Did you use all of the Crisco
shortening? You can even use a bit (up to 2
tablespoons) more if you need to. That helps with the
stretching issue if you live in a dry atmosphere.
Also my layers seemed to slide to one side? Any suggestions on keeping the thing together? Good news is that it didn't look as awful as it sounds and I used your white cake recipe as the base and it was wonderful! Thanks for any advice you can provide.
Then you say it just "slid down the side of the cake". And that the "layers seemed to slide to one side". These 2 things make me think that possibly the cake was not thoroughly cooled. When you use icing as a filling and the cakes are even the tiniest bit warm, the Buttercream will melt and slide. The fact that the sliding happened inside the cake and outside the cake is a bell ringer for me. Fortunately this problem is easy to fix and stress free.
Try this. Add an additional tablespoon of water and knead. Rub a tablespoon of Crisco on to your hands and knead that in thoroughly. You might need to add another tablespoon of water and or Crisco to get the job done right. The MMFondant recipe is not sacred. You need to tweak it to get it right for you.
Different weather atmospheres and
products have different levels of moisture. You need to adjust
your recipes to accommodate that problem. I have never seen
any recipe that is absolutely correct for everyone, as it is
written. Every recipe needs to be adjusted to weather, altitude
and the products that are being used.
What a wonderful, informative site! My son’s third birthday party is this weekend, and I plan to make a layer cake with a ball on top (it is the Wilton ball pan). I am going to use fondant for the first time in covering the ball (the cake is based on a “Monster’s Inc” cake I saw on the web – the “ball” is the “Mikey” character).
I haven’t seen any instructions for covering a ball shape – do you have any tips for this? I was going to use the Wilton rolled fondant, but then found your MMF recipe and want to try it. I would like to have something that tastes good and doesn’t have to be “peeled” off the cake. For all of my son’s prior birthdays I have prepared and frozen the cake a few days before I frost it. It always turns out moist and makes it so I don’t have to spend an entire day in the kitchen before his party. I usually place the cake back in the freezer after I frost it (the day before the party). Obviously, from what I have read, freezing fondant is not recommended, so I planned to leave the cake out after I place the fondant on it. However, I am concerned that placing fondant on a frozen cake may create a problem as the cake thaws. (Does this make sense?)
I am trying to use my time wisely (a three year old and a 15 month old make it a little hard to concentrate) and make a cake that tastes as well as it looks. Any tips or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for sharing you wisdom. It has given me the courage to try something new.
Buttercream your cake, and then place your fondant over the suspended cake. This will allow the fondant to stretch and go past the bottom of the cake and drape in the air. The area that has the tendency to fold and ripple should now be floating in the air below the cake. Trim off the excess fondant for ease of handling. (You will no doubt have to retrim the fondant before decorating.) On one side, start “attaching” the fondant by gently pressing the fondant into the buttercream. Go to the opposite side and gently press until the fondant is attached and work your way around the cake.
In other words think of a clock face. Gently press the fondant in at 12, go to 6 and press, go to 9 and press, then go to 3 and press. If necessary, go to between 12 and 3 and gently press then go to between 6 and 9 and press, etc. until the fondant is completely attached. Go around as many times as you need to until all the ripples are blended in.
You can move your cake on the cake board back to the turntable or decorate the cake sitting on top of the can. If you leave it on the can, please be careful while you decorate. It can be very unstable.
As to the
icing, let the cake defrost to room temperature,
put on the buttercream, and then immediately
attach the fondant.
1. How do you ice a cake without getting crumbs all in the icing?! I have the hardest time with this! Especially when you need a smooth finish. I've heard a couple of descriptions like "crumb coat: and using a cake icier decorating tip.
2. For basket weave design, do you ice the cake thinly first then go over it again with the basket weave.
As to the cake icier tip. I have one but I rarely use it. I simply put the icing on with a spatula. Now if I am going to do a ½ sheet cake, I will get out the tip and the 16” piping bag. But for a smaller cake I’m just to lazy. So, bottom line, I think that you need to coat and to ice your cake in what ever manner works best for you.
2.Yes, cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and then start the Basketweave technique.
There is no need to apply a layer of buttercream before pouring. Some folks like to put a very thin layer of Almond Paste on the top of the cake before pouring. The almond is a favorite flavor additive but not necessary.
Don’t worry about the bottom of the cakes. You don’t cover the bottom of a big cake so there is no need here either.
practicing before the big day so that you are comfortable with what
you will be doing.
I never see these flaws on professional photographs. How do you get rid of all the extra fondant? thank you so much.
Step one is to place your cake on a cake board that is approximately 1 inch larger than your cake. Apply a thick coating of Buttercream. I like to use a layer that is at least ¼-inch thick. This greatly helps with the smoothing process and helps you achieve your "perfect surface” goal. Place the fondant on the cake as soon as possible after the Buttercream icing because you don’t want to apply the fondant to a crusted Buttercream icing. I’ve found that it is so much harder to work with the fondant if it is not well adhered to the Buttercream. My technique is to roll out the fondant, lightly cover it with a plastic wrap, and then quickly apply the buttercream to the cake.
