interesting. Eating it plain becomes boring to your taste buds quickly. I often use a cake layer or a base of white chocolate for contrast. Then I use some sort of topping too to add a textural contrast too.

I'm not fond of traveling with stacked wedding cakes but because of the density of this cake it should travel well. I also do not believe you'll be able to use straws as your support system with this particular cake. I don't believe you'll be able to insert them thru it's density. Your cake could break as you insert a doweling or any support system to this, so proceed with great caution. If it was 3 layers or less I probably wouldn't use any supports for this item.

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Like I said in my previous post I have stacked this cake and travelled with it (Whistler to Squamish) and it was fine. I used straws and inserted them while the cake was fairly cool, not really cold as I was glazing it. The top tier was on a cardboard round, and I think I just let the bottom cake sit on the cake platter so it would "stick" and not slide off on the curves of the road.

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Sinclair, thanks...yes, as I stated in my initial post, I am adding raspberry sauce and Chantilly, and my audience is far from broad...it's 20 die-hard chocoholics, so I expect my Callebaut and Scharffenberger concoction to be enthusiastically received. The bride and I went through a bunch of cakes before deciding on this one.

Hmm, it sounds as though I really do need a layer of ganache..oh well, that's not a problem, although I haven't made a white chocolate one before. I am very happy to know the cake can freeze with no ill-effects; it may need to be stored outside when we get there.

Choux, I am glad to have your same-highway tale, too! I have a friend in a bar that has those nice sturdy black bar straws, so I'll swipe a few of those when the time comes.

If it weren't a challenge, I probably wouldn't be interested in doing it :raz:

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but you will want to have more experience before you buy the Satin Ice brand - this is a very, very soft fondant and a challenge to work with.

Nice. I'm reading this with great interest as my sister and my niece are expecting a trial run of a wedding cake on Christmas Eve, like I don't have enough to do that week. It's probably going to be chiffon genoise with a dacquoise layer, raspberry ginger ganache, Pierre's flourless chocolate brownie, lemon swiss merinque buttercream and ta-da...Satin ice rolled fondant, which I already bought. I don't have a ton of experience using this stuff, but nothing to do with a rolling pin scares me.

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Ice down your table before you roll the Satin Ice fondant, keeping the rolling surface as cool as possible helps a lot with this brand. (don't use one of those ice-filled pins, though!) Or you could try using a silpat or roulpat, but I don't like the pattern it picks up from the mat if you simply place therolled out fondant on the cake and peel off the mat. When I was searching for the Bakels site, I noticed that they were featuring Julie Bashore from House of Clarendon and Colette Peters- both of whom had been Satin Ice advertisers/users previously.

Because it is so soft, it tears easily and that's frustrating to patch or fix. You can avoid some of this by rolling the fondant around the pin to place on the cake rather than using your hands/arms and make sure you're not wearing any rings or bracelets, a watch, etc.

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Sometimes when you have a really soft fondant I find it best to leave it thicker when I roll it. Then when I lift it to place it on the cake (I usually drape it across my arms) I find it stretches easily into a thinner layer, just how I would have intended.

If your thin to begin with, thats when you have to worry about it tearing as you adjust it over your cake.

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The safest to transport multi-tiered cakes would be to box each tier separately and assemble on site. However, for a six tier cake you could do that by stacking every two tier hence end up with 3pcs for easy stacking on site, a stack of two-tier cake is very stable, especially for fondant wrapped cakes.

Straws can be used as dowels for butter cakes filled and frosted with bc and wrapped with fondant, tried and true but make sure you use those solid type of straws like the ones we get from McDonnald's.


Edited by miaomee (log)

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These are the results of my day of fondant-play:

fondantleaves.jpg

Please don't laugh, professionals among you! I am pleased with my results. It took a long time to get a good colour; I started with Wilton Leaf Green (the only green available at the store I was in at the time) and as I suppose you can all imagine, that was no good. I made an emergency run to another shop and got some Kelly Green and some Black as they were out of Moss, which I think is probably close to the colour I wanted. There seems to be a whole world of other colours out there, but I still don't know where to buy them. Oh well.

