Newbie here trying to make a cake for grand daughter. Ive never used fondant before and ive been reading the forum Q & A. I see people refering to crumb coating. Can someone explain what it is & is it totally necessary in the fondant process ?
A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing.
A cake needs at least a thin layer of icing under the fondant to keep it moist, if it isn't there the fondant will dry the cake out. It's also nice since alot of people don't like the taste and/or texture of fondant on a cake, if they peel the fondant off they'll still have icing for their cake.
Does the cake need to sit for a while after crumb coating before applying the fondant or do you need to apply fondant while the icing is still sticky?
from what i have read you need to leave it for at least 30 mins
When applying fondant to a cake it needs something sticky to make the fondant adhere to the cake.......thus a 'crumb coat'. Actually many people use almost as thick a coat of icing as you would if it did not have the fondant.
Since you want the fondant to stick it should be applied to the cake as soon as the b'cream (or whatever you are using) is applied - NO waiting.
Jam (most say apricot but it can be any flavor), jelly or piping gel can also be used instead of b'cream.
Another important tip is that some people trim thier cakes before coating with icing--just take a knife and 'shave' the edges. The fondant will only be as smooth as the surface underneath it (to a point). If you apply a thick (1/4") layer of the fondant--the crumb coat can be thinner. If you apply a thinner layer of fondant, you want a thicker layer of icing underneath.
You don't have to diddle with getting the icing smooth if you are applying fondant--the weight of the fondant will do that for you. I like to get the cake real smooth though.
Fondant thoughts for you.