I am making a cake for Sat that will have the fondant balls at the bottom. I was thinking of starting them tonight to give them time to dry. Should I used just straight fondant of a combination of fondant and gum paste?
You can use either.
The problem I've had w/ using just fondant is that if it's too soft, it will start to settle into more of a blob than a ball. So, just make sure it's more of a firm consistency if you go the just-fondant route.
They will dry faster if you use the mixture - and that way they will retain their round shape better ... I found a neat trick also to help them stay round is let them dry in a deep bowl with alot of flour in it - then when dry just blow/wipe/brush off the flour - they stay rounder this way! Good Luck!
Everytime I've used fondant balls, I've made them just before so they stay kind of soft and chewy. Apparently, every kid I've ever met thinks they're the best part of the cake (so much for all my hard work) and I would hate for one to break a tooth on a fondant/gumpaste rock hard one...but that's just me.
i did a cake last year and just applied them when i assembled the cake. didn't worry about letting them dry. others may do so though so i'll let the experts answer too
So if I were putting fondant cut out hearts on the side I shouldnt let them dry either?
I wouldn't let the heart dry solid. Maybe cut them and let them sit a few minutes so they will keep their shape when picking them up. But you want them pliable to mold to the shape of your cake...escpecially if round.
I do not let my balls dry firm either. I make them when it is time to assemble the cake. They are still soft. One thing...if you have lots of coloring and the fondant becomes soft you may want them to sit just a little longer so you can work with them.
I put fondant balls on the scarface cake I did last week. I did the balls and put them right on the cake. And as someone else mentioned, one of my nephews didn't want the cake, just the fondant balls--I use mmf.