Nervous Break Literally Shaking

Decorating By PastrySwaggaPro Updated 1 Jul 2011 , 7:31am by sweettreat101

PastrySwaggaPro Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:06am
post #1 of 19

Alright guys I'm having a nervous breakdown... comes my ramble/

I bought about 20 pieces of poly-foam from and they came in what appeared to be in good shape. Some hexagons [oh my lord....dont even get me started on how it was to fondant these) and some contoured circle pieces.

I had requested the a week off from Michaels [where I work] because it was my 18th birthday, and I wanted to make some tiered cake dummies for practice.

Long behold I grabbed ahold of alas...WILTON branded fondant. Yes that large 10 pound pack...or was it five? Ah, anywho. I grabbed 3 of those large packs pretty swiftly, and with my employee discount, it ran me just under 50 dollars in total. I was in happy confient mode for sure.

Alright fast forward about 2 days, and there I was. Boom. With my trusty MAT by sweetwise. It's just me, my trusty rolling pin, and a mind chock full of ideas, and inspiration.

I knead the white stuff for a good 15 minutes caressing it with nothin' but love. Hahaha. I then progressed to roll out my chemically fumed fondant, and I put it over my hexagon cake easing it taut... fine and dandy right? Not so much. As I smoothed out the top, the demons were unleashed. What formed and started from elephant skin looking madness evolved into unslightly rips. The rips ended up creating a PERFECT hexagon cut out...blast it all!! Thats not exactly the effect I wanted... I tried the second time, even rolling the corners and sides of the hex on my table to make them softer. Nope fondant still rips. Tried the third time this time with piping gel...nope it wasnt the sticking issue. Fondant still rips. A day progresses. I try my hand at the contoured circle. IT STILL RIPS. I mean, it literally questioned if I knew what I was doing. I am usually so good at covering real cakes with fondant but dummy cakes is a whole different ballpark...:l

Is it just wiltons fondant in general? Are all dummy cakes like this? Can it be this hard to cover a hexagon cake no matter if its a dummy or not? IS SATIN ICE REALLY THE FOOD OF THE GODS? DOES IT HONESTLY WORK WITH DUMMIES AND REAL CAKES? Am i just an insane teenager who's rambling for no reason? Would you the wonderful reader/rant listener/cake decorator/advicer (lol) be apple to shine some light on my uninspired, but 110 percent passion pastry chef to be?

sorry i got into my blogging voice. it just happens. lol.

18 replies
Foxicakes Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:31am
post #2 of 19

So sorry that this is happening to you. I don't really have any advice to offer because I've never used the Wilton fondant, however, I have heard of several people that DO use it specifically for their dummies. Have you ever tried to make your own fondant? From marshmallows? It works really well in my opinion and I would have to imagine that it would be much more pliable than that Wilton stuff. Also there is a "real" fondant recipe on here that everyone that tries it raves about it. It is the Michele Foster's fondant recipe and it can be found by doing a search in the recipe section of the site. I hope this helps and take that other crap back to the store and get your hard-earned money back!! That should be enough money to make a few batches of either the Marshmallow or the Foster's fondant...

samgill99 Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:40am
post #3 of 19

I don't think its the fondant. I can cover cakes pretty nicely with fondant but this past weekend I covered styrofoam dummies and the look was horrible - I couldn't smooth it very nicely and it got elephant skin as well! Also, the edges need to be sanded a bit so the sharpness of it doesn't rip the fondant. And I used Satin Ice fondant.