If you are using a "real" fondant you will have to roll the icing about 3/16-inch thick, and you will usually have ripples. With MMF you can roll it thinner, thus, making it even easier to smooth. You can gently smooth the fondant with the side of your hand or you can purchase a smoothing tool. I have the tool but I have never used it.
Try this trick. Place your fondant covered, but not smoothed, cake on top of a large coffee can. This will allow the drapes to flow past the cake round and it will be much easier to smooth out those ripples. Please be careful though. Since your cake is suspended in the air, you can easily bump it and cause everything to fall over.
Smooth the fondant with your hand, gently pushing it into the thick under layer of buttercream. I usually like to trim the flow off to about 2 inches below the cake board just for ease of handling. When you are finished with the smoothing, gently run a rotary cutter around the base of the cake and give it a final touch up of smoothing.
Color each batch
I have a question for you. Did you refrigerate the cake after it was completed? Refrigerating and then allowing the cake to come to room temperature has killed many a cake fondant covered cake. When the cake warms up, the condensation/sweating can be disastrous. It can cause drooping and a severe marking of the fondant surface.
I purchase Dry Fondant in a bag, add water to the consistency that I want and pour away. Below is a link to the online store that I purchase Dry Fondant from, Country Kitchen. http://www.countrykitchensa.com/catalog/product.aspx?T=1&productId=619099
I start with a 10 to 1 ratio of fondant powder to water. I add a few drops of almond extract, lemon, or vanilla extract depending on my mood and the recipe for the day.
Add a few drops at
a time of hot water until you like the consistency
of the fondant and you
find it easy to pour. Depending on the humidity of
your house, you could use a different quantity of
water each time you bake.
When you want to use it, remove it from the refrigerator. You will find the ball is very hard. Unwrap the fondant, place it on a plate, and microwave it for 10 seconds. Now be very careful, the fondant might be hot. Handle with caution.
Take the ball out and start to knead it. You might need to put it back in the microwave a few more times. Just make sure that you knead it well between each session in the microwave.
If you feel
the fondant needs a bit more moisture, only add a few of
drops at a time and then kneed it well. My favorite
technique for adding water is to break the fondant ball into
2 parts. On one part, put a few of drops of water on it with
your finger and smear it around. Place the second part of
the fondant on top of that and smash them together. Then,
knead the ball to combine. The fondant works best if it is
from room temp up to body temperature. It should be pliable
and stretchy. Don’t forget, you might need to put a bit of
Crisco on your hands.
Roll out your fondant a bit thicker and about 2 inches larger than needed.
Buttercream your cake, then place your fondant over
the suspended cake. This will allow the fondant to
stretch and go past the bottom of the cake and drape
in the air. The area that has the tendency to fold
and ripple should now be floating in the air below
the cake. Trim off the excess fondant. You can move
your cake on the cake board back to the turntable or
decorate the cake sitting on top of the can. If you
leave it on the can, please be careful while you
decorate. It can be very unstable.
When I roll fondant out for a square cake, I try to roll it out in a square shape.
Put your cake up on something tall - like a coffee can, or something sturdy. (Something with a smaller diameter than your cake board, so it's holding your cake up, but not sticking out from under the board.) Then, lay on your fondant. Cup your hands around the corners first, to "apply" them. Then, do the "in between" part - the sides - while lifting out/up on the very bottom edges to prevent "puckers". Cut off the excess and finish smoothing!
Keep in mind though, that it is pretty much impossible to get really SHARP corners with fondant like you can with buttercream. Fondant will have a slight rounding effect no matter what and that's normal.
I can’t see even one house that is fondant covered. I think it is because the fondant won’t “act” correctly for an extended length of time. Usually if the top level experts don’t do something, then there is a good reason for it.
Nicolas Lodge has a book out that tells about using royal icing on a cake. The sides are perfectly flat and level so it is the technique that gives you the fine finish even more than the icing itself.
I do think that the royal icing would break down from the Crisco in the fondant after an extended length of time.
Sorry that I couldn’t help you
more with this. Best of luck with your project.
Peggy's Baking Corner Home Page
Check out some of Peggy Weaver's many Cake Decorating Articles, Tutorials, and Q&A pages below.
Buttercream Icing 101
Recipe and Tutorial on making & using buttercream icing)
Decorating with Buttercream
Assembling Cakes/Wedding Cakes
Covering Wedding Cakes with Fondant
Decorating Wedding Cakes:
(Lots of Q&A's on decoration a wedding cake)
Other Cake Baking and Decoration Topics:(The idea page has photos only and no detailed decorating instructions.)