I am making a cake for my nephew's 1st birthday in a few weeks. I will be doing a 3 tier square cake ( 8", 12" and 16") in jungle theme. I bought the Wilton pans a while back, but have yet to use them. Anyway, I'm not sure what I should to about the fondant. When I make MMF it always seems to have little lumps of powder sugar (I use the Wal-Mart brand, if that matters?), even though I have sifted it. I think it would probably be a lot cheaper to make it myself, because I'm thinking I'll need something like 20lbs to cover all the cakes (Am I right?) if I bought it pre-made. If anyone has any ideas on why the MMF would come out with lumps, I would greatly appreciate the tips! I am also making little animals to go with the cake. I'm not sure if I should make them out of gumpaste or fondant? Also, how early can I make them? His party is on July 23rd and I want to get as much done as possible, because I don't want to stress over this whole process. Thanks so much for your help and listening
Sounds like a cute cake! I'm not sure why you have lumps, since you say you do sift the powdered sugar. (I always sift mine and this seems to help even w/ my icing.) I don't know if it would matter on MMF, but some Walmarts sell PS that is "beet sugar" instead of "cane sugar." It's different in different areas--you just have to look on the bag. Once I started watching the labels, I found that my BC was better when I avoided the beet sugar. At least it would be something for you to check.
As far as the animals, I would recommend gum paste or 50/50 gum paste and fondant. The homemade fondant especially takes longer to dry when making figures. You'll want something that dries more quickly. The good news is you can start those any time. You'll want to have them in a place that is protected (from dust or being knocked into for instance) but where the air can circulate (so they will dry).
Hope this helps! Good luck w/ your cake and animals!
The powdered sugar I usually use is called Confectioners Powered Sugar. I thought I read somewhere if you use the C&H powered sugar you don't have to sift it. Is this true or am I just totally crazy? I thought if that were the case, I could just pay a little more and use it? Has anyone had any luck with this?
Absolutely on the C&H powdered sugar! I have had a couple too many incidents with other brands of sugar, and C&H always works for me.
I agree that it is okay to start on figures. I like mine to sit and harden and do their thing (like to know they are stable) for quite a while, so I like starting a week to 10 days prior. Good luck!
I had this problem and someone told me I was adding the powdered sugar too soon to the marshmallows and that they were too hot. Try letting the marshmallows cool just a bit and then add the ps. See if that works.
C&H I will try! I will also try not to add the sugar too soon. I thought I had to add it right away for the fondant to work? I guess I'm wrong.
I use my store brand PS when making MMF, sift and make sure to let the fondant rest for 24 hrs. That gives the little lumps time to melt into the fondant.
Now I use Michelle Fosters fondant recipe and like it much better than the MMF.
Is it hard to make? The MMF is easy, if it wouldn't come out with lumps
I have found that kneading like crazy after you add the PS (and yes, I even have to sift C&H) till the fondant is SMOOTH and then rubbing it with a thin layer of crisco, wrapping it twice, and letting it sit over night in the fridge helps to disolve the lumps that are left. When you take it out of the fridge you will have to microwave it again (about 30-45 seconds for me) and then knead if for about 10 mins to get it nice and smooth. And, yes, the reduced cost makes all the labor worth it...plus I like the taste of mine SO much more.
Just recently, I couldn't remember whether I added the 2 TBS of water before microwaving the marshmallows (in batches to follow, I've realized I had added the 2TBS prior to microwaving). Coincidentally, I had also accidently added almost 3/4 of the bag of PS instead of 1/4 that I usually start with... so I stirred and stirred and it became a bit of a dry mix (similar to when you are making gumpaste and think that it surely will never turn into what it should). I then added two more TBS of water and stirred more before turning it out onto greased mat and adding in the rest of the PS. I have been doing it this way since. I don't fight the lumps now at all. Worth giving it a try. I have been afraid to try store brand, but may give it a try on a family cake to see how it goes.
Sometimes i get lumps and sometimes i dont, sometimes i sift and sometimes i dont. But, that doesnt seem to always make the difference. they will come out while kneading and coloring though. I do find if i leave the fondant a little on the soft side, rub w/crisco, and let rest overnight....there are none! Also, i dont try to get ALL the PS in the bottom of the bowl, the rough looking stuff, i just keep adding fresh. I think brand might be key, too. C&H
I just made some in my new KA and wow, perfect and easy! No lumps and no kneading.
Ahhh.. I wish I had a KA would be nice, but they are soo expensive. I will have to save up to get one I didn't think you could put fondant in the refrigerator? I thought it was pretty much death to fondant? I did it once, and it turned out awful! I had to run to the store to get more powdered sugar and marshmellows The fondant was super sticky and wet. I have always just used the fondant right after I make it. Maybe I will do a practice run on letting it rest after I make it with the C&H sugar! I didn't know I needed to do that.
Some of the above tips are key to perfect MMF, let rest overnight, kneading like CRAZY!, and not incorporating the rough looking PS from the bottom of the bowl.
I don't thimg Michelle's fondant is hard to make. It takes more ingredients , but to me it is worth it! I sometimes add some melted white chocolate to it and it tastes AMAZING! It is also so easy to work with.