Then of course by the time I had added enough of these other colours to get anywhere near the tint I wanted, my fondant was all goopy...so I added a bit of icing sugar to get back to stiffness. I feel as though I have been pulling taffy all day, and I suppose I actually have. Then rolling, and transferring stencils of ivy in various sizes, then cutting with a knife, then shaping and making the little veins. Then the luster dust! I know they are not really realistic, and they are imperfect and far from uniform, but I think I will be able to make it work.

The fondant I ended up getting for the cake itself is McCall's White Chocolate rolled fondant, which supposedly tolerates refrigeration better than the regular stuff. I was not able to source Pettinice, and American Bakel did not return my email query. If I had realized, I would have gone down to Bellingham or wherever, but by the time my various queries came back, I just ended up with the McCall's which I still had to order from Toronto. But that's OK! So that will be off-white, and I think will look nice with the green I ended up with.

I will post more pictures when I take them; I will not assemble the cake until the day of, I've decided, in fear of the leaves bleeding on to the white fondant.

I will use your recipe for white chocolate ganache to put under the fondant, Wendy (1.5 lbs. white chocolate, 1 c cream, .25 lb butter); do you think that quantity will make enough to cover a 10 x 3 in layer and a 6 x 3 in. layer? I think I might need to double it...:unsure:

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and advice :smile:

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First, real quick: no one here dare make fun of anyone one elses work, we are about learning and sharing.............so no one should ever feel shy about showing their work. It's a great way to learn from others more advanced.........and there's always someone more advanced, around here!

Sorry for the quick rant.

Anyway I think your leafs look great, I'm certain your bride will too! Yes, shades of green are usually horrible straight out of the jar. I usually wind up adding yellow to get a more life like green as well as black or blue sometimes.

As far as your question on the ganche...........yeks.......you might even want to triple it. It's so thick that you need alot more quanity then you would with a dark chocolate ganche. It's also easier to pour it and have enough that you don't have to go back and patch in ganche on the sides. When your done if you have too much, you can reheat that ganche and use if on or in other desserts.

I can't wait to see your finished cake, I'm sure it will look great! Good Luck!!

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Your leaves are beautiful! And you cut them all with a pattern & knife - wow

insert clapping hands smilie faces :smile: Great job.

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:blush: thanks :smile:

I couldn't find suitable cookie cutters, but I find I am not so bad with a knife! who knew?! :raz:

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So what is the "weavy" stuff in the background supposed to be?

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So what is the "weavy" stuff in the background supposed to be?

It's braid I may or may not use at the seam of the two layers...I may unweave it and just use one strand; or twine two; I won't know till I see it in front of me. My friend who was helping me was good with rolling the fondant out like that, though, so she did a bunch of it (she saw it on the Wilton box and tried it out).

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It's braid I may or may not use at the seam of the two layers...I may unweave it and just use one strand; or twine two; I won't know till I see it in front of me.

You don't think it will dry out to the point where it will break or crack when you go to place it?

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      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter onto a baking board. Chop it all up with a knife. When you have the consistency of crumble topping, add the egg and egg yolk and then knead the dough quickly. Divide the dough into two parts – 2/3 and 1/3. Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and put them into the freezer.
      Wash the apricots, remove the stones and cube them. Put them into a saucepan, add a bit of water and boil until they are soft. Stir the blancmange powder in 150ml of cold water and add it to the apricots. Boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Wash the peaches, remove the stones and cube them. Add them to the apricots and mix them in.
      Heat the oven up to 180C.
      Smooth a 23-cm cake tin with some butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Grate the bigger part of the dough onto the cake tin, even it out and bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out the cake, but don't turn off the oven. Put the fruit mixture onto it and grate the rest of the dough onto the top. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       

    • By pastrygirl
      I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. 
       
      Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. 
       
      BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way. 
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