I made my first batch of MMF the other night and came up with a few problems. Any tips you can provide would be appreciated!
First, I used my stand mixer to make it. It didn't seem to do a very good job and it seemed like it was really struggling to mix it once I got most of the powdered sugar in. Do you think it is better to mix it with a wooden spoon? I was nervous it might come out too clumpy mixing by hand.
Second, The fondant was really sticking to work surface. I had spread cornstarch down to roll the fondant out on, but it was still sticking underneath and also it was sticking to the rolling pin a bit. I tried using cornstarch on the rolling pin as well, but it would just roll off onto the fondant as I was rolling it out. Any tips on how to prevent it from sticking? I was wondering if I could use Crisco, but I don't want to ruin it by making it too soft.
A couple of other questions...
Is there any way to estimate how much of this fondant I might need to make? The recipes don't give any estimates on how much one batch yields.
Is MMF good for molding / shaping? The top piece of the cake will be a small castle (inspired by Debbie Brown's enchanted castle cake). I am wondering if the MMF will work OK to mold the castle pieces or if I should use a store-bought fondant for that part?
If you take your time kneeding it with your hands, you won't have lumps. I think it probably is easier to work them out that way. If it's too sticky, you probably need more powdered sugar. I grease my counter with crisco and I have no problmes with sticking. I tried cornstarch once, but only once. Yes, you can use MMF for figure, but I would mix in some tylose or 50% gumpaste.
I use the dough hook on my mixer to make MMF. It works really well for me but I have heard of others killing their mixers trying to make fondant. I've also made it by hand and it's just as easy.
Did you let it rest overnight? It's usually really soft and sticky right after it's made, then you wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in a ziplock bag and let it rest overnight on the counter, and it firms up enough to be easy to work with.
I use cornstarch when I roll it. I don't like the finish I get when I use crisco, but if I ever have a really difficult batch, I use crisco because it's easier.
What size cake are you covering? The recipe that takes 1lb MM and 2lb PS will cover a 10 inch cake with some left for decorations.
The castle on top of the Debbie Brown cake is really tiny. I think you could make the pieces out of MMF without any problems at all. If you're making it bigger or you have trouble with humidity where you live, you should add some tylose to the MMF. You can get tylose at the cake decorating shop but not at Michaels.
I did let the fondant sit over night. I started working with it about 24 hours after I made it. I popped it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up, it felt really hard and sticky. I only found 10 oz bags of mashmallows in the store, so maybe I didn't quite measure 16 oz of marshmallow right and put too much in?
My cake will be 3 tier: bottom 10x3 round, middle 8x3 round, top cube fopr castle approx 4-5 in WxH. I was also thinking of doing some fondant swags, but considering the problems I have had so far I am not sure how much of the stuff I can stand to make lol
Two batches should do it.
They used to make 16 oz bags of marshmallows, they only stopped a couple months ago. I'm still using up all the ones I bought when walmart cleared them for 50 cents a bag but after that I'll have to start using the kitchen scale.
I was thinking about it...fondant is just really sticky stuff. If this is your first time working with it, it might be just that you didn't know how sticky it was going to be. Try the crisco that LaBellaFlor suggested and see if that works better for you. I know the first time I used fondant I couldn't believe that it was ever going to turn into a cake covering...and my first batch didn't. I was so frustrated with it that I threw it out. But then I tried MMF and it worked better for me
OK I am going to make my second batch tonight. I might try the Crisco.