Not A Disaster As Such, More A Learning Process.

Decorating By froggy80au Updated 24 Aug 2010 , 1:28am by froggy80au

froggy80au Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:16pm
post #1 of 14

I made my very first cake today, I am glad it was a test cake.

It is a bit of a failure, but not too bad for a first attempt I think, it was just a test cake anyway and I learnt a bit from it.

First of all I made marshmallow fondant. I think I rolled it too thin and that is why I got the holes, either that or I forgot to put the sticky stuff on and it sat like a tablecloth and I took it off and put it back on again, so it may have dried out too much.

I stuck the fondant stars and border on with water, is that OK, or do you need something else?

I used the packet buttercream icing as the middle, but it makes the cake far too sweet, is there something else I could use instead? I thought plain cream would not be thick enough and would squish under the weight.

I also tried to use letter cutters to put words on, but they stuck inside the cutter and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get them out in one piece. Do you have any hints or tips on how to use the cutters? I did use the marshmallow fondant, maybe try the shop stuff?

I think that is all I wanted to ask. Here are some pics of my first, dismal but OK attempt
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13 replies
indydebi Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:29pm
post #2 of 14

I dont' think your fondant is too thin. I dont' like thick fondant .... I think it makes a cake look like a "play doh cake". Yours looks perfect to me!

You filling is way thicker than what I use, so that may be what makes you think it's too sweet. However, that is a personal preference .... there's no right or wrong answer.

I attached fondant decors with water all the time.

mmgiles Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:31pm
post #3 of 14

This is what I see: It doesnt look like you used any frosting underneath the fondant. There should be at least a small crumb coat. The frosting in the middle (the filling) could have been thinner. If you think traditional buttercream is too sweet, you could try a cream cheese frosting, but I think you're right that plain whipped cream wouldnt be firm enough and would soak into the cake a bit. I think you did a great job on the fondant for your first time. You may very well have dried it out pulling it off and putting it back. When you did that, did you knead it again? You could have added a bit of shortening back in during that kneading. I had to learn to use less powdered sugar/shortening when rolling out the fondant. That dries it out a lot. I used to you A LOT but then I realized just a little bit in a stocking will work as long as I keep turning and adding more and I come out using a lot less.

I think you did a really good job. I even still have trouble sometimes getting all of the creases out of the bottom edge. Keep practicing and you're well on your way.

mmgiles Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:33pm
post #4 of 14

I forgot to mention the cutters. If you tap them in powdered sugar and then cut the fondant, it will help to get them out. I still have them stick a little now and then and I'll just use a toothpick carefully to get them out. I dont think your fondant is too thick either.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:36pm
post #5 of 14

If you want to use that much filling, you'd be better off slicing your cake into 3 or 4 layers and spreading it out - much more pro looking and will probably taste less sweet.

I don't see anything between your fondant and cake - did you crumbcoat it first with buttercream/ganache? All my cakes have a very visible layer of crumbcoat - gives a much smoother surface to work on and does minimise tearing as the fondant has something to cling to than just cake. I hate MMF, I always use shop-bought, but you do have to experiment as to what works for you best and the taste you like (if at all!).

CWR41 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:40pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy80au

I think I rolled it too thin and that is why I got the holes, either that or I forgot to put the sticky stuff on and it sat like a tablecloth and I took it off and put it back on again, so it may have dried out too much.


The sticky stuff??? If you're referring to buttercream, it looks like you didn't ice your cake with BC first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy80au

I stuck the fondant stars and border on with water, is that OK, or do you need something else?


Water is fine... if it worked for you, no need to try something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy80au

I used the packet buttercream icing as the middle, but it makes the cake far too sweet, is there something else I could use instead? I thought plain cream would not be thick enough and would squish under the weight.


I don't know what packet icing is, but it looks almost as thick as the cake layer. Too sweet, try using 1/4" thick or so... of buttercream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy80au

I also tried to use letter cutters to put words on, but they stuck inside the cutter and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get them out in one piece. Do you have any hints or tips on how to use the cutters? I did use the marshmallow fondant, maybe try the shop stuff?


You might try using a sheet of plastic wrap between your fondant and the cutter... you'll never have to pry it out again!

mamawrobin Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:41pm
post #7 of 14

Yes..you need at least a crumbcoat of icing before you apply fondant.
Otherwise I don't think your fondant looks all that bad for your first time.


As far as the letter cutters...I roll my fondant kind of thin plus I allow it to dry for about 20 minutes or so to firm up a bit. It helps if the fondant is firmer when you use the cutters. I also use a toothpick to gently release the fondant from the edges of the cutters and the letters fall right out.

froggy80au Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 3:43pm
post #8 of 14

I am so new at this, I dont even know what "crumbcoat" means. I did melt some apricot jams and use a pastry brush to cover the cake and make the fondant stick.
Is there a better way to do it?

Do you have a recipe for the cream cheese filling?

Moondance Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 9:34pm
post #9 of 14

Hi, crumb coat is when you spread a layer of butter cream over the top and sides of your cake before you put the fondant on - it helps the fondant to stick, and as it suggests keeps the crumbs from your cake getting into your fondant. I think the texture of your cake looks superb! Great first try - it's all trial and error at first, you''l be surprised at how quick you improve!

froggy80au Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 1:12am
post #10 of 14

Thanks everyone, I thought I would post an update with some pics of my completed cake.

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DetailsByDawn Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 9:07pm
post #11 of 14

You did such a great job!!!!! You have natural talent!!! Is that cake on a change table lol?
Yes, the filling is a bit thick, but I like mine thick too - I let it settle in the fridge with a bit of weight on it, so that the filling firms up nicely and I don't get any bulges on the side of my finished cake. There are many decoraters out there that do just as you did - apricot jam brushed over the naked cake and then apply fondant. Personally, I think there should be icing on a cake - if the person eating it does not enjoy fondant, they will peel it off and have a cake iced in a nice buttercream to eat. I'm thinking that the filling you used is pre-made, store bought frosting? You can make a lovely buttercream very easily, that is not as sweet, just check out all the great recommendations and recipes here on Cake Central. Again, I think you did a fabulous job on your cake and your train figures are superb!!!!

sweettreat101 Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 8:45am
post #12 of 14

The filling is way to thick and it doesn't look like you used a dam to keep your filling from showing through the fondant. I use mousse fillings for my cakes not to sweet holds it's shape and people love it. Take one small box of instant pudding and two cups whipping cream whip until peaks form. Your cream will not dissolve or lose it's shape. I actually just threw away some that I had in a bowl in my fridge for over a week and it was still the same texture. You do have to refrigerate your cakes which I do anyways even when I use other fillings. It also helps firm things up for delivery. Try frosting your cake with butter cream and then cover in fondant or frost your cake in ganache let it set up an then cover. We are all learning everyday that is why I love this site.

chellescountrycakes Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 9:49am
post #13 of 14

You did great!!
and your train is ADORABLE!!

I only use fondant, and still have issues with it. LOL I do put a BC crumb coat under mine, possibly too thick. Its a total learning process, but I do think you did a wonderful job!!

froggy80au Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:28am
post #14 of 14

Yes, the cake is on my change table icon_redface.gif it was the only flat spot that was clean enough to take a photo.

I didnt end up using the filling I did for the practice cake, I went with a white chocolate ganache, it was lovely, and nowhere near as thick as the first cake.
I did 3 layers instead of the 2 in the practice cake too. That is the bump you can see on the sides (I dont know how 3 cakes cooked in the same tin can make different sizes, but they did)

I was very proud of my little train too, but it was so easy because I had an online step by step tutorial.

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