Using Large Pieces Of Fondant

Decorating By zespri Updated 3 Dec 2010 , 5:21am by cheatize

zespri Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 7:26pm
post #1 of 13

I do not have much experience with fondant yet, and the only time I've covered fondant cakes I have had an experienced person standing next to me guiding me. But I (perhaps foolishly) volunteered to make a three tier cake for a party, and last night I did the 12" layer.

I'm not joking when I tell you it took me two hours of rolling out the fondant, bunching it back into a ball then starting from scratch until I got it into a useable state. It was an incredibly frustrating experience.

How do you handle large pieces of fondant successfully? I was trying to get a 24" round piece. My limitations are that I only have a standard size rolling pin (which gives me static shocks!), and I don't have one of those fancy mats which I'm pretty sure aren't even available for sale here in NZ. I know people in the U.S. say they go to Walmart and buy some kind of vinyl, but we don't have Walmart here, can anyone describe what sort of vinyl it is?

Here are the issues I had:

1) My fondant stuck to the counter in the middle, and when the piece started to get large enough, I'd try and lift up the edges to stop it from sticking it would rip because it was now too thin, and there was too much to lift before getting to the centre.
2) I couldn't roll it out into a round shape, it kept getting 'petals' coming off the sides, forcing me to add an extra batch of fondant just so that I would have enough to work with.

Does anyone have any advice other than get a huge rolling pin and a mat? I know a large rolling pin would make it easier, but they are pretty expensive here, so I've got to make do with what I've got for a while. And as I said earlier, I'm not sure what sort of vinyl to buy...?

Any advice you can offer would be appreicated, as I have to repeat this exercise very soon for a wedding... omg!

12 replies
sarkee Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 7:46pm
post #2 of 13

Issue #1 - make sure you have shortening on the counter to prevent sticking and use ring guides to make sure you get an even thickness, otherwise you are going to have very thin edges.

Issue #2 - I always turn my fondant as I'm rolling it to ensure that it gets to the size I need. Not necessarily"round" but big enough to cover the cake.

Issue #3 - I use a piece of PVC pipe as my rolling pin. My husband cut it to almost 2 feet long and I bought the guides to use on it. I love it. Also I can run it through the dishwasher to clean.

Hope this helps!

playingwithsugar Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 7:50pm
post #3 of 13

Start by rolling from the center, outward. If you are covering a round cake, make 1/8 turns with your paste, to help keep the round shape. Logically, it would be 1/4 turns for a square cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

0930 Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 7:50pm
post #4 of 13

one member said to use shortening on the surface to prevent sticking which i have never used - i use cornstarch and works really really well.

do you weigh out the fondant that you are using. i have a guide given to me where i tookt he course as to how much you need for each cake size. when you are rolling it out it makes it SO much easier to know that you are likely bang on. when i think i have enough i simply hold the cake over it and gauge and if i need ro roll it our more.

hope this helps - hang in there it will all come together!!!!

elly

Kellbella Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 7:51pm
post #5 of 13

I hate rolling out fondant so I feel your pain icon_cry.gif I would suggest getting and aluminum rolling pain and a mat or piece of vinyl. Those 2 things will make it easier for you. Why were you trying to get a 24 in circumference? How tall is your cake? If it's only 4 in high you would need to roll it to only 20 inches, that would be a little easier than 24. It really is going to come down to practice, practice, practice and you will learn little tricks of the trade to make it easier for you ( mat and rolling pain are starters) Good luck with the wedding cake! thumbs_up.gif

Motorhead Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 13

wow...did i write this post? cause this sounds so much like me!! i agree with the corn starch method, never sticks, just remember to try and brush it off after. i have seen an item on here regarding rolling out large pieces, you roll your fondant over it, remove the middle circle and fit it over your cake. i'll try and look for the post for you! as for the vinyle, i would suggest a thick table cloth vinyle, the kind that you buy off the roll. i just roll it up on my rolling pin or ask my DH for assistance! HTH and good luck! icon_biggrin.gif

zespri Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 8:16pm
post #7 of 13

Hi guys, thanks for the responses!

I ended up using a combination of cornstarch and icing sugar mixed together in a pouch, and when I felt that it was getting too dry, I switched to shortening. Obviously I used as little as possible of both, but since I had to re-do it so many times of course I had to keep on re-applying to the counter.

The PVC pipe is a good idea, my husband tried to find me some in the garage last night but it didn't work out. What sort of diameter is yours? I might go and buy some, so it would be good to know the idea size!

@Theresa, I will try and be careful to roll from the centre, and had not thought of 'turning' it, I have been 'lifting' it to stop it sticking.

@Elly - I used this guide for the weight, and ended up adding quite a bit more as it was too hard to work with. Is your table about the same?
http://www.globalsugarart.com/?id=24

@Kellbella: It's 4" high, but I read that I would need an extra 2" on either side otherwise you have to be 100% accurate putting it down.

@Motorhead: I don't understand what you mean about cutting out the circle? Hopefully you'll be able to track down the instructions, sounds intriguing!

brincess_b Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 8:44pm
post #8 of 13

How do u lift the fondant? Best to roll it over ur rolling pin - flip the edge on the pin and roll so that it lifts up and rolls.

Use more fondant than you think you need - better too much than too little, and so you don't end up with it getting too thin.

If you are taking several shots at rolling it out, just be careful it doesn't start to dry out - will give u more problems when covering the cake and smoothing.

Fondant definatly gets easier with practice!
xx

shelbell2482 Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 9:04pm
post #9 of 13

I have been on many a cake decoraring course and I have always been told NEVER to use cornstarch (or cornflour) to roll out with as this can ferment between the cake and the icing. I find using a very small amount of white fat (shortening) works well or icing sugar (confectioners sugar) works well but can dry out the fondant. You need to work out what works best for you.

It does definitley get easier, as you get more familiar with it. You can always buy a rolling mat online, there are hundreds of websites which you can try, shop around for the best price.

sarkee Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 9:06pm
post #10 of 13

the pvc rolling pin i use is about 2 to 2 and 1/2 inch diameter

cheatize Posted 2 Dec 2010 , 4:29am
post #11 of 13

The vinyl can be found at stores that carry fabric for sewing. It's usually in with the home decor fabric- the tall racks where they hang rolls of fabric from dowel rods. At least, that's where it is and how it is hung in the U.S. and it was hung that way in St. Martin when we were there on vacation.

Anyway, it's a clear vinyl that comes in different weights. It's usually used for a tablecloth, although I imagine it can be used as dust covers for furniture, too.

amygortoncakes Posted 2 Dec 2010 , 4:40pm
post #12 of 13

I have the same problem. The only thing that I have found to work is to use a lot more fondant than what is recommended. I hate that I end up with these huge balls of leftover but I think without a professional sheeter nothing else works.

One thing I have done is to just try and make smaller cakes. I make cakes for fun mostly and when I first started out I though it would be fun to make the bigger bottomed cakes, but like you found it more than frustrating.

cheatize Posted 3 Dec 2010 , 5:21am
post #13 of 13

Is it just me or did "Fat Bottomed Girls" go through your head, too, when read "bigger bottomed cakes?" LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by amygortoncakes

I have the same problem. The only thing that I have found to work is to use a lot more fondant than what is recommended. I hate that I end up with these huge balls of leftover but I think without a professional sheeter nothing else works.

One thing I have done is to just try and make smaller cakes. I make cakes for fun mostly and when I first started out I though it would be fun to make the bigger bottomed cakes, but like you found it more than frustrating.


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