LindseyLoocy Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:58am
post #4 of 19

Whoooaaa! That was SO hard to read! You might want to read your posts to yourself before posting, lol. Not trying to be mean, I'm just sayingicon_smile.gif

The dummies are tricky and my only advice is to be patient and don't give up!

platinumlady Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:53am
post #5 of 19
Originally Posted by PastrySwaggaPro

Is it just wiltons fondant in general? Are all dummy cakes like this? Can it be this hard to cover a hexagon cake no matter if its a dummy or not? IS REALLY THE FOOD OF THE GODS? DOES IT HONESTLY WORK WITH DUMMIES AND REAL CAKES? Am i just an insane teenager who's rambling for no reason? Would you the wonderful reader/rant listener/cake decorator/advicer (lol) be apple to shine some light on my uninspired, but 110 percent passion pastry chef to be?

sorry i got into my blogging voice. it just happens. lol.

PastrySwaggaPro take a deep breathe it will be okay. You sound like you are really stressed & sometimes you just have to walk a way for a minute to gather your thoughts ... then start again.
It's not the Wilton fondant...that's all I use to cover dummies. You said you already used a roller pin over the top & sides which is great. The only thing I would add is take a water bottle & mist the cake dummy before you cover it. You don't need a lot and you would want to do it right before you cover it. So roll out your fondant & when you're ready to cover it .... use the piping gel to hold it at the bottom ... then mist the cake dummy with the water bottle. Then you should have no problem covering it. This is the way I teach my students and the way my instructors taught it to me.

I use the Wilton fondant for the cake dummies because it least expensive. However, I've never had a problem covering with it. If it's too dry then you'll get the elephant skin so try kneading some shortening into the fondant before you try it again.

It will work out you'll be fine thumbs_up.gif please post pics when you finish icon_biggrin.gif

PastrySwaggaPro Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 8:48am
post #6 of 19

platinum lady, and all, thank you for listening to my rant, because I know I'm no different than all the other rants on this forum. lol. I do actually mist my cake, but it just keeps ripping! even with the contoured edge. I'll try to sand it down even more. i live in chicago, and here we only get two seasons. winter and summer. hahaha. but thats not it at all cause its been a steady 76 degrees here! Grr. I'll try making marshmallow fondant tomorrow and see what happens. I will post pics! Thanks guys! You make my life. Hahah.

labmom Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 10:41am
post #7 of 19

I use wilton again because it is cheaper than satin ice which I use for cakes

the only time I have had it rip is when it has been rolled too thin. It was thin in the center and the sides were alittle thicker and the weight pulled the thinner fondant causing it to rip.

I also find that if I nuke it a few seconds before I knead it getting it nice and warm it rolls out so nice and it works great.

I purchased conture pans and I think you can purchase conture dummies there is a company on ebay that has great dummie sets at extremely reasonable prices all shapes sizes and thickness. there not the soft foam but the nice styrofoam. I always buy them when I have time otherwise I purchase insulation board from home depot and cut the dummies myself which is the cheapest way to go.. 8x12 board for like 11.00

ok, good luck and hope things work out for you and have fun thats the most important. when it stops being fun walk away from it for a while..

sherry_lyn Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 10:59am
post #8 of 19

maybe since it's a dummy & not meant to be eaten, you might try not rolling it quite as thin you would for a real cake... good luck.

TexasSugar Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:12pm
post #9 of 19

It isn't the fondant. It's a combination of the cake dummy and the weight of the fondant hanging off.

I've had to go back over edges a second time to make sure they are really smooth.

You also have to work very quickly when it come to smoothing the top edges down.

Are you elevating your cake? I have found that works great with real cakes, but often times with dummies I end up doing them flat on the table, especially if they are big. And cut off any long heavy excess right away before you start smoothing, that helps with some of the weight issue.

I've had to walk away from dummies before, because there seems to be that one that wants to give you hell every now and then. Take a mini break if you need to, then jump back in it.

