I am thinking about trying to make fondant pearls for a wedding cake. But don't they get hard, and when the cake is eaten, will it be like hard things in the cake? Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I have been wondering about this. Thanks for any info.
I usually do 50/50 gumpaste fondant mixture. In my experience, it doesn't get too hard until after about 3 days. I'ts never really a problem with me since they can chose to take it off it they don't want to eat it.
Try them, they are so easy and look so pretty! They don't get hard like hard candy but are kind of like the consistancy of Circus Peanuts (the candy), maybe a little harder but not crunchy. Make some and after they dry (a day) try one or two and see what you think.
I have not made it many times, but, those that I have made were hard -ish on the outside and soft on the inside. I have also heard that fondant can dry as hard as gumpaste based on the humidity level? So, I hope someone can share similiar / different experiences.
When I make MMF, I add a teaspoon of glycerin to it before mixing in the powdered sugar. This keeps the fondant from getting really hard on the cake. With fondant pearls, it's the same issue. You need the fondant to be able to maintain it's shape (pearls), but not be crunchy. They will not get hard (unless you leave them out for a few months , and they should be fine for your cake as long as you add the glycerine to the MMF.
Try making a few and storing them in an airtight container for a week, then test them out.
It depends on how far in advance you make them and how big they are. I made some tiny ones for a cake. After two or three days they were firm, but still fine. After a week, when I actually used them on the cake, they were very firm, but still fine. I had about 100 of them left over so I saved them in an airtight container. Last week (one month later), I pulled them out to add them to a string of gumpaste beads I'd made. They were so hard I couldn't even get a needle through them.
But I think that if they're tiny, it should be okay either way. I mean look how hard those little silver dragees are. I think large ones would take forever to get that hard.
Thank You all for your responses, they are very helpful. Can't wait to try it.
Please add more information for me!!! I need LOTS of strings of pearls for a wedding cake in 2 weeks, and I have the silicon mold in which to make them. I can't find my directions for it, though! What proportion fondant/gumpaste would you use? Tips for unmolding them? When should I pearl dust them and how??? Should I wait till this weekend to start them (they'll probably be OK in an airtiht container, but how can I store strings of them like that???) Thanks everyone! PAT
Sorry, can't help much with the mold. Though I do think the molded strings of pearls would need to be stored in the shape they will be on the cake, as they will harden in whatever position you store them in after a day or two, even if you make them with fondant alone.
I didn't use a mold because I wanted to be able to make them ahead of time, but still wanted the flexibility to arrange the strings on the cake as I decorated it.
So, I rolled mine individually by hand, dried them for a day, poked holes through them with a rounded toothpick, then strung them on fine wire made for real beading, into necklace lengths and tied the ends together. Once that was done, I painted them with luster dust mixed with lemon extract. Once that was done, I was able to hang them until I needed them.
This worked for me mainly because they were on a part of the cake that would not be served (the lid to a hat box) so It was okay that they were hard and on wire. I also used the tiny pearls mentioned in my previous post in the quilting on the same lid. They were hard as a rock, but who cares because the lid was fondant covered foam anyway.
I put the pearl dust right in the mould to keep the fondant from sticking. I've done them both ways using all gumpaste and all fondant and found it much easier to unmould the gumpaste strings. If I were doing a lot for a wedding cake I think I'd do them with the gumpaste (I don't like eating the pearl dust anyway so even if they were fondant I wouldn't eat it) then you don't have to worry about them getting too hard or losing their shape. Just tell whomever is serving the cake to remove them - they'll come right off. That's just my 2 cents
We dust the pearl bead maker before placing in the material. We've tried both fondant and 50/50 fondant/gumpaste. You can either place the bead maker in the freezer to set and pop out or you can open the maker and use a pin or blade to pop out the pearls. We've only ever used the beads as borders seperating cake levels. We usually make them as the finishing touches to the cakes right before the event (6-24 hours).
Paul (& Peter)