Hi, I am very new at this & did my first cake over the weekend for a friends birthday. It turned out ok in the end but I had a nerve wracking moment & wondered if anyone knew where I went wrong!
I did 2 x 8" rounds of vanilla madeira sponge cake sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream & jam.
Buttercream the whole of the cake on the outside ready for the fondant to go on top. I did this quite thick.
Fondant icing was very pliable so didnt need to knead this too much & rolled out very smoothly.
When it came to applying to the fondant it instantly started to tear & buttercream was coming through. Whilst trying to smooth it onto the cake it felt like it was disintegrating.
Couldnt save it so had to take it off & start again but this time removed excess buttercream. Still creased the icing so need more practice with that.
I'm a bit confused though as been reading on here & watching video clips on YouTube & some people advise to allow the buttercream to dry out & go crusty & others say the opposite! Also, I noticed majority are smoothing out heaps of buttercream onto the cake!
Whats best for fondant icing a round cake? Any tips welcome!
Ok, so there are some tips that may work for you but it's basically trial and error here. I fill and crumbcoat my cakes right out of the freezer and then give at least 2 hours for the cakes to come to room temp and to settle (this is a biggie since not allowing time to settle can cause filling bulges as well as gas bubbles in your fondant). Then I roll out my fondant. For yours to be tearing it could have been one of two things..one it could have been either too thin or too thick...too thin over thick buttercream (and I'm in the thin coat of buttercream camp) would make it easy to tear while smoothing and too thick can add too much weight to the fondant and gravity would stretch it out and allow tearing. OR if your environment is very humid it can lead to tearing. I had this problem Friday when it was pouring rain here and it just softens up the fondant (which absorbs all the outside moisture) and it kept tearing. But basically, with fondant, it's just practice practice practice and you will see what works for you!
Thank you, your comments about the fondant being too thin on thick buttercream make sense & think that may have been a factor.
I've just baked some sponge cake to practice icing on, the hubby will be eating this one
What works for me is to put a thin coat of buttercream, thicker than a crumb coat but not as thick as it would be if I weren't putting fondant. Put the cake on a cake circle cut to fit the cake exactly, put the buttercream on and chill until firm. Then set the cake on something with a smaller diameter, like a coffee can or smaller cake pan, so you can drape the fondant over and have room for it to hang down below the cake. Open out any folds that form, trim any really large excess with kitchen shears, then smooth from the top down and trim the excess off just below the cake board with kitchen shears. As the cake comes to room temp you'll notice the fondant looking a little shiny but that will go away fairly quickly. Let the cake sit for a couple of hours so the fondant can firm up, then set it on top of a larger, decorated cake board.
This just goes to show that what catlharper said is true: practice and trial and error are what work here. I tried the hanging fondant method when I first started. The weight of the fondant made it tear every time, but then I live in a VERY humid place. What I've finally found that works for me is adding a little CMC (tylose) and more powdered sugar than you ever thought possible to the basic recipe (or the store-bought fondant). It solved all my problems with bulges, elephant skin and all those things that can plague you when you use fondant. Dry, cracking fondant here in the tropics? Uh..., no.