Again and again, I try to use fondant and it is always a cracked and torn disaster. I have watched video after video and practiced over and over. I would have to charge $1,000 per cake to ever make up for the cost of the wasted fondant experiments. I see in many videos that they smooth and "fluff" the fondant out after placing it on the cake - mine tears and rips - usually right in the middle of the sides. Some bakers just start smoothing and in a matter of minutes they have a beautiful cake with no pleats or rips. I love the look of the smooth, pretty fondant but have decided that I just need to become an expert at smoothing bc and be done.
If anybody needs a cake decorated to look like a 50's pleated skirt with the torn "grunge" look of today - I'm your girl!
I will just admire all of your cakes and dream. My nerves are just shot! Thanks for letting me vent!
It sounds to me like you are rolling your fonant too thin. Have you tired making it thicker?
What are you rolling it out on? How are you transfering it to the cake?
perhaps your fondant is not pliable enough. are you using store-bought? perhaps some glycerin and corn syrup might help.
i've found that fondant is never as easy as on tv, but then again cake decorating is not my 40+/wk day job. i've had to learn that my climate is more humid and i have to compensate. don't give up!
Brand, how humid/dry, how much you kneed it, how thick/thin you roll it, and how much corn starch you put down to roll it out all are major factors when working with fondant.
It sounds like your fondant is too dry, you need to add shortening or glycerine.
did you try the marshmallow fondant recipe posted here? I find that it is very pliable, and it stretches nicely, as long as you powder your surface well. Also, watch the clip that is for "The Mat" by sweetwise. Even if you dont use the mat, their technique basically eliminates pleats and creases. It also sounds to me that your fondant is rolled too thin. I just read today it should be 1/8-1/4'' thick.
I am using a vinyl mat lightly oiled to keep the fondant from sticking and then I roll the fondant onto my rolling pin to transfer. I have gotten better about the technique of transferring so that seems to be going a little better.
You may be correct in that I'm just getting the fondant too thin. I will have to try to go with a lot thicker when my nerves settle. I thought I was going thicker than I had in the past but still had the problems. Maybe I just need to not scrimp on the fondant and just really go a lot thicker.
I'm not sure what the glycerin and corn syrup solution is. Can you share more details of what works best for you.
I'm always interested in learning more!
Wilton sells glycerin in little jars. the recipe i use calls for 1 Tb.
if you find your fondant isn't pliable, add a little glycerin (few drops).
wilton suggests using it to help dried-out icing to regain consistency. keep it around for that too.
It does sound like it might be to thin but you also have to make sure to secure it (lightly smooth) it to the top of the sides first to help support the weight and then you have to smooth (to attach) it on to the sides completly. I love fondant and I have found that MMF works so much better for covering cakes than any other kind for me.
I will put the glycerin on my shopping list and give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I have spent my kids' college fund on fondant attempts - an additional purchase of glycerin can't hurt now.
I had exactly the same issues. It's the pliability of your fondant which is the problem. I converted to Jennifer Dontz's recipe recently, and I have absolutely no issues now.
Can I search for Jennifer's recipe on this site? If not, can you share?
I had a sticky disaster with MMF once before but I learned a lot from my mistakes and just have not tried again.
rpaige-I don't know where you are, but I teach 3 fondant classes. I guarantee that I can get you pass your issues. There are just some things that we have to do hands-on; and learning the ins and outs of fondant is one of them. If you're close to NC, come spend some time with me !!
I add a couple tablespoons of shortening to my fondant if it's really dry, it softens it up and it covers cake much nicer! good luck!