Hello- I am a relatively new cake decorator learning the trade- I have been doing this for two years, and have until recently just been using marshmallow fondant to cover my cakes. Becoming more and more unsatisfied with this, I ordered Carrie's Cakes Fondant DVD to get her recipe, and I like it a lot better, but I'm still having trouble with cracking at the top edges of cakes when I cover them.
I see on all the cake shows on tv the pros cover their cakes with the fondant then stretch it a little at the bottom to make it fit properly. If I were to do this, my fondant just tears!
Please help- give me some suggestions what I may be doing wrong, some recipies I could try, anything! Just, HELP!
You may be rolling your fondant too thin. Sometimes I get carried away with my rolling and this happens to me. Also, if your fondant is too dry ( you have too much sugar in it, that will cause it to tear). I'm not a fan of MMF... I love the way it taste, but I don't have time to fool with it LOL. It's too much like a fondant diva to me.... everything has to be just right LOL.
The pros that you refer to are using commercially made fondant--not MMF or MFF, or any other version of homemade fondant.
The commercial products--Satin Ice (SI), FondX, Massa Grischuna, Massa Ticino, ChocoPan, etc., etc.--are extremely consistent and forgiving. They are formulated using specific ingredients to insure, as much as possible, the same result, time and again. They include various food "gums" that allow for stretching and manipulation which standard homemade fondant recipes don't include.
Homemade fondant is pretty much a crap shoot. It can vary because of the brand of marshmallows, corn syrup H2O content, hot spots in microwaves or pans, the climate, ad infinitum. Sometimes it works great and other times, using the same recipe, it's dry and uncooperative.
I've used homemade for simple cut outs, but I've never cared for not being sure that it would hold up to covering an entire cake. I use various commercial fondants for that all important task.
I use Michele Foster's FOndant, and actually get a VERY consistent result (and never have to fool around with the recipe like I did with MMF). It's stretchy and beautiful ... if you were using that recipe, I would follow the advice the other poster gave and add less powdered sugar, or I would tell you to add a little more glycerin for a little extra stretch. HTH!
You can add a teaspoon or two of gumtex powder to improve the stretchyness. If It cracks and tears it is, as evryone said, too dry, no matter if it's homemade, commercial, or other. In this case. you can knead some solid vegetable shortening into it (Crisco, etc).
I tip I saw somewhere was to make sure that you attach the top 1/4 inch of the fondant on the sides very quickly (run you hands around it, after making sure you've wet your BC or that whatever is underneath the fondant is sticky), and this is supposed to help prevent tearing and cracking. Does that make sense? Don't know if I'm describing it well!