I am VERY new to cake decorating and would like to attempt letters and maybe some Mickey Mouse ears for my daughter's second birthday. I have never worked with either fondant or satin ice, but would like to know if one is easier to work with than the other! ANY tips appreciated. Thanks
Well, Satin Ice is fondant . Different brands have different degrees of softness and, INM, too soft is difficult to roll and make decorations with.
Satin Ice is easy to work with, but it dries super fast so you have to work super fast. It also dries harder than I prefer.
My favorite is my MMF recipe (it's a variation of Rhonda's):
16 oz mini-marshmallows (NOT Jet-Puffed. I use Wal Mart brand)
2 T water
**Grease a micro-safe bowl, add MMs, sprinkle with water, melt 1 minute, stir**
1 T glycerine
1 t popcorn salt (or grind regular salt in a coffee grinder - you'll get crystals if you don't)
1 dram LoRann butter flavor (imparts the best BC flavor)
2 lbs powdered sugar (again, store brands tend to be better for MMF - more cornstarch?)
Start by stirring in 1/2 c of PS to absorb moisture before dumping in more to help avoid clumps. Each time you add PS make you you stir it well so that it's well absorbed before adding more. When you are down to the last 1/3 of the bag, dump it in and knead with your greased hands. Form a ball and wrap with plastic wrap to rest at least 4 hours. To re-soften, place it in the micro a few seconds at a time and knead. If it is too sticky from over-warming, knead in cornstarch a little at a time.
If you want to make mouse ears, you can either try wrapping cardboard with fondant, or use 100% gumpaste because it dries hardest, fastest.
Everything MacsMom said was great advice. One thing I wanted to add is just that if you aren't comfortable making fondant and don't know the texture/feel you are going for yet, I would suggest using the Wilton prepackaged fondant. It doesn't taste good, and definately knead in a little flavoring if anyone is going to eat it. But it is a little bit easier to work with at first than the Satin Ice. I really love satin ice, but it is a little softer and trickier to work with, IMO. Also, the Wilton is easy to find in most areas in a Walmart or craft store. Or using gumpaste, like was already said, would work well, though it also dries fast, so you have to work very quickly. Good luck with your daughters cake!