Needed: Tons Of Constructive Criticism And Tips Please

Decorating By Thanksharla Updated 25 Dec 2009 , 7:45pm by juststarted

Thanksharla Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 3:05am
post #1 of 14

This is my second fondant cake and I still need tons of practice but I also need constuctive criticism and tips. I am most proud of the bows on the presents but the sides of the cake are bulging and the fondant just stinks.

The most trouble I had was with the base fondant. It was sticking to the counter and stretching.
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13 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:08am
post #2 of 14

That's a very good job for your second-ever fondant cake icon_biggrin.gif Your bows are lovely and the little packages have really nice fun colors. I bet the kids will fight over those little packages.

Things with corners are hard to cover with fondant, especially the little squares.

You might try greasing the counter with crisco to roll your fondant out on. It's easier to work with than cornstarch or powdered sugar on the counter, because you don't have to keep adding more as you work.

Also, it's easier to cover a cake if it's cold. I freeze mini cakes before I cover them, and I chill regular cakes before I put the fondant on.

keflyn Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:19am
post #3 of 14

coming at it from a graphic design perspective, the big issue for me is simply the color combinations the bottom layer is just so dark that it makes the cake look a bit out of place, it is very well done but the bottom and the red and black piping confuses me a bit, but i adore the little presents they are so cute and good job on the bows. the little presents look a heck of a lot better than the real presents that I wrap (i am not gifted in that department)...so yeah, color combo

metria Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:49am
post #4 of 14

could you describe the process in which you made this? what kind of cake, icing, filling, fondant? What kind of coloring did you use?

Thanksharla Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 9:03am
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

That's a very good job for your second-ever fondant cake icon_biggrin.gif Your bows are lovely and the little packages have really nice fun colors. I bet the kids will fight over those little packages.

Things with corners are hard to cover with fondant, especially the little squares.

You might try greasing the counter with crisco to roll your fondant out on. It's easier to work with than cornstarch or powdered sugar on the counter, because you don't have to keep adding more as you work.

Also, it's easier to cover a cake if it's cold. I freeze mini cakes before I cover them, and I chill regular cakes before I put the fondant on.




Thanks for the compliment Texas_Rose. I do grease the counter with Crisco, but find that I need to add alot to keep the fondant from sticking to it. I think I will try using powdered sugar next time to see if I like that way better.

I totally forgot about the trick of freezing the cake before covering it. Do you freeze it with the crumb coat on it or before? Do you fill the cake first?

Thanksharla Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 9:13am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by keflyn

coming at it from a graphic design perspective, the big issue for me is simply the color combinations the bottom layer is just so dark that it makes the cake look a bit out of place, it is very well done but the bottom and the red and black piping confuses me a bit, but i adore the little presents they are so cute and good job on the bows. the little presents look a heck of a lot better than the real presents that I wrap (i am not gifted in that department)...so yeah, color combo




Ohhhh...the bottom layer of fondant. This was my biggest headache. I was so undecided on what color it should be. I knew what colors the presents were going to be. And thought that making the bottom layer red would work out. Well, apparently I'm not gifted enough to turn fondant red yet. Because it turned out pink. I added McCormick red food coloring to the fondant while it was still mixing. It turned a nice shade of pink. I figured I could finish tinting it red by hand. I added a ton of Wilton "no taste" red to the fondant. That didn't help. So I added a little bit of black hoping to darken it up a bit. Wrong again, it turned a shade of burgandy/purple. I didn't have time or ingrediants on hand to make a fresh batch so I tried to make it black instead. Hence the funky shade of really really dark purple.

As for the black and red piping. I was getting late, I was tired and so sick of being in the kitchen that I just grabbed the pre-made Wilton frosting tubes I had in the drawer. well, that's what I get. The black was so close to the dark purple that I\\it blended in so I thought I would try to highlight it with the red to make it stand out.

still_learning Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 9:41am
post #7 of 14

I use a silicone mat to roll my fondant on. I lightly grease it with shortening but I flip the entire mat over the cake to release the fondant. That way there's no tearing, pulling, or sagging when you're trying to get the fondant onto the cake. This helping me a ton! My mat is from Atecco but I hear you can also buy vinyl from a fabric store and it works as well. You really did a great job on the cake. Those presents are adorable! Oh- also- not sure if you did this but using a fondant smoother with a little constarch after the cakes are covered can help smooth and straighten the sides. HTH!!!

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 10:12am
post #8 of 14

I use vinyl...I've got a couple of smaller silicone mats and fondant seems to stick to them, so I've never invested in a bigger one. The vinyl works really well. I don't use powdered sugar, instead I use cornstarch and a pastry brush. When I've tried using powdered sugar in the past, it took a lot and then my fondant started cracking.

To make red takes a lot of color...more than you would really think it would take. I thought you had used chocolate fondant. When you put a lot of color in fondant, sometimes it gets too stretchy or crumbly, which might have been the stretching problem you were describing. Next time you order cake supplies from somewhere, order a bottle of Americolor Super Red (and one of Super Black while you're at it icon_biggrin.gif). It's easier to get the color with it.

About freezing, when I make mini cakes, I fill and then frost the top, then freeze the cake overnight and cut it into squares, then put it back in the freezer and take out a few at a time to cover. I chill bigger cakes for an hour or two in the fridge, after they're filled and the crumb coat is on, and before I put the fondant on.

pattycakesnj Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 11:43am
post #9 of 14

i use the vinyl mat i bought at a fabric store, no crisco or pc and have never had a problem with sticking. I also use mff, easy to work with. Also fill and frost layers and the let sit overnight before putting fondant on, then no bulges. Merry Christmas

sweetjan Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 1:59pm
post #10 of 14

Since you're eager to learn (and doing a very good job with it!!! thumbs_up.gif ), you'll be thrilled with the instructional DVD, 'Flawless Fondant'. It's by Sugarshack here on CC....you can pm her. It covers everything from start to finish
And you did a really good job, by the way!

indydebi Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 2:34pm
post #11 of 14

I was cracking up at your story of making red fondant! icon_lol.gif

Most folks find doing squares is more difficult. Smaller cakes tend to be more difficult. Did you put any BC under the fondant to help the fondant adhere to the cakes? Do you have a fondant smoother ... that will help with the smoother look. (My first fondant cake, I didn't have a fondant smoother and when I got one, I was happily amazed at how much prettier they cakes looked!)

But I agree that you did a good job with the bows!

Thanksharla Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:48pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I use vinyl...I've got a couple of smaller silicone mats and fondant seems to stick to them, so I've never invested in a bigger one. The vinyl works really well. I don't use powdered sugar, instead I use cornstarch and a pastry brush. When I've tried using powdered sugar in the past, it took a lot and then my fondant started cracking.

To make red takes a lot of color...more than you would really think it would take. I thought you had used chocolate fondant. When you put a lot of color in fondant, sometimes it gets too stretchy or crumbly, which might have been the stretching problem you were describing. Next time you order cake supplies from somewhere, order a bottle of Americolor Super Red (and one of Super Black while you're at it icon_biggrin.gif). It's easier to get the color with it.

About freezing, when I make mini cakes, I fill and then frost the top, then freeze the cake overnight and cut it into squares, then put it back in the freezer and take out a few at a time to cover. I chill bigger cakes for an hour or two in the fridge, after they're filled and the crumb coat is on, and before I put the fondant on.




I will definately have to look into get a piece of vinyl for rolling out the fondant. Thanks for the tip.

Thanksharla Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:55pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I was cracking up at your story of making red fondant! icon_lol.gif

Most folks find doing squares is more difficult. Smaller cakes tend to be more difficult. Did you put any BC under the fondant to help the fondant adhere to the cakes? Do you have a fondant smoother ... that will help with the smoother look. (My first fondant cake, I didn't have a fondant smoother and when I got one, I was happily amazed at how much prettier they cakes looked!)

But I agree that you did a good job with the bows!




Yeah, right now red fondant is not my friend....lol. I do need to figure it out soon though. My daughter's 2nd birthday is at the end of January and I want to put a red Elmo on her cake. I haven't seen Americolor in the stores here. Is there a good website to buy it from? The cheaper the better. icon_biggrin.gif

I did put chocolate BC under the fondant. Yum yum. It's my husband's favorite. I don't have a fondant smoother but it is on my list of things to invest in.

How long do the cakes need to sit before putting on fondant to prevent the bulging look on the sides?

juststarted Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 7:45pm
post #14 of 14

I think the 'sticking to the counter and stretching' could be avoided by using cornstarch during roling out the fondant. I would suggest to knead the fondant with a little shortening on hand and rolling it out with generous amount of cornstarch. Also if you chill the cake and give enough time to set, there shouldn't be anymore buldges. A buldge could also be cause by filling oozing out. For any soft/runny filling it's recommended to use a BC dam. HTH.

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