TexasSugar Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:13pm
post #10 of 19

BTW, next time, try to plan ahead and get the 5lb boxes with coupons, not your 25% off. With a 40% off coupon the box is only $12. icon_smile.gif

all4cake Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:35pm
post #11 of 19

Happy (belated) Birthday!

blissfulbaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:37pm
post #12 of 19

First you need to get rid of all the sharp edges on your dummies. Use a mini rolling pin and rub it against the edges and corners. You want them to be slightly rounded. Next you need to mist the dummy with water or brush it with clear piping gel. Don't roll your fondant to thin. If the fondant seems to be getting elephant skin, kneed some glycerin into it. I also work and Michaels and I rarely use my discount since I can save much more money using the coupons.

blissfulbaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 2:39pm
post #13 of 19

Since you work at Michaels you should have a Wilton instructor there, perhaps she/he can be of some help. I teach at the Wilton classes at Michaels and I am always helping the employees with their caking endeavors.

angelogoo Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 3:59pm
post #14 of 19

Once you lay your fondant on the dummy, as fast as you can work around the edges to adhere them to the sides cos they will rip due to the overhang and cut off any excess that will try to weigh it down.

Roll the fondant a bit thicker to give you a fighting chance and then work with your hands around the edge before working on the rest fo the cake. Hexagons are not the easiest cake to cover as i discovered recently doing my sons ben 10 cake. It helps if you use a fresh fondant either fresh out of the pack or freshly made...i find that it doesnt tend to rip as much as one that has been sitting for a while.

cakesbycathy Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 5:57pm
post #15 of 19

I agree it's not the fondant. I only use the Wilton fondant for covering dummy cakes. It's perfect for them.

I personally would not recommend Satin Ice, especially for dummy cakes. One, it's way more expensive and two, I quit using it since they changed the recipe or had problems with their equipment or whatever. It is horrible to use now, I've found.

I sometimes go back and add a second layer of fondant over my first one just to give it a really smooth look if the first covering didn't go too well. It makes the dummy a little bit heavier though.

Lelka Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:30pm
post #16 of 19

What I found worked for me was that after I rolled my fondant (dummies were greased with Crisco) I also smear some Crisco on the fondant to keep it as flexible and moist as possible. Than working quickly, I layed the fondant on top of the dummies and smooth the top and the top edges first, make the fondant stick to the sides before the weight of the fondant tears it off. When I have my basic shape formed, I do the sides and than smoothing with the smoother. But having that additional Crisco on top of the fondant helps to keep it from drying too quickly.

PastrySwaggaPro Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:50pm
post #17 of 19

Guys, fooo' seriously, it's like a second family here at cake central. Thanks so much! I ended up covering the 8 inch circle semi-fine. I little elephant skin but no big deal. I'm making a spring(haha)-summer cake with orchids cascading down from a 4 tier dummy. Texas Superstar - do you work at michaels or have you worked at michaels?! Haha. I actually did use the 40 off but only for one box and all in one day because I was in a mad rush. Anywho, I'll try out the hexagon piece later. Real cake is so much less daunting for sure! Hahaha. Thanks guys!!!

LindaF144a Posted 1 Jul 2011 , 2:23am
post #18 of 19

The words "knead for a good 15 minutes" raises a red flag for me. That is plenty of time for the fondant to start and dry out and guessed it...elephant skin and cracking.

It shouldn't take 15 minutes to knead to get it soft enough. If it does, knead it in sections and keep it covered while kneading another part.

And really, I am tired of hearing how chemically Wilton is supposed to be. I tried another fondant recently and found it just as chemically and had a rather play doh smell and taste to it. I use Wilton a lot and never find a chemically smell or taste to it. On a recent cake I made I mixed yellow satin ice with white Wilton and it performed perfectly. There was not one crack or tear on the cake.

But also you need to practice. I have found that most of the time it is that alone that helps to minimize fondant problems.

sweettreat101 Posted 1 Jul 2011 , 7:31am
post #19 of 19

My latest Quince cake is sitting on a fondant covered cake dummy. I found it to be really easy to cover. Wish all my cakes were like that. I used Fondx fondant. I loved working with it. Covered all nine cakes in less time than it normally takes me to do a three tier cake. Of course I also used my Sweetwise mat. No elephant skin and no tearing. You might want to give it a try.

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