meri1028 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:05pm

I was wondering if anyone could offer any tips on getting their fondant clean & sharp looking? I don't think my fondant is bad, but I would like to perfect my fondant work & get my clean lines & work. I realize it would come with more practice and I know a sharp, solid, & stable cake helps a ton. Ive switched from buttercream as a base to ganache & I've seen a huge improvement, but any other tips would be awesome!

Thanks in advanced!

31 replies
Barb1959 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:09pm

I am very new at this and I see you said you switched from buttercream to ganach as a base. Do you mean for the crumb coat, do you mean for the filling. I have done a few and have had limited success. I can always see the filling lines on the side through the fondant (like a bump around the cake). Any advice you have would be appreciated.

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:13pm

when you say "clean", do you mean no p.sugar splotches from when you roll it out, or clean as in super smooth with sharp edges/corners?

meri1028 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:26pm

Barb, I meant ganache as a crumb coat. I dont' get bulges with it once its set and I get sharper corners.

Indydebi, I mean all those things you said. I think I could get my corners sharper. But in general, I look at your cakes & other professional cakes & the fondant work just looks so professional. I guess I'm having a hard time describing what I'm looking for. icon_confused.gif

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:35pm

well, I'm the fondant newbie around here but I'll share what I've encountered.

Cornstarch comes off of fondant easier than p.sugar. With either of them, I use a clean kitchen towel to wipe down the fondant when I'm done rolling it. I do the wipe-down before I put it on the cake.

I think getting mine smooth looking is more luck than skill! icon_eek.gif I'll step back and let the real fondant experts share their die-hard tips and tricks! thumbs_up.gif

beachcakes Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:40pm

I"d like to know too - I can't get sharp edges! icon_sad.gif

jardot22 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 2:59pm

One tip I heard recently was to take a piece of fondant the same color as what your cake is covered in and use it to gently "polish" the surface of the fondant. It gives it a nice sheen and helps remove the residual powdered sugar or cornstarch. As far as sharp edges, it helps me to freeze the cake for about 10 minutes before covering it with fondant. I learned this from Sugarshack's DVD. Then use your smoothers to manipulate the edges and get them more crisp and clean. I'm still working on perfecting this as well!

Musings9 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 3:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jardot22

One tip I heard recently was to take a piece of fondant the same color as what your cake is covered in and use it to gently "polish" the surface of the fondant. It gives it a nice sheen and helps remove the residual powdered sugar or cornstarch. As far as sharp edges, it helps me to freeze the cake for about 10 minutes before covering it with fondant. I learned this from Sugarshack's DVD. Then use your smoothers to manipulate the edges and get them more crisp and clean. I'm still working on perfecting this as well!




Boy, I've gotta get that Sugarshack DVD. My last two batches were not as smooth as I would have liked but, luckily the texture helped with the overall look of what I needed-comforter for one cake and leather purse for another.
I read somewhere that sifting the PS helps with texture.

meri1028 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 6:57pm

Thanks everyone! I will definitely try all those tips & it looks like I need to get that DVD! I have the buttercream one & I love it!

mommakristin Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:22pm

the sharpness on any cake will also depend on the cake pans you are using. I asked this question I believe last year and was told that Wilton pans are actually curved on the edges instead of straight. I have been told to get the Magic pans if I want to have that straight sharp edge on my cakes. So that might solve your edges issue.

On the Sugarshack DVDs - you most definitely need to get all of her DVDs. They have made a HUGE difference in the overall outlook on my cakes. You will definitely benefit from them.

Carson Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 7:44pm

One thing that I only changed recently was using a crusting buttercream and allowing it to crust before putting the fondant on. I have to spray it with a mist of water to get the fondant to stick - but it sits so much cleaner/smooth/crisp than when I put the fondant on right away. I guess its the same idea as freezing the cake.

I am sure many people already knew this, but it literally took me 2 years to change my ways...and it happened purely by accident! Its just one small thing that made a big change for me.

Rylan Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 7:34am

The number one rule for me is to start with a smooth and nice base.

sugarandslice Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 9:19am

Starting with a super-smooth, stable base is essential.

Get two smoothers, put one on top and one on the side of the cake and smooth at the same time. Have a look at this vid on youtube:




The big Planet Cake secret is they use a piece of acetate plastic to polish their fondant. The type of plastic used for overhead projections. I cut one to about the size of my hand and it gives your fondant such a beautiful finish when you polish it gently. It smooths out a lot of little flaws and is the best thing when you've had to pierce an air bubble with a pin; smooths it right out.
I wouldn't do anything with fondant without my acetate smoother.

HTH

meri1028 Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 12:25pm

Thanks everyone!

I have been using the wilton pans!! And I never noticed the corners were curved! Thanks, mommakristin!!

emcm51, I will have to try the acetate plastic! Do you know if it's possible to do it after fondant has dried? I have some dummies I'm doing for a state fair competition that I haven't decorated yet, only fondant, and I thought I might try it.

sugarandslice Posted 30 Sep 2009 , 9:42pm

meri1028, I don't know about polishing after it's dried, but I guess it's worth a try. I've always done it as soon as I've put the fondant on the cake. I use my smoothers first then polish with the acetate.
icon_smile.gif

Barb1959 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 12:44am

Does anyone know about Fondarific fondant. Just stumbled on it on a website and it looks pretty interesting, being flavored and all. Also do you know how long it lasts if it is opened.

Justbeck101 Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 2:59am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

well, I'm the fondant newbie around here but I'll share what I've encountered.

Cornstarch comes off of fondant easier than p.sugar. With either of them, I use a clean kitchen towel to wipe down the fondant when I'm done rolling it. I do the wipe-down before I put it on the cake.

I think getting mine smooth looking is more luck than skill! icon_eek.gif I'll step back and let the real fondant experts share their die-hard tips and tricks! thumbs_up.gif




I have an airbrush, I use everclear and spray the cake when I am done decorating. This removes all the residue from powdered sugar or cornstarch and it is very quick!! Every once in a while I brush it off first then spray, I do this only when there is a lot of powder! If I am going to spray shimmer on it, I do the everclear first. The reason I use everclear is because it dries faster than vodka...Just don't let it pool or it will leave a "stain"

Kitagrl Posted 1 Oct 2009 , 3:22am

I wanted to say too that there are tricks...alot of times you can hide a little wrinkle or a crack or a seam with a stripe or some other planned design you are putting on your cake.

Remember that a camera can hide alot as well...you work on your cake with your eyes 6 inches away from it for hours, so you know every little mistake and lump and air bubble and whatever else...but once its all put together and photographed, alot of that goes away. I have a few photos in my gallery that people have complemented my fondant but I can still see ripples or other imperfections in it!

I would have to say practice makes perfect of course.....but then the untrained eye of the customer and the smaller size of a photograph do wonders to make what we think is an "okay cake" an awesome one! thumbs_up.gif

By the way...if you ever want to feel really good about yourself...pick up a bridal magazine and look at the cakes. Now, in a "cake book" you find alot of absolutely perfect dummy cakes. But in a bridal book...you find real cakes and you can usually find imperfections in them! Bubbles in the buttercream or an uneven fondant stripe or something.

Of course I was at a bridal show in March and it was also a competition...I did my Irish tiered cake...and I ended up trying to get it done in time, so I did not spend as long on my detailing as I should have. Everybody was going past and one girl got real close and inspected it....and said, to a friend, right in front of me real loud, "Wow! You know, they say if you look close even the good cakes have imperfections and this one has a ton! Look at that!" haha. icon_redface.gif

chouxchoux Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 2:44pm

does the ganache coat instead of crusted buttercream help with the fondant being "squishy" and bumpy?

sarkee Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 3:03pm

I have tried the sample of Fondarific and think they taste amazing. Haven't used them very much, but can't wait to. The times that I have used the Fondarific it was very easy to work with and didn't dry out too bad. I really like it so far.

meri1028 Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 3:27pm

chouxchoux, the ganache does set up almost hard. Better than crusting buttercream - in my opinion. It must be completely set though. And I haven't had any problems with it being squishy or bumpy. You get rid of the bumps with a hot knife once it has set. This smooths out any ridges or bumps.

Barb1959 Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 6:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by meri1028

chouxchoux, the ganache does set up almost hard. Better than crusting buttercream - in my opinion. It must be completely set though. And I haven't had any problems with it being squishy or bumpy. You get rid of the bumps with a hot knife once it has set. This smooths out any ridges or bumps.


I know I'm coming in half way on this post, but when you talk about using the hot knife to smooth out the bumps, is this with fondant or just butter cream. I had a problem with the buttercream filling bumping out through the fondant.

cabecakes Posted 2 Oct 2009 , 11:39pm

emcm 51- Thanks for sharing that video from youtube. It was very helpful. I think it will make applying fondant a lot easier.

sugarandslice Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:06am

No worries, Cabecakes!
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Bunsen Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:37am

If you are using ganache you can put on a layer much thicker than a crumb coat. Put your cake on a board slightly larger than the cake (eg. use an 8 inch masonite board under a cake baked in an 8 inch pan and the board is slightly larger than the cake), coat the outside with a thick layer of ganache coming out further than the board then use a metal scraper (heated up in hot water then dried) to butt up to the board and scrape around to remove the excess. Your cake can be any old shape under there but the ganache will be perfectly straight and sharp and it sets solid after a couple of hours.

Check out the Planet Cake book for the full method - well worth getting if you are into fondant and ganache!

Bunsen Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:38am

If you are using ganache you can put on a layer much thicker than a crumb coat. Put your cake on a board slightly larger than the cake (eg. use an 8 inch masonite board under a cake baked in an 8 inch pan and the board is slightly larger than the cake), coat the outside with a thick layer of ganache coming out further than the board then use a metal scraper (heated up in hot water then dried) to butt up to the board and scrape around to remove the excess. Your cake can be any old shape under there but the ganache will be perfectly straight and sharp and it sets solid after a couple of hours.

Check out the Planet Cake book for the full method - well worth getting if you are into fondant and ganache